Hansel eggplants and Gretel eggplants are two different varieties that are very similar to each other, like the brother and sister from a fairy tale. Read up on some Hansel and Gretel eggplant information to find out why these hybrids are desirable and what they need to grow and give you a big harvest.
What are Hansel and Gretel Eggplants?
Hansel and Gretel are two different hybrid varieties of eggplant, both fairly new to the gardening world. They each won All American Selections – Hansel in 2008 and Gretel in 2009. Both were developed specifically to breed out some of the undesirable characteristics of most eggplants.
There are almost no practical differences between Hansel and Gretel eggplants. Hansel has deep purple skin and Gretel’s skin is white but, otherwise, they both have the same qualities that make them great options for the vegetable garden:
- The fruits are long and narrow and generally small compared to other varieties.
- The skin is thin and delicate without a bitter taste, so there is no reason to remove it for eating.
- The seeds have been greatly minimized to improve the texture of the fruit.
- The harvest window is larger than for other eggplants. You can start harvesting and using the fruits when they are just 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm.) long.
- Continue harvesting the eggplants as they grow up to about 10 inches (25 cm.) and you will still have a tasty, delicate fruit.
Growing Hansel and Gretel Eggplants
Growing Hansel eggplants and growing Gretel eggplants is exactly the same. They are so similar and have basically the same needs as other types of eggplants that there really is no distinction. The plants are small, which means they can grow in your vegetable bed but they also do well in containers on patios.
Make sure the soil is rich, adding compost or fertilizer if necessary. It should drain well, and if you are planting them in containers, there needs to be drainage holes. You can start your Hansel and Gretel eggplants as seeds indoors or use transplants. Either way, don’t put your plants outside until the weather is decidedly warm. They won’t tolerate cold temperatures well.
Whether grown in the garden or in a container, put your eggplants in a spot that will get full sun and water regularly. Eggplants will be ready to harvest beginning 55 days from transplant, but remember that you can keep harvesting them as the fruits grow bigger.