Like many other edible members of the Solanaceae family, eggplants are an excellent addition to the home garden. These large and heavy yielding plants reward warm season gardeners with delicious, fresh eggplant fruit. While diversity among different varieties of eggplant may not be as apparent as in other plants, open pollinated varieties and newly introduced hybrids allow growers to find plants that will thrive in their home gardens. One hybrid, called ‘Orient Charm,’ produces beautiful pinkish-purple oblong fruits. Read on for tips on growing Orient Charm eggplants in the garden.
Orient Charm Eggplant Info
So, what is an Orient Charm eggplant? These plants are a hybrid cultivar of Asian eggplant. The oblong fruits are generally pinkish purple in color and reach sizes of around 8 inches (20 cm.). Maturing in as little as 65 days, this variety of eggplant is an excellent choice for gardeners with short growing seasons.
How to Grow Orient Charm Eggplants
The process of growing Orient Charm eggplants is very similar to that of growing other varieties. First, growers will need to decide how they want to start their eggplant. Orient Charm may be available as seedlings at garden centers in early spring. However, it is more likely that gardeners will need to start these plants from seed themselves.
Seeds can be started indoors using seed starting trays and grow lights about 6-8 weeks before the last predicted frost date of the season. To sow, fill the trays with seed starting mix. Add one or two seeds to each cell in the seed tray. Place the tray in a warm location and keep it consistently moist until germination takes place.
For many, germination may be improved with the help of a seed starting warming mat. Once the seeds have germinated, grow the plants in a sunny window until all chance of frost has passed in the garden. Lastly, begin the process of hardening off the plants and transplanting outdoors into their growing location.
Select a well-draining and amended garden bed which receives full sunlight, or plant in a deep container. Consistent and frequent watering throughout the season will also help to ensure even growth from plants. As growth continues, heavy bearing plants may require staking or the support of a trellis to remain upright.