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Cultivation of Brinjal

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Brinjal or eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous crop of sub tropics and tropics. The name brinjal is popular in Indian subcontinents and is derived from Arabic and Sanskrit whereas the name eggplant has been derived from the shape of the fruit of some varieties, which are white and resemble in shape to chicken eggs. It is also called aubergine (French word) in Europe. The brinjal is of much importance in the warm areas of Far East, being grown extensively in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and the Philippines. It is also popular in Egypt, France, Italy and United States. In India, it is one of the most common, popular and principal vegetable crops grown throughout the country except higher altitudes. It is a versatile crop adapted to different agro-climatic regions and can be grown throughout the year. It is a perennial but grown commercially as an annual crop. A number of cultivars are grown in India, consumer preference being dependent upon fruit colour, size and shape.

The varieties of Solanum melongena L. display a wide range of fruit shapes and colours, ranging from oval or egg-shaped to long club-shaped; and from white, yellow, green through degrees of purple pigmentation to almost black. Most of the commercially important varieties have been selected from the long established types of the tropical India and China

Geographic origin and distribution

Brinjal is considered a native to India where the major domestication of large fruited cultivars occurred. In “Origin of cultivated plants” published in 1886 De Candolle, stated that the species S. Melongena has been known in India from ancient times and regarded it as a native of Asia. Vavilov (1928) was of the opinion that its centre of origin was in the Indo-Burma region. Various forms, colours and shapes of brinjal are found throughout South-East Asia, suggesting that this area is an important centre of variation. A centre of diversity is believed to be in the region of Bangladesh and Myanmar (Former India-Burma border). Evidence to this was given by Isshiki et al (1994) based on the is enzyme and morphological variation noticed in large germplasm collection from India. According to Zeven and Zhukov sky (1975), it originated in India but spread eastward and by the 5th century B.C. was in China, which became a secondary centre of variation. Thus, it has been known for the last 1500 years in China. Arabic traders were responsible for subsequent movement to Africa and Spain. Brinjal cultivation in the Mediterranean region is relatively recent. Portuguese colonies took it to Brazil. It is now widely cultivated for its fruits in the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate zones, especially in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. Sampson (1936) suggested the African origin of this crop, but there is no evidence that S. melongena is native there though there are spiny African brinjal plants.


Long Vareities  

Pusa purple Long It is extra early variety, becomes ready for picking in about 75-80 days after sowing during autumn-winter season and takes 100-110 days during spring-summer season. After normal transplanting it becomes ready for picking in about 45 days. It is a selection from a mixed batia variety commonly grown in Punjab, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh. It has semi-erect to bushy habit, me3dium in height. Fruits are long, slender, purple, and glossy, 25-25 cm long tend to drop drown and touch the ground. It is heavy yielder. Average yield is 300 q/ha

Pusa Purple Cluster. A medium- early variety, developed at IARI. New Delhi, Fruits are 10-12 cm long, deep purple in colour and borne in clusters of 4-9 suitable for southern and northern hills, moderately resistant to bacteria wilt.   

Azad Kranti. A variety identified in 1983 from Kalyanpur. Fruits uniformly thick, oblong. 15-20 cm long, dark purple with a shining green colour and less seeded.

Arka Keshev. Fruits 18-20 cm long. 5-6 cm in diameter and dark purple. They are bright, soft and contain less seed. Yields 300-400 q/ha

Arka Shirish. Fruits are very long, soft, thick, attractive and light green in colour. Seeds are absent or very less in half fruit towards the stalk. Flesh is nutritive. It yields 380 q/ha.

Pusa Hybrid-5. Plants are vigorous, non-spiny, with semi-erect branches. Fruits long, glossy attractive, dark purple with partially pigmented peduncle weighing about 100 g each. It takes 80-85 days from sowing to first picking. It is an early hybrid and high yielding (510q/ha)

Round Verities

Pusa Purple Round. It was developed at IARI, New Delhi, Each weighs 137g. It is tolerant to little leaf and shoots and fruit borer.

Pant Rituraj. A derivative of T-3×PPC from Pantnager. Fruits are almost round. Attractive purple in colour, soft, less seeded and endowed with good flavour. Average yield is 400q/ha. It possesses field resistance to bacterial wilt.

Punjab Bahar It is a thorn less variety developed mainly for cultivation in the spring season. Fruit dark purple with shining surface each weighing 200-300g.The fruit is plumpy and contains less seeds.

Arka Kusumaker. An improvement over the local collection (IIHR-193) from Karnataka. Fruits small, long, borne in clusters of 5 to 7, good in texture and cooking qualities and skin light green. Average yield is 330 q/ha.

T-3 It was developed at Kanpur through selection from S-16. Fruits round, light purple with whitish green colour at stigmatic end. It is moderately resistant to little leaf and bacterial blight.

Oval Varieties

Arka Navneet (F1). A cross between IIHR 22-1×Supreme from Bangalore. Fruits oval- round and free from bitterness. Fruit skin attractive, deep purple, Flesh soft and while with few seeds. Yeild is 650- 700 q/ha

Pusa Uttam. Plants are semi-upright, vigorous, well branches and free of spines. Mature plants appear green with occasional light pigmentation on growing shoots. Flowers appear in clusters. Fruits pendent, oval, large sized, glossy with dark purple skin and green peduncle. The bearing habit is solitary and single fruit weight 250-300 g. Average yield is 400 q/ha

Dudhia. Fruits are oval, oval, milky white, shining and attractive. Most suitable for winter season cultivation. Especially suitable for the preparation of Bhurta.

BH-2(F1).Plants is medium, erect, spreading and thorn less with green and purplish leaves. Fruits are oblong and deep purple weighing 300 g, It is highly suitable for cooking as Bhurta. It is tolerant to borer


The brinjal is a warm season crop, therefore susceptible to severe frost. Low temperature during the cool season causes deformation of fruits. A long and warm growing season is desirable for successful brinjal production. Cool nights and short summers are unsuited to satisfactory yield.  A daily mean temperature of 13 to 21C is most favourable for optimum growth and yield. The brinjal seed germinate well at 25C 

Soil and Field Preparation

The brinjal can be grown in all types of soil varying from light sandy to heavy clay. Light soils are good for an early yield, while clay-loam and silt-loam are well suited for higher yield. Loam and sandy soil of normal and higher status are best suited for brinjal cultivation. The soil should fertile and well drained. Brinjal is very hardy crop and can be grown even in adverse conditions like in soil having high pH Brinjal has great adoptability

Since the crop remain in the field for a number of months. The soil should be thoroughly prepared by ploughing 4 to 5 times before transplanting the seedlings. Bulky organic manures like well rotten crowding or compost should be incorporated evenly on the soil

Manure and Fertilizers

Brinjal is a heavy feeder crop. Therefore a balance application of manure and    fertilizers is very important for important for successful crop production. Further the brinjal being a long duration crop requires a good amount of manure and fertilizers. Well rotten farmyard manure or compost (200-250 q/ha) should be incorporated at the time of field preparation. The crop should be supplemented with 100-120 kg nitrogen and 50-60 kg each of phosphorus and potash hybrid requires more amount of fertilizers. Full dose of phosphorus and potash and half of N is applied at the of final field preparation before transplanting and the remaining quantity of N as urea is applied in two to three splits after 30, 45 and 60 days of transplanting in the farm of top dressing.

Sowing Time

The time of sowing of seed and transplanting of seedlings varies according to the agro-climatic regions. In the plants of Northern India, there are generally two sowing season’s vez, June to July for autumn crop and November for the spring- summer crop month of April. In South India, the brinjal can be grown round the year, the main sowing being done during July to August. In the hills, the seeds are sown in March to April and seedlings are transplanted in May.

Seed Rate


Pure line verities 500-750 g/ha


Hybrids 250 g/ha

Rising of Nursery

Block of 3 m length, 1.0 m wide and 0.15 m Height are prepared. Add 15 kg well rotten farmyard manure in each bed. A small quantity of super phosphate may de used. Drench the nursery beds each captan (2 g/kg seed) if not treated already. Sow the seeds 1 cm deep in rows 5 cm apart. Cover the seeds with the mixture of well rotten manure and fine soil and press it well. Cover the beds with wheat husk or clean dry grass. Do watering with fine rose-can in morning and evening. Water stagnation in bed causes damping off. Remove the water husk or dry grass after the seeds have germinated. Spray the seedlings with Captan (2g/ litre water) and Endosufan (1ml/2 litre water) when they are 15 days old to control the spread of viral and fungal disease. After the break of monsoon, drench the soil around seedlings with Captan (1g/litre water) as a precaution against damping off disease. Germination of seeds and growth of plants in nursery slow because of low temperature during November- January. The seedlings should be protected from cold winds and frost by proper covering. The small low cost playhouses may be used to raise the seedling in the winters.


The seedlings are ready in 4-5 weeks for transplanting, when they attained a height of 12-15 cm with 3-to 4leavess. Harden the seedlings by withholding irrigation. Uproot the seedlings carefully without injury to the roots. Transplanting should b e done during evening hours followed by irrigation. Firmly press the soil around the seedlings. Spacing depends upon the fertility status of soil, type of verities and suitability of the season. In general 60×60 cm spacing is kept for non-spreading type verities and 75-90×60-75 cm for spreading type verities


Irrigation the field as per the need of crop. Timely irrigation is quite essential for good growth, flowering, fruit setting and development of fruits. Higher yield may be obtained at optimum moisture level and soil fertility conditions. In plains irrigation should be applied every third to fourth day during hot weather and every 7 to12 days during winter. Irrigation is given before top dressing of there is no rain. The brinjal field should be regularly irrigated to keep the soil moist during frosty days.

Inter-Culture and Weed Control

The weeds should be controlled as soon as they seen, either by traditional method of hand weeding and hoeing or by application of herbici8des. Frequent shallow cultivation should be done at regular intervals so as to keep the field free from weeds and to facilitate soil aeration and proper root development. The most serious weed in brinjal is the Orabanchae sp. It is root parasite and it should be controlled carefully .Gap filling should be done wherever needed during evening hours followed by irrigation .Pre- plant soil incorporation of Fluchloralin (1- 1.5 kg/ha) or Oxadiazon (0.5 kg/ha) and pre-planting surface spraying of Alachlor (1-1.5 kg/ha) control the weeds of brinjal successfully.


The brinjal fruits are harvested when they attain full size and colour but before start of ripening. Tenderness bright colour and glossy appearance of fruit is the optimum stage of harvesting of fruits. When the fruits look dull, it is an indication of maturity and loss of quality


The yield varies from season to season, variety to variety and location to location. However, in general 250 to 500 q/ha of healthy fruits of brinjal can be obtained                                       


Brinjal is attacked by a number of insect pests and nematodes during various stages of crop growth in most of the tropical countries including India. The extent of losses caused by these pests depends on

season, variety, soil and other factors (Dhamdhare et al., 1995; Roy and Pande, 1995). Some of the important ones are briefly described below.

i) Brinjal fruit and shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis)

Fruit and shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) is the most destructive pest of brinjal. It is widely distributed in the Indian sub-continent and also in Thailand, Laos, South Africa, Congo and Malaysia. It also Damages potato and other solanaceous crops. This pest is active throughout the year at places having moderate climate but it is adversely affected by severe cold (To improve this paragraph). The damage by this insect starts soon after transplanting of the seedlings and continues till harvest of fruits. Eggs are laid singly on ventral surface of leaves, shoots, and flower-buds and occasionally on fruits. In young plants, appearance of wilted drooping shoots is the typical symptom of damage by this pest; these affected shoots ultimately wither and die away.



Rogue out the affected plants and destroy them.


Spray Carbaryl (0.1%) or Endosufan (0.05%) or Cypermethion (0.01%) as soon as attack is seen and repeat the spray after 15 days.

2. Brinjal Fruit Borer (Helicoverpa armigera)

The pest is polyphagous in nature. The full grown larvae are greenish with dark broken grey lines along the side of body. They measure about 35-45 mm long. The moth is large and brown with V-shaped speck and dull black border on the hind wings. The larvae are feed first on leaves and fruiting bodies and later on, they bore into the fruits, completely eating away the internal contents.


Spray the crop with Malathion (0.1%) or Endosulfan (0.05%) or Monocrotophos (0.05%)

3.  Aphids (Lipaphis erysimi)

The nymphs and adults are louse like and pale greenish in colour. This pest is very active from December to March when various cruciferous and vegetable crops are available in the fields. The damage is caused by nymphs and adults by sucking cell sap from leaves, stems, inflorescence or the developing plants. They are seen feeding in large numbers, often covering the entire surface. Owing to feeding on cell sap, the vitality of plants is greatly reduced. The leaves acquire a curly appearance.


Spray the crop with Malathion (0.1%) or Endosulfan (0.05%) or Monocrotophos (0.05%)

b. Jassids (Amrasca bigutella)

The nymphs and adults are very agile and more briskly forward the side ways. Adults are about 3 mm long and greenish yellow during summer, acquiring a reddish tinge in the winter. Nymphs and adults remain in large numbers and suck the sap from the under surface of the leaves. While feeding, they inject the toxin saliva into the plant tissues. The leaves shows symptoms of hopper burn such as yellowing upward curling, bronzing and even drying of leaves. The crop becomes stunted and often in highly susceptible varieties it cause complete mortality of the plants.


Spray carbaryl (0.1%) or Endosulfan (0.05) or Phoshamidon (0.04%) at 10 days interval.

6. Root Knot Nematodes

These are the most common plant parasitic nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.i.e. incognita, javanica) in India and infestation of these nematodes is common in brinjal. The root knot nematode damage is more harmful to seedling than to older plants. These nematodes infest the roots and cause root galls. The affected plant becomes stunted and the leaves show chlorotic symptoms. Infestation of these nematodes greatly hampers the yield of the crop.



Deep summer ploughing.


Follow crop rotation


Grow resistant verities like Black beauty, Banaras Ginat.


Incorporate Carbofuran or phorate @ 25 kg/ ha in the soil.


Important fungal and bacterial diseases affecting the brinjal crop in India are as follows:


1. Alternaria Blight (Alternaria spp.)

Causes characteristic spot on the leaf with concentric rings. Affected leaves may drop off. It may also infect fruits that turn yellow and may drop off prematurely.


1.Follow long term crop rotation with non solanaceous crop.

2.Grow resistant varieties

3.Provide proper drainage 

4.Drench the soil with a mixture of Bavisin (0.1%)

2. Damping Off: (Pythium spp., Phytophthora spp., Rhizoctonia spp., Sclerotium spp., Sclerotinia spp.)

Both the Pre-emergence and Post-emergence damping-off symptoms are seen in diseased state. The germinating seeds are infected by fungi at the initial stages. The infection later spreads to hypocotyls basal stem and developing roots. The Post-emergence damping off phase is characterized by infection of the young, juvenile tissues of the collar at the ground level. The affected seedlings become pale green and brownish lesions are found at the collar region, resulting in bottling and topple over of seedlings.



Avoid over-watering.


Drench the beds with Capton or Thiram @0.4% at 5-7 days after germination.


Fumigate the soil with Formalin (7%) by drenching 10-15 cm deep soil.


Give hot water treatment to seeds (52˚C for 30 minutes)


Treat the seeds with Captan or Thiram @ 3g/kg seed.


1. Bacterial Wilt (Pseudomonas solanacearum)

The characteristic symptoms include wilting of the foliage followed by collapse of the entire plant. The wilting is characterized by dropping and slight yellowing of leaves and vascular discolouration. Drying of plants at the time of flowering and fruiting are also characteristic to the disease condition. The infected cut stems pieces when dipped in water, a white milky stream of bacterial oozes coming out which is the diagnostic symptom for bacterial wilt.


1.Follow crop rotation.

2.Rogue out the infected plants and destroy them

3.Raise nursery in disease free beds.

4.Soil fumigation with Formalin at 7% before sowing.

5.Seed treatment with Streptocycline (150 ppm) for 90 minutes.

Viral Disease

Mosaic. Leaves of affected plants exhibit mottling with raised dark green areas. Blisters are formed on the leaves and size of leaves reduced. The virus is transmitted through seeds and by aphids.


1.Collect the seeds from virus free plants.

2.Rough out the infected plants from the field.

3.Spray Dimlethoate (0.05%) or Monocrotophos(0.05% at 10 days interval

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.