Eggplant, Purple Rain Hybrid
The oval fruits are wine-purple streaked with creamy white.
Days To Maturity
8-12 weeks BLF
Plant Shipping Information
Item 22194 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GA, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state
How to Sow and Plant
- Sow eggplant seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last frost in spring using a seed starting kit.
- Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed-starting formula
- Keep the soil moist at 75 degrees F
- Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days
- As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
- Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
- If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 3 pairs of leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
- Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.
Planting in the Garden:
- Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Make sure you did not grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant or potatoes in the bed the previous year to avoid disease problems.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
- Eggplants should be set 2-3 feet apart in a row with the rows spaced 3-4 feet apart.
- Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
- Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root development.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to the top and press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water.
- Use the plant tag as a location marker. This is particularly important if you are trying different varieties. It is very difficult to tell which variety is which from the foliage.
- Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact.
- Eggplants may also be planted in containers. Use a container at least 18-24 inches wide and deep and use a commercial potting mix rather than garden soil.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. This is especially important for tomatoes as their roots may be easily damaged when weeding, and this can lead to blossom end rot.
- Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvesting and Preserving Tips
- Pick regular-sized eggplants at 4-5 inches long, 60-70 days after transplanting into the garden. Look for firm fruits, with a glossy shine. Dull skin is a sign that the plants are overripe. Overripe fruit turn brownish and the flavor may be bitter.
- Hold firmly at the blossom end and cut with a knife or pruners. When cutting the fruit, leave 1 inch of stem attached. Eggplants are prickly at the stem end so handle with care.
- Use eggplants immediately after harvesting. If you would like to freeze some for later use, cook the fruit first and then freeze.
- Eggplant makes a great substitute for meat in many dishes.
Days To Maturity66 daysFruit Size6 inchesSunFull SunSpread16 inchesHeight18-24 inchesSow MethodIndoor SowPlanting TimeSpringSow Time8-12 weeks BLFThin24 inchesLife CycleAnnual
Eggplant, Purple Rain Hybrid is rated out of 5 by 10.Rated 4 out of 5 by elshello from Nice delicate flavor The flavor of these eggplants was mild and lightly fruity, and they weren't very seedy. However, yield was really low for me and the fruit appeared very late. We had an unusually cool and short summer, so I would give these another try and hope for better weather.Date published: 2014-10-04Rated 1 out of 5 by Polly from Don't buy these seeds When I saw others' comments about there were many hard seeds in these eggplants, the first thing I thought was that they must have left the eggplants on the plants for too long. We tried these last year, and planted 6 plants. And I found that what other said was totally true! No matter how small the eggplants were when we pick them (even 2-3 inches), there were already seeds in there! And these seeds, even small, were very hard. Initially we tried very hard to find varieties of ways to cook these eggplants so the hard seeds would not be so noticeable, but we failed miserably and finally gave up. To be fair, they were very productive and produced so many "useless" eggplants! Burpee's claim is not true and we are very disappointed.Date published: 2014-02-15Rated 5 out of 5 by Maryeveryday from Love this Eggplant Delicious eggplant! Good producer . . . highly recommend it.Date published: 2013-09-02Rated 4 out of 5 by Anonymous from Good producer We ordered 3 of these eggplants last year and they yielded a bountiful crop consistently throughout the growing season. The fruit is very mild with very few seeds, and the skin is tender enough to cook without peeling. We harvested more eggplant off these 3 plants than any of the others in our garden.Date published: 2013-04-30Rated 5 out of 5 by Missybon from Eggplant This was a very good eggplant. It was the perfect size and made the best fried eggplant I have ever had, very creamy and delicious. The plant grew nicely, although we had a VERY wet season in 2011, it held up admirably.Date published: 2012-03-03Rated 2 out of 5 by Aline from Not so seedless The first 4 or 5 eggplant that I picked were almost seedless. After that they have been so full of seeds that sometimes I throw them away. I was counting on the plants being small, but they are about 48 inches tall, not the 18 to 24 as advertised.Date published: 2011-07-02Rated 5 out of 5 by charlie from Purple Rain Eggplants I grew one plant in a container last summer. I could not believe how prolific it was. I picked 6-8 a week. They were delicious w/few seeds. I live in Ga. where it's hot, so watered every day and sometimes twice a day. I mixed organic potting soil with Moo-Nure compost and fertilized with Miracle-Gro for Vegatables. Will definitely grow again!Date published: 2010-02-14Rated 5 out of 5 by snowflake912 from Have to agree with the other NY customer I have grown these eggplant for the last 3 seasons and they are the best by far that I've ever grown or store bought. I have converted anyone I know who formerly hated eggplant to being eggplant lovers. The flavor is excellent with no bitterness at all. You have to pick them at the right time which I've found to be when they are 6 inches long and they will be practically seedless and not tough at all. These are a staple in my vegetable garden and the plants get to almost 6 feet tall and produce more than I can count.Date published: 2008-02-02