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Eggplant, Black Beauty

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. From 1902, it remains a standard worldwide for large-fruited black eggplant.

Full Description

Over 100 years old, this 1902 Burpee introduction was an immediate hit because the plants ripened perfect fruits dramatically earlier than other varieties. It became the common market eggplant of today. Harvested fresh, however, makes all the difference.
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Item#: 60319A
Order: 1 Pkt. (100 seeds)
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Item#: 26301
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Eggplant, Black Beauty
Eggplant, Black Beauty, , large
Item #: 26301
3 Plants
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Item#: P26301
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Eggplant, Black Beauty
Eggplant, Black Beauty, , large
Item #: P26301
6 Young Starts
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

74 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

4-5 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

16 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

18-24 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

Aug 13, 2018

Click here for Fall shipping schedule


Item 26301 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

the burpee




since 1876


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  • Eggplants

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
    First Date: May-16 - Last Date: May-30

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 a 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 Maturity
74 days
Fruit Size
4-5 inches
Full Sun
16 inches
18-24 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
8-12 weeks BLF
24 inches
Life Cycle
Eggplant, Black Beauty is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 18.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from slow starter but then wow Thought these little fellas would never bear. After the first one showed up from then on I had eggplants coming out of my ears. Great taste and prolific bearer. (after a while)
Date published: 2013-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from did not grow After having spent over $25 dollars on just three sets of seeds, it has been a complete waste of our money. We followed the directions preciisely, and the plants have not grown in the starter pot, indoors. Oh well, next time, we will stick to buying seeds or plants from the local home depot, from a different seed vendor.
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from black beauty started from seed indoors, plants have been in garden for 30 days, so far so good, healthy w/ plenty of blooms
Date published: 2012-05-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow grower First time I grow egg plants. I started them indoors. True, they have excellent germination rate but slow growers. I transplanted them after last frost, and it took more than a month to progress beyond the 2 leaves stage. I added epsom salt based on several recommendations including one of the reviewers here..that seemed to speed it up a bit. Then the green bugs hit them, and made many holes in the leaves..most of them kept growing, so far some of them reached 10 inches , and started to show the flower buds...most of the vegetables in the garden reached the full plant stage which were planted even after the egg plant seeds. hopefully they will come out ok
Date published: 2011-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best purchase ever I saw that one review stated she only got one eggplant per plant. I can't tell you how many I got. Approximately 12 per plant. They were slow getting started and then I got a "hint" from a friend. Add one tablespoon of epson salts to each plant. Amazing results. Delicious vegetables!
Date published: 2009-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent flavor, strong plants I was nervous about growing eggplant. It was one of the few vegetables I'd never tried, and I had only read about how difficult it was. However, this variety germinated well -- 100% germination! -- and grew strong, compact plants. It did take a long time to grow, but I expected that. I only got one fruit per plant, but I believe that was due to my late start and direct seeding in the garden. This year I am trying the same variety, but growing seedlings indoors first. If you want to try to grow your own eggplant, I recommend this variety. It was easy to grow, stood up to the wind and heat in our area, and the fruit it did produce was SO much more tasty than any I'd ever bought in a store.
Date published: 2009-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Still holding out hope... I started these as seeds indoors in late January, planted them outside according to our county extension's recommended planting calendar. I now have half a dozen extremely robust pest-free plants that blossom prolifically...but not a single fruit. I have amended the soil int he raised beds, hand-pollinated, even applied a commercial product to prevent blossom drop, but still nothing. Peppers and tomatoes in the same beds have been producing faster than I can keep up! I am so disappointed - I LOVE eggplants. Will try having the soil tested but I doubt that's the problem given how well everything else is doing.
Date published: 2008-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good starter eggplant I grew this eggplant for this first time this last year. My first time growing eggplant at all actually. I was a little worried at first because it seemed to take such a long time for the plant to start producing flowers. Then all of a sudden a burst of beautiful purple flowers. It was quite a site and the fruits that were produced were beautiful and so yummy. I made some yummy dishes that were much better tasting and a better consistency than the store bought eggplant. Buying some more seed for this next year and I'm looking forward to trying some other varieties of eggplant as well!
Date published: 2007-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Prolific Have planted this varity of egplant in my garden for several years, along with a Ghostbuster and an Oriental. Although, the Black Beauty is slower to flower than the other two varities, it is highly productive and bears beautiful fruit, which is quite tasty. A few years ago I enter one of my Black Beauty's in our community fair, which is held the second week of October, and won Best of Show in the vegetable class. I was quite surprised when we went to the fair and found my eggplant on a pedestal with a ribbon on it. Needless to say, since that I continue to grow this plant and continue to enter it in the fair.
Date published: 2007-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Black Beauty Eggplant I started my Black Beauty Eggplants as seeds quite unsure. I had never grown eggplant before and didn't know if I could. Within 7 days my seeds had sprouted and were on the road to success. Now 3 months later my Eggplant are doing great! About 2 1/4 feet tall and full of blooms! I have NEVER seen a pest on them and I definantly would reccomend them to a beginner!!! Thank you Burpee's.
Date published: 2007-05-28
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