Can eggplant plants survive in Vancouver winters?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by BLewis, Sep 29, 2016.

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  1. BLewis

    BLewis New Member

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    I have 3 or 4 Eggplant plants that produced multiple eggplants this past summer. The plants are 2 to 3 feet tall. They are in a large planter that cannot be moved from its location. I want to make sure the plants survive the Vancouver winter as they are quite healthy and I look forward to them next summer. Any tips?
     
  2. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    It's possible to overwinter plants in this family, but fraught with potential problems. The herbaceous annual will get a woodier stem, may have smaller leaves and lesser fruit the next season, may have trouble maintaining circulation and fighting off disease and pests. I've done it with some tomatoes and peppers before. Summers where I am are torrid so Solanaceae do not set fruit in the extreme heat and often wither and die at that point. So at most I'd get a head start on the early harvest.

    And that's all if you can protect the tender roots and stem. It might be easier to just let the last eggplant fruit bear to full maturity and then save seeds from it.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd be very doubtful you'll get it to survive a Vancouver winter - the combination of cold and damp will kill it.

    @ thanrose - I find that very surprising; after all, eggplant is from tropical India, where summer temperatures often exceed 40℃, with winter temperatures rarely below 10℃.
     
  4. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member 10 Years

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    That's true, Michael. I'm guilty of generalizing. Tomatoes and peppers are most of my experience. And there are differences in heat tolerance and fruit set among varieties with them, too. As in tiny fruiting Lycopersicon esculentum less than a golf ball size will usually tolerate temps up to 38 centigrade. Same with the more petite Capsicum annuum which also are more fiery tasting. But larger tomatoes and larger mild peppers do have problems with fruit set at higher temperatures. The tomatoes will give up first, followed by the peppers if the heat wave continues. Solanum melongena, and I only occasionally grow eggplant, could last longer still.

    I was thinking specifically of already stressed overwintered vegetable plants, which I have done a few times. They are likely to succumb due to senescence, I fear.

    Michael, you might find this interesting, although Mr Lewis might find it tedious and pedantic. The good stuff related to fruit set and adverse temperatures in Solanaceae vegetables starts on page five. http://www.globalsciencebooks.info/Online/GSBOnline/images/0812/EJPSB_2(SI1)/EJPSB_2(SI1)88-105o.pdf
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks! I'll take a look, though doubt it would be much use to me - I've got the opposite problem that summers here are too cold to grow tomatoes or capsicums at all outside of a greenhouse (which I don't have! ;-)

    ... [reads article] ...

    Actually, it is useful, as it covers low temperature problems as well as high temps - so now I know better why they can't be grown here! (summer temps here typically 8 to 13℃ at night, 15 to 23℃ day, very rarely higher)
     
  6. BLewis

    BLewis New Member

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    Thanks for the tips!
     

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