10 Must-Grow Heat Tolerant Eggplant Varieties for 2021

Eggplants are one of the great quintessential summer vegetables. However, while eggplants love the heat, too much heat stress can cause flower drop and fallen immature fruits due to poor pollination.

Fortunately, there are many eggplant varieties that perform better in the heat. Generally, the best performing eggplants are those that grow in hot climates, like Middle Eastern varieties, the long, skinny Asian varieties, and parthenocarpic varieties that can produce fruit without pollination. Combining heat-tolerant eggplant varieties with additional methods to beat the heat, such as using shade cloth, will help ensure you can get yields all summer long.

The below list includes all three types of varieties, coming in different sizes, shapes, and colors.

Eggplant VarietyDays to MaturitySize and ShapeColor
Aswad80 daysLarge, teardropDark purple
Syrian Stuffing80 daysMedium-sized, oblong/pearDark purple
Piccolo60 daysSmall, egg-shapedBright purple and white streaks
Rhapsody80 daysLarge, oblong/pearDark purple
Millionaire55 to 65 daysMedium-sized, long and skinnyDark purple
Ping Tung Long65 to 70 daysLarge, long and skinnyPurple
Thai Long Green80 to 85 daysLarge, long and skinnyGreen
Florida High Bush75 to 85 daysLarge, oblong/pearDark purple
Pandora Striped Rose75 to 80 daysMedium-sized, teardropPurple and white streaks
Orient Express75 to 80 daysMedium-sized, long and skinnyDark purple

Heat Tolerant Eggplant Varieties

Aswad Eggplant

A massive, heat-loving Middle Eastern eggplant that is great for stuffing or grilling

Days to Maturity: 80 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Large, teardrop
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), MIGardener (US), Annie’s Heirloom Seeds (US)

aswad eggplant 

A popular Iraqi heirloom, the Aswad Eggplant is a large-fruited variety that can substitute conventional large grocery store eggplants. Aswad plants are very productive, even in the heat.

The teardrop-shaped fruits themselves are fleshy and large, sometimes reaching 3 lbs, and they are packed with flavor, being not very bitter. The skin is very dark purple. In fact, the name Aswad comes from the word for black in Arabic.

Because of their large size and flattened bottom, Aswad Eggplants are excellent for stuffing. They can also be sliced and grilled. The massive flesh can also be scooped out and used to make dips.

 

Syrian Stuffing Eggplant

A hot weather substitute for regular grocery store eggplants

Days to Maturity: 80 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Medium-sized, pear-shaped
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US)

Another Middle Eastern heirloom, the Syrian Stuffing Eggplant is perfect for those that want a regular dark purple grocery store eggplant but prefer something smaller than the gargantuan Aswad.

Syrian Stuffing Eggplants are medium-sized, pear-shaped, and traditionally used for stuffing in their native Syria, but can be used in any way you enjoy using eggplants. They are also noted for their excellent flavor.

The plants themselves are sturdy and productive, producing loads of eggplants throughout the growing season. Syrian Stuffing Eggplants are highly heat tolerant and produce even in the hottest southern summers.

 

Piccolo Eggplant

A seedless, small, white and purple variety that produces abundantly without pollination

Days to Maturity: 60 days
Color: Bright purple and white streaks
Size and Shape: Small, egg-shaped
Open Pollinated: No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: High Mowing Organic Seeds (US), Urban Farmer Seeds (US), West Coast Seeds (Canada)

Eggplant Piccolo F-1 2 

One of the reasons why eggplants don’t usually produce well in the heat is because high heat and humidity can make it more difficult for eggplant flowers to be pollinated. Piccolo Eggplants (sometimes sold as Piccolo F1) get around this problem by being parthenocarpic, which means they can sometimes produce fruit without pollination. If they do get pollinated, the eggplants will produce seeds, but if they grow without pollination, the eggplants will be seedless.

Piccolo Eggplants are small but draw attention with their dazzling purple and white streaks running lengthwise across their egg-shaped fruit. While small, they can still get around 4 inches long, which is enough for slicing, stuffing, or cutting lengthwise and grilling.

Smaller eggplant varieties tend to be more productive, and Piccolo is no exception, yielding bountiful harvests of eggplants all season long.

 

Rhapsody Eggplant

An ordinary dark purple eggplant with extraordinary heat tolerance and parthenocarpic fruits

Days to Maturity: 80 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Large, pear-shaped
Open Pollinated: No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: NE Seed (US), Twilley Seed [mail/fax order only] (US), Lakewoody (US)

Another parthenocarpic variety, the Rhapsody Eggplant (or Rhapsody F1) is a standard pear-shaped or oblong eggplant with shiny, smooth, dark purple skin. It has extremely good productivity, even in extreme heat; if pollination fails, it can still produce seedless eggplants.

Rhapsody Eggplants are vigorous and productive plants with the added benefit of having a spineless calyx (the green part on top of an eggplant), making it even easier to harvest them. The eggplants themselves have an excellent shelf life, making them great for both market growers and home gardeners.

 

Millionaire Eggplant

Prolific, early Japanese eggplant with dark purple skin and creamy flesh

Days to Maturity: 55 to 65 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Medium-sized, long and skinny
Open Pollinated: No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Burpee (US), Territorial Seed Company (US), Osborne Quality Seeds (US), Holmes Seed Company (US), William Dam Seeds (Canada)

vegetable eggplant japanese millionaire 

For gardeners who enjoy long, skinny eggplants, the Millionaire Eggplant (also sold as Millionaire F1) is a long Japanese-style eggplant that thrives in the heat. It produces profusely, yielding many 8 to 10 inch eggplants and produces extremely early, sometimes in as little as 55 days.

The fruits are dark purple and glossy, but also have a dark purple calyx, giving a striking look in the garden.

Like most long and skinny eggplants, Millionaire has a tender, creamy interior and naturally has very few seeds. While perhaps too thin for stuffing, these eggplants are still perfect for stews, stir-fries, and grilling or roasting as medallions.

 

Ping Tung Long Eggplant

An extremely long, tender eggplant variety from Taiwan that thrives in the heat

Days to Maturity: 65 to 70 days
Color: Purple
Size and Shape: Large, long and skinny
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), High Mowing Organic Seeds (US), Hudson Valley Seed Co (US), Kitazawa Seed Co (US), Gurney’s (US), West Coast Seeds (Canada), OSC Seeds (Canada), McKenzie Seeds (Canada), The Seed Collection (Australia)

Eggplant, Ping Tung 

A popular Taiwanese heirloom, the Ping Tung Long Eggplant (sometimes simply Ping Tung Eggplant) is a prolific, extremely long, purple eggplant with tender, sweet flesh and few seeds. In its native Taiwan, it thrives in hot, humid summers, and so it does very well in the heat. However, because it produces eggplants early, it is also suitable for northern climates as well.

The plant has a compact growth habit, reaching only a few feet tall, but is extremely productive. It can produce sometimes up to 20 eggplants per plant. Its slender fruits can reach 12 to 18 inches long, sometimes touching the ground.

Overall, the Ping Tung Long Eggplant is highly recommended for anyone wanting to try growing a long, skinny eggplant. And since it is open pollinated, you can save the seeds and replant them year after year.

 

Thai Long Green Eggplant

Long, lime green fruits that bask in the heat and have excellent flavor and texture

Days to Maturity: 80 to 85 days
Color: Green
Size and Shape: Large, long and skinny
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (US), Victory Seeds (US), The Seed Collection (Australia)

'Thai green' eggplant 

Most green Southeast Asian eggplants perform well in the heat, but the Thai Long Green Eggplant is both tender and flavorful while having high heat tolerance. This heirloom has been a well-kept secret in Thailand for years, but now is becoming more popular among chefs, commercial growers, and home gardeners alike.

Plants are compact, reaching around 2 to 3 feet tall while 10-inch fruits dangle all around it. The eggplants themselves are creamy and nearly seedless, very tender, not bitter, and have a very thin, lime green skin. Expect generally high yields with this variety.

 

Florida High Bush Eggplant

A productive American heirloom bred for heat tolerance, disease and drought resistance

Days to Maturity: 75 to 85 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Large, oblong
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Seed Savers Exchange (US), Urban Farmer Seeds (US), Sustainable Seed Company (US), Reimer Seeds (US)

Florida High Bush is a tried-and-true dark purple eggplant variety with white flesh. An American heirloom dating back to the early part of the last century, it was bred specifically to tolerate hot weather and drought, while also boasting good disease resistance. Because of this, it was a popular market variety in Florida.

Florida High Bush plants are sturdy and bushy, but the eggplants are produced high off the ground (hence the name). Due to its original use on farms and market gardens, it also has the benefit of being a prolific producer all season long. A very dependable variety and highly recommended as an all-around great addition to home gardens.

 

Pandora Striped Rose Eggplant

A delicious striped heirloom with very good drought tolerance and remarkable yields

Days to Maturity: 75 to 80 days
Color: Purple and white streaks
Size and Shape: Medium-sized, teardrop
Open Pollinated: Yes
Get seeds: Trade Winds Fruit (US), Reimer Seeds (US), Seeds Now (US)

Pandora Striped Rose Eggplant from our garden. #urbanfarming #eggplant #organic 

An abundant producer, the Pandora Striped Rose Eggplant is well adapted to hot climates, especially when combined with dry weather conditions.

The 2 to 3 foot plants produce heavy yields of medium teardrop-shaped eggplants with impressive purple and white streaks. Pandora Striped Rose Eggplants are tender and sweet with relatively thin skins, making them great for any kind of eggplant dish.

 

Orient Express Eggplant

An early Asian hybrid with extreme heat tolerance and glossy, long fruits

Days to Maturity: 75 to 80 days
Color: Dark purple
Size and Shape: Medium-sized, long and skinny
Open Pollinated: No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Urban Farmer Seeds (US), Johnny’s Selected Seeds (US), Southern Harvest (Australia)

Eggplant: Orient Express (Japanese) 

A long, skinny hybrid, the Orient Express was bred specifically for production and heat tolerance, but also sets fruit in cool weather. Imagine the Millionaire Eggplant with extra stress tolerance, and you have the Orient Express.

Orient Express plants are highly productive with multiple flushes of dark purple, glossy eggplants throughout the growing season. And unlike some hybrids, these also taste delicate and creamy like most long, skinny eggplant varieties. Very reliable producer. Perfect for both market growers and home gardeners.

 

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