The Long Purple Eggplant is a Long Purple Eggplant - who'd a guessed ? The original Long Purple eggplant is an Old World Italian Heirloom and prized in European Cuisines as Black Beauty is in American.
There are several hybrid impostors that are not actually heirlooms - but their characteristics are similar and in some cases superior so far as disease resistance is concerned.
The dark purple eggplants reach about 8 - 10" in length - occasionally a tad longer - However they are best used before they reach full maturity. Over ripe and fully mature eggplants are not as tender and are sometimes bitter - sounds like some people I've known.
Start seeds indoors 6 - 8 weeks before planting outdoors.
Maturity at 70-80 days from transplant.
Germination from seed 10 - 14 days.
Color - Purple to Purple/Black
Average Plant Height - 24-30 Inches
Spacing - Aprox. 15 Inches
Spread - 14-16 inches.
USDA Hardiness Zones 4 - 11
Fruit Size 8 to 10 inch Length
Full Sun - Partial Shade marginally Tolerable
Poorly watered plants will frequently produce bitter tasting eggplants, adequate moisture is essential.
Above Average Yields - each Plant should produce anywhere from 3 to 8 Eggplants.
For seed saving -Unblemished eggplants should be overripe before harvesting the seeds.
Eggplant grows best in a well-drained sandy loam or loam soil, fairly high in organic matter. Start early indoors in peat pots or cell packs
Rows should be 3 to 5 ft. apart. Plants should be 2 to 3 ft. apart. Transplants should be about 6 weeks old and slightly hardened, grown in 2 inch. or larger pots.
All eggplant varieties are highly susceptible to flea beetle attack particularly early in the season. Aphids also attack these plants and come later in the season. Varieties of Aphids that attack eggplants are generally either a light blue-green or amber, sometimes black.
The outdoor environment can be very harsh for a transplant. So, harden the transplants before planting outdoors to increase their survival rate. Place them outdoors in their original containers where they will receive direct sunlight and some wind for a few hours each day for a week, possibly more. Gradually lengthen the amount of time outside each day. Move the plants inside at night.