Is Brinjal Plant Herb or Shrub? (Explained For Beginners)

The brinjal, which most people call eggplant, is one of the few fruits that can be eaten as a vegetable. It tastes shockingly harsh when it is uncooked. not to mention the fact that it is astringent. However, when brinjal is cooked, it takes on rich and nuanced flavors. You can easily get rid of its bitter flavor through cooking.

Aside from that, eggplant is a vegetable that grows best in warm climates. The ideal time to harvest them is mid- to late-summer.

It is best to pluck eggplant when it is young to enjoy its robust flavor. Continue reading for more information on this plant, including its cultivation, harvesting, and health advantages:

Is the Brinjal Plant a Herb or Shrub?

There has been a continuous debate on whether the brinjal plant is a herb or a shrub. But according to several reliable sources, this plant is a herb.

For starters, it lacks a woody stem, which means it cannot be a shrub. Because that’s one of the distinguishing features of a shrub. Its stem is delicate and non-woody.

It has simple leaves with an underside that’s more pale than green. Not to mention, both the stem and leaves have fine hairs. The flowers emerge in clusters or singly. Individually, they are star-shaped, have short stalks, and they are light purple.

About Brinjal

In South Asia, eggplants are treated as perennial plants, however, when it comes to North America, they are annuals. Due to their subtropical and tropical heritage, this plant can withstand high temperatures just like peppers and tomatoes.

When the temperature range between 70 and 85oF, they grow optimally. But during the cold season, this plant takes time to grow.

Like its close relatives, peppers, and tomatoes, brinjal fruits hang from its branches when they develop.

The plant can grow several feet high and can hold multiple fruits. Since they require warm soil to develop, you need 6 to 8-week-old seedlings for a better start. Alternatively, you can grow it from seeds two months in advance.

The ideal growing medium for this plant is raised beds with organic manure. That’s because it helps keep the soil warm.

Alternatively, you can plant your eggplant in a container. They create lovely ornamental plants. There is even an ornamental variety of this plant you can find today. Their fruits have vibrant colors with striking patterns.

While we know eggplants for their distinct purple color, other varieties also exist. For example, there is variegated, black, green, pink, and purple eggplant.

They also have varying shapes and sizes. Talking of that, some have a slender form like the Japanese brinjal, and others have a common gourd shape.

For optimum results, this plant requires loam soil or sandy loam soil. And it must have excellent drainage.

To nourish the soil, add organic manure and mix it well. The manure must be well rotten. You can even apply general or compost fertilizer to improve productivity. The best soil PH is 5.8 to 6.5 for best results.

Planting this plant isn’t complicated. It requires a strategic location that exposes it to full sunlight. Or at least it should get between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight daily.

Growing the Eggplant

If you want this plant in your garden, the growing process is very simple. You can sow the seeds indoors, a quarter inch deep into the soil. Once the spring frost is over, you can take out your seedlings and plant them in holes dug 24-30” apart. Ensure the day temperature is between 70- and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the night temperature 60-65oF.

When mulching, use black plastic. This should warm the soil, especially if the soil is still cold.

Now you can start setting up the support for your plant. You can use cages or high-stakes. After setting up the seedlings in their respective holes, water and mulch well retain moisture.

If you are living in a cold climate, use covers along the rows to keep your plant warm. On warm days, you can open the ends. Do this to permit pollination.

When is the right time to plant Brinjal?

Seeds do well when the temperature range is between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. Therefore., you should not plant it when the spring frost is still around.

Wait until the surrounding temperature is warm enough to grow your eggplants. Ideally, look for seedlings that are still developing if you can’t grow them from seeds.

Avoid the young plants that come with flowers. The plant needs time to grow and mature before you begin harvesting.

Recommended Brinjal Varieties

There are various forms of brinjal. While the standard form is purple and egg-shaped, other varieties exist.

For instance, some are slender and gourd-shaped. Some have purple-black fruit or variegated, among other forms. Without further ado, here are some common varieties:


  • Has the typical pear-shaped form.
  • Excellent flavor
  • Resistant to diseases
  • 6 to 7-inch long

Black Bell

  • Typical oval or round shaped
  • Purple or black fruit
  • Resistant to diseases
  • 6 inches long

Black Beauty

  • This is the traditional form. It’s the common eggplant we can all identify.
  • In a single plant, you can harvest up to 6 large fruits.
  • Other regular varieties include early birds, purple rain, and black magic.

But these are just but a few of the striking varieties. If you want to try other interesting types of eggplants, they include:


  • 6-8 inches long
  • Sweet flavor
  • Rose-pink fruit
  • Sweet flavor
  • Pear shaped


  • Green fruit with white stripes
  • Thai typeRound shaped
  • Two inches long

Cloud Nine

  • Resistant to diseases
  • White fruit
  • 7 inch long
  • Teardrop shaped


  • Mushroom flavor
  • Six inches
  • Snow-white fruit
  • Cylindrical


  • Oval
  • Black or purple fruit
  • Walnut size
  • 11/2 ft long


  • Pale green eggplant
  • Tender
  • 5-6 inches long
  • Oval shaped

Japanese Varieties

  • Japanese Varieties
  • Little Fingers
  • Ichiban

Ornamental Varieties

  • Easter Egg
  • White-colored
  • Low eating quality

Harvesting Brinjal

Each variety has a specific duration between planting and harvesting. Therefore, it’s important to search for specific harvesting times for your plant. But most of them can be harvested between 65 and 80 days after planting.

If you are planting your eggplant from seeds, then you can wait between 100 and 120 days before harvesting. The best harvesting months are often from July to October. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, the variety and your region affect the harvesting date.

Meanwhile, don’t wait past the maturity date to harvest your fruits. The best time to harvest them is when they are still young and tender. Not to mention, harvesting them while young allows the plant to divert its energy into producing new fruits. Therefore, when it starts producing fruits, always harvests after two to three days.

Harvesting is also an art that requires skills. While the mature fruits are not delicious, the unripe ones are far worst. Therefore, you must ensure they are ready before picking them. As a tip, you can press the fruit with your fingertip. If it doesn’t bounce back, then it’s ready.

If you are harvesting the Japanese variety, then pick them when they are about the same size as a hotdog. During harvesting, do not pull it from the stem Instead, use a sharp cutting tool.

Storing Brinjal

In humid conditions, you can store your fruits for up to 14 days. But the temperature has to be below 10 degrees Celsius. In your fridge, the eggplant can remain fresh for several days. Avoid damaging the coat of the fruit if you are considering storing it. Any injury can make it stale fast.

Pest and Diseases

If you are growing brinjal in your garden, then you should watch out for the following pest and diseases. They can either destroy your plant or reduce its productivity. Whichever way, you need to handle them early to avoid severe damage. Let’s have a look:

  • Early or late blight
  • Blossom-end rot
  • Colorado potato beetles
  • Flea beetles
  • Powdery mildew
  • Whiteflies
  • Tomato hornworms

Brinjal Potential Problems

Inconsistent watering

Did you know that eggplant fruit can lose its perfect form due to inconsistent watering? Therefore, to avoid getting oddly shaped fruits, it’s best to establish a regular watering routine that keeps the soil moist for this plant.


Eggplants are highly sensitive to temperature. For instance, if you notice your plant’s flowers ate falling off after developing, then it’s too cold. This plant doesn’t do well in cold temperatures.

Further, if the productivity of your plant is slowing down, it’s probably because of unfriendly temperature. During cold weather, its fruits develop slowly thus becoming small. In some instances, they may not grow at all. Therefore, it’s best to wait for warmer temperatures before planting it.

Health Benefits of Brinjal

Eggplants are found in various dishes across the world not only for their unique taste but health benefits. While we know them as vegetables because of how we prepare and consume them, they are fruits. In addition to their striking appeal, this plant has several health benefits. Let’s have a look:


Eggplant is a great source of proteins, fiber, carbs, calories, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, folate, and manganese.

High level of antioxidants

Thanks to this, you can fight inflammation by simply including this fruit in your diet. Additionally, you can combat various chronic illnesses thanks to this property.

Cancer-fighting benefits

Having SRGs or solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides compound, it’s said that consuming this fruit can boost your body’s ability to fight cancerous cells.

Weight loss management

Having low-calorie concentration and high fiber content, it’s the best recipe in your weight loss diet.

Manage Blood sugar levels

You can keep your blood sugar levels in check by including brinjal in your diet. Since it has high fiber content, it helps slow down digestion preventing high absorption of sugar into the blood.


Lastly, is the brinjal plant a herb or shrub? Based on the National Library Board of Singapore, this plant is a herb. Besides that, this text enlightens you on other important details about this plant including description, varieties, planting, harvesting, storage, and health benefits.