Why is My Eggplant Turning Brown? [4 Effective Control Measures]

Eggplant is a very popular vegetable all over the world. Gardeners are interested in cultivating eggplant as more yield is obtained with less effort. However, eggplants have some health issues that can cause problems for a gardener. Eggplant turning brown is one of them. Mainly Physical damage, age, overexposure to air, and disease are responsible for eggplant browning.

But the good news is that if you are a little aware, the problem can be easily dealt with. In this article, I will tell you details of the solution to the eggplant browning problem. So stay with me and keep scrolling …

Quick caring guide to Brown Eggplant

        Problem           Solution  
  Physical Damage 50-55°F temperature and 80-85% humidity are recommended during storage.
  Age Of Eggplant Use the eggplant as soon as possible after harvesting.
  Overexposure To AirUse a thin layer of cloth or a small fence to protect.
  Diseases Chemical treatment is recommended.

4 Proven Ways To Fix A Brown Eggplant

1. Physical Damage

A widespread cause of eggplant turning brown is physical damage. Usually when there are multiple eggplants on a branch, the possibility of physical damage increases.  Because as eggplants grow, the chances of collisions and bruises increase. At this time, the damage is caused to the eggplant. which later turns brown and the area hardens. Also, if you apply water to the plant too fast, the eggplant can be damaged and browned.

Some gardeners apply special fertilizers for the rapid growth of eggplant. If the temperature of that location is too high, the fast-growing eggplant will split or crack. Later the split area turns brown.

Also, if you place your eggplant plant in direct sunlight for too long, the skin color of the newly grown eggplant may turn brown, which later affects the flavor of the eggplant. Eggplant can also be damaged by rubbing during collection, storage, and transportation. Which turns eggplant brown.

Control Measure

Care should be taken while applying water so that it does not hurt the eggplant in any way. Besides, other plants with more branches cannot be planted around the eggplant plant.

Young eggplants should never be kept in direct sunlight. In this case, you can use a shade cloth over your eggplant. They should be harvested only when mature. Eggplant is usually harvested within 100-110 days of sowing. After harvest, you have to handle eggplants very carefully. 

During storage, you must maintain a temperature of 50-55°F. Besides, the humidity level should be 80-85%. Proper packaging before transport will easily protect your eggplants from damage. Use packaging materials such as foam pads, bubble wrap, or corrugated cardboard boxes to cushion the eggplants.

2. Age Of Eggplant

Your eggplants may turn brown as they over matured. If you don’t harvest the eggplants after they are mature, the eggplants will burst and turn brown. This process is called enzymatic browning. This happens when a certain enzyme in your eggplants is exposed to oxygen in the air.   

The enzymes in the eggplant called polyphenol oxidases, react with phenolic compounds in the eggplant to form a brown pigment called melanin. This problem is more common during the storage of eggplant. This reaction occurs if the storage temperature and humidity are not at the right level.

Control Measure

The first thing to be sure of is whether the browning of your eggplant is due to an enzymatic reaction or age. If the eggplant turns brown while still on the plant, look for cracks in the skin. If there is, it must be due to an enzymatic reaction. In that case, you can wash the eggplant with fresh water and wrap it in clean polythene. But the best prevention, in this case, is to harvest them soon after they are mature.

If eggplant turns brown during storage, check the temperature and humidity level first. Of course, dry and cool storage keeps the eggplant from browning. Finally used as soon as possible after they are harvested.

3. Overexposure To Air

Eggplants can turn brown due to exposure to excess air both while on the plant and after harvest. The excess wind keeps the eggplant moving while still on the plant. At this time, the thorns on the eggplant plant easily attack the eggplant. The affected area later turns brown.

Besides, after harvest, if it is cut for a long time, the eggplant turns brown. Eggplant flesh basically contains polyphenol oxidase which oxidizes your cut eggplant flesh by exposing them to oxygen in the air and turning the eggplant brown.

Control Measure

Thin cloth can be used around the plant to protect the eggplant from the excess wind while still on the plant. You can also give small fences.

There are a few tips you can use to keep eggplant fresh during use. The first is acid liquid. Put a little lemon juice or vinegar on the cut part of the eggplant. The acid liquid will slow down the enzymatic reaction and protect the eggplant. Besides, washing eggplant in salt water is also very effective.

But the best idea is to cook and eat eggplant immediately after harvest rather than storing it for a long. But if you need to store it for a long time at home, you can store it in the refrigerator.

4. Diseases

Mainly bacterial wilt, verticillium wilt, phytophthora blight, and blossom end rot are responsible for eggplant browning. Bacterial wilt is a disease that occurs by bacteria and causes the leaves, fruit, and stems of your eggplant plant to wilt and turn brown. The disease is usually spread by insects, such as cucumber beetles, and can be difficult to control.

Verticillium wilt and Phytophthora Blight is a fungal disease that can cause the fruit of the eggplant plant to turn brown and rot. If you apply excess water to the plant and the root of the plant remains waterlogged for a long time, the chances of this disease increase.

Blossom end rot is a physiological disorder that can cause the blossom end of your eggplant fruit to turn brown and rot. Mainly calcium deficiency is responsible for the disease. If your eggplant doesn’t get the right amount of calcium, its skin layer won’t mature properly.  As a result, it will be easily damaged by minor burns and the skin will turn brown.

Control Measure

The best treatment for bacterial and fungal diseases is chemical treatment. A good quality fungicide and antibacterial spray can easily rid eggplant plants of this disease. However, if the severity of the disease is less, the home treatment also works well.

But for blossom end rot, you need to check the calcium level in the soil first. If less then lime or calcium carbonate must be used. Besides, liquid foliar fertilizers rich in calcium nitrate and calcium chloride are very effective.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you eat eggplant that has turned brown?

Eggplant that turns brown due to the enzymatic reaction is edible. Besides, if it turns brown due to physical damage, it can also be eaten. But if it turns brown due to insect attack or disease, then the eggplant is considered unfit for consumption.

How do I know if eggplant is bad?

If you hold a rotten eggplant, you will understand it very easily. It will be so soft that you will know it is rotten by the feel. Besides, the smell will be so bad you will want to throw it away.

What does an overwatered eggplant look like?

Over-watering will cause eggplants to wilt and drop, and it may also cause the roots to become weaker and change color. Root rot may result from this as well. If left untreated, the eggplant will eventually pass away. Each week, eggplants require around one inch of water.

Final Words

Although eggplant browning is not a very serious problem, it is detrimental to the grower in terms of commercial production. Because many people think brown eggplant is inappropriate to eat. But the solutions to the problem are quite simple. 

By following the solution guides above properly, you can protect eggplant browning both commercially and personally. Hope my guidelines will help you completely in protecting eggplant. Happy Gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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