Eggplants have the potential to be very delicious. So many people wind up really loving eggplants once they discover certain recipes.
Your enjoyment of eggplants might have led you to start growing them in your garden. It’s certainly nice to be able to have fresh eggplants that you grew yourself.
While taking care of eggplants isn’t necessarily difficult, it’s true that some people encounter issues. For example, you might have noticed that the leaves on your eggplant have started curling.
What causes eggplant leaf curl, though? Is this happening due to some type of disease or is it something that you’re doing wrong?
Read on to learn about eggplant leaf curl and what the potential causes are. Better understanding this topic might help you to turn things around so that your eggplants can thrive.
1 – Not Being Watered Properly
The most common reason why eggplant leaves will start to curl involves them not being watered properly. If you aren’t taking the time to water your eggplants as you should, then you might see the eggplant’s leaves start to curl.
Whenever your eggplants start to get too thirsty you’re going to notice a bit of wilting. If the leaves are wilting slightly, then there’s a good chance that you waited too long to water the plants.
If you don’t turn things around, then there’s a chance that the eggplant could die. Plants need water to survive and you might have neglected your eggplant for too long if it appears to be in poor condition.
Just a small amount of wilting might be an indication that you’re just a bit late watering the plant. If you water the plant, then it might perk up and you’ll eventually see things turn around.
Continued watering issues can lead to complications with the plant outside of outright killing it. The plant might survive, but it could produce very tiny fruits instead of the large fruits that you think of when you picture eggplants.
Generally, eggplants are going to need one inch of water each week to thrive. If you want your eggplants to do the best that they can, then it’d be better to water them thoroughly once per week instead of watering them just a little bit several times a week.
2 – Pest Issues
Pests can also cause eggplants to wilt over time if nothing is done. You might see the eggplant’s leaves start curling when it is being bothered by pests.
Spider mites could be the cause of the leaf curling issue. These are small spiders that are so tiny that seeing them with the naked eye will not be easy.
Pests such as this suck on your eggplant’s leaves and drain the juices. Eventually, the leaves are going to die, and this is why you’ll see them start to curl.
There are other pests that can cause similar problems such as aphids. Aphids are commonly seen in gardens bothering plants and they can cause an eggplant’s leaves to curl and change colors.
Other potential pests to worry about include leafhoppers and whiteflies. No matter what garden pest is to blame for your eggplant issue, it’s going to be imperative to turn things around.
It might be necessary to use some type of insecticide to get rid of significant infestations. You want to be proactive, and you should always try to get rid of pests before they have a chance to kill your eggplants.
3 – Plant Diseases
Plant diseases could also cause an eggplant’s leaves to start curling. There are quite a few plant diseases that could cause something like this to happen.
One of the more common diseases that will cause leaf curling is known as spotted wilt virus. It’s a virus that specifically targets the leaves on your eggplants and causes them to wilt.
You could also be dealing with something known as mosaic virus. It causes leaf curling and you might also see yellow or green streaks on the leaves.
Leaves that have been infected by the mosaic virus are going to die. Sadly, there might not be much that you can do to help the eggplant.
In most cases, the best course of action is to remove infected eggplants and hope that the disease doesn’t spread. You don’t want the rest of your garden to get infected and you’re going to want to move fast to avoid further complications.
4 – Sunlight Issues
There’s a possibility that you might not have your eggplants in a good location. Sometimes people plant things in garden areas without thoroughly researching what is necessary to get good results.
If this is true in your situation, then you might not have known that eggplants really like a lot of sunshine. Those who planted eggplants in shady or partially shady locations might not get the best results.
A lack of light can cause leaves to look a bit wilted from time to time. In the future, you might want to consider growing eggplants in a spot that is better for them.
Eggplants should really be located somewhere that will allow them to receive six hours of full sun each day. If you can’t provide them with that, then they might look a bit wilted instead of growing as intended.
It’s also notable that eggplants really like the heat. That means that weather changes could cause eggplants to react funny.
Something such as a sudden cold snap could cause leaf curling to occur. This might not be the most likely thing to cause leaf curling, but it’s still worth mentioning.
If you take the right steps, then you should be able to care for your eggplants really well. You just need to make sure that you’re doing what you’re supposed to do to help them thrive.
Eggplants need to receive a certain amount of water each week to stay healthy. If they’re getting less than an inch of water each week, then it shouldn’t surprise you to see the leaves start to curl.
Ideally, you want to water your plants thoroughly once per week, but sometimes you might need to check the plants more often. It’s also important to consider whether your eggplants are getting enough sunlight.
Eggplants need six hours of full sun each day to grow optimally. If you planted them in partial shade, then you might not be getting the best results.
Pests might be the reason why your eggplant’s leaves are curling and significant pest problems can even kill plants if you aren’t careful. You always need to be cognizant of what’s going on with your plants so that you can combat issues like this.
Try to look out for pests such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. It might be necessary to treat your garden with pesticides if you want to avoid these issues, but some people don’t like using chemicals.
Diseases can cause leaf curl, too, and they might very well kill your eggplants. If you notice that an eggplant is diseased, then you should remove it from the garden in the hopes of keeping the disease from spreading to the other plants in the area.
Hopefully, this advice will help you to raise your eggplants right. You know what to look out for now, and you should be able to turn things around if you work hard and pay attention.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.