Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

SOLANUM melongena 'Little Prince'

Image of Solanum melongena 'Little Prince'

Family

Solanaceae

Botanical Name

SOLANUM melongena 'Little Prince'

Plant Common Name

Eggplant, Little Prince Eggplant

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

The quaint plants of 'Little Prince' mature to a compact size excellent for containers or small vegetable patches and provide lots of purple, egg-like fruits. The shiny fruits occur in loose clusters and have mild flesh and few seeds. Even the velvety green leaves take on an exceptionally ornamental look. The harvest season begins 110 days after sowing from seed, or 65 days after planting from robust transplants.

Eggplant is an easy, warm-season vegetable that’s well worth the effort. Though perennial in its native Africa and Asia, most gardeners grow it as an annual vegetable crop. The felty green leaves of eggplant sometimes have a purplish hue and appear on bushy, upright plants. When temperatures and warm and accommodating, star-shaped lavender flowers with protruding yellow anthers appear on mature plants followed by fruit. For best flavor and smaller seeds, pick the fruits just before they reach full size. Size varies from cultivar to cultivar; some fruits are “baby” sized and others very large. It pays to pick fruit at the peak of perfection; overripe plants develop dull, soft skin and flesh and an unpalatable taste, and under ripe fruits tend to have tough, bitter skin.

Like many warm-season vegetables, eggplant grows best in full sun and light, rich garden loam. Feed and water regularly for best performance and harvest. The fruits can become quite heavy, so it is wise to stake the plants. Floating row covers, pyrethrin sprays and/or insecticidal soap will help provide protection from flea beetles, which otherwise will ravage or even kill plants. These tiny, shiny, black bugs are the most prevalent eggplant pest. They chew lots of small, poked holes in the leaves, which weaken plants and diminish yields. Eggplant is strictly a summer crop in temperate gardens but in tropical and sub-tropical regions, it is grown in fall and even winter gardens. If starting plants from seed, start indoors several weeks before planting, and plant outdoors two weeks after the danger of frost has passed.

Eggplants are best eaten sautéed, roasted or in casseroles or stews. Most cultivars have tough, leathery skin that should be removed before cooking. If provided good care, a single plant will produce lots of fruits for moussaka, eggplant parmigiana, or ratatouille.

The attractive and productive ‘Little Prince’ is a worthwhile cultivar for the edible landscape. Whether planted in kitchen gardens, borders or patio containers, its beautifully ornate fruits and lavender flowers will add interest and appeal.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 12

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    10"-12" / 25.4cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Africa, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Lavender

  • Fruit Color

    Purple

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes