Gardening is an amazing experience when it’s successful. You get to watch an array of plants grow and thrive under your care.
If you’re growing edible plants, they’ll likely end up on your kitchen table at some point. This can help you save a little bit of money on groceries, and you get to enjoy the freshest possible fruits and veggies.
However, things don’t always go so smoothly. Sometimes, your eggplant leaves curl up and start wilting, even when you’re seemingly doing everything exactly right.
Why does this happen? There are a number of underlying reasons. We’ll go over them with you and explain how you can prevent these things from happening.
Quick Answer: Why Do Eggplant Leaves Curl Up and Start Wilting?
There are many specific reasons why your eggplant’s leaves are curling and wilting. They can be sorted into three big categories: mites and insects, lack of water, and plant diseases.
Top Reasons Your Eggplant Leaves are Wilting and Curling
Mites and Insects
Spider mites are a pest that’s common to many types of plants, including eggplants. They suck the juice out of your plant’s leaves, which results in the leaves dying.
Aphids are another insect that targets eggplant. If you’ve got an aphid problem, you’ll notice the leaves curling and getting discolored. You can also check for them under the leaves, because they leave a sticky residue behind.
Another insect that will cause your eggplant’s leaves to wilt are whiteflies. Like spider mites, they suck juices from your plants.
Leafhoppers will suck juice from your garden, too. They’ll make your eggplant’s leaves look burnt and like they’re wilting.
Lack of Water
Without the proper amount of water, eggplants suffer. One way to tell that your eggplant is just feeling a little thirsty is through its wilting leaves and tiny fruits.
Rather than getting the shiny, rounded fruits that eggplants are known for, you’ll get something smaller and unhealthy-looking.
Various Plant Diseases
You might not think so at first, but plants are vulnerable to many kinds of diseases, just like all other living creatures. In an eggplant, many of those diseases can result in leaf curl or wilt.
Spotted wilt virus is an example of one such disease. Like the name implies, it targets the leaves of a plant, causing them to curl up.
Mosaic virus can also lead to leaves curling on eggplants. You’ll also see patterns of color featuring yellow and green streaks. Eventually, leaves infected by mosaic virus will wilt and die.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Eggplant
The biggest question in your mind right now is probably what you can do to protect your eggplant from all the aforementioned things.
We’ll start with the easiest problem: not watering enough. The solution is just going to be giving your eggplant some extra water. Ideally, they need about an inch of water weekly, and may need more if you live in a particularly dry climate.
Insects and mites can be difficult to protect your plants against, especially if you’re trying to do so without resorting to chemical pesticides. Using floating plant covers can help keep bugs out. Powerful streams of water can help you spray off any pests that are hiding on leaves, as well.
Another important thing to do is simply be vigilant. If you ever purchase a plant from a greenhouse or another gardener, check it carefully for signs of an insect infestation.
Diseases can be tricky, too. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is remove the plant that’s been infected as quickly as possible so the disease doesn’t spread to the rest of your garden. This may be the case with mosaic virus, which is spread through bugs and has no treatment.
Eggplants can take a little more care and effort than some other common garden components. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, though, no other plant is quite as rewarding.
After all, the effects of successfully caring for eggplant are drastic: you’ll get gorgeous and shiny fruits that are photo-worthy.