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The aubergine (eggplant) is basically self-fertilizing but insects are very attracted by the beautiful violet flowers. To get absolutely pure seeds from each sort, there must be a distance of at least 500 m to the next blooming eggplant. One could also cover the plants with a cloth or fine-meshed net to prevent the insects reaching the flowers.

The eggplant needs a very long season to produce ripe seed. In northern Europe it must be grown in a greenhouse with, preferably, a source of heating during cold autumn nights. The fruit changes to golden brown when ripe. Almost ripe fruits can continue to ripen indoors for a few weeks allowing the seeds more time to ripen fully.

Cut the fruit and squeeze the seeds out in a bath of water. The ripe seeds sink and the fruit-flesh is easy to remove. Dry the seeds on nets at once and move them about during the drying period to prevent their sticking together.

Well-ripened eggplant seeds germinate for many years.