Differences Between Hansel And Gretel Eggplants

By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Hansel eggplants and Gretel eggplants are two differentvarieties that are very similar to each other, like the brother and sister froma fairy tale. Read up on some Hansel and Gretel eggplant information to findout why these hybrids are desirable and what they need to grow and give you abig harvest.

What are Hansel and Gretel Eggplants?

Hansel and Gretel are two different hybrid varieties ofeggplant, both fairly new to the gardening world. They each won All AmericanSelections – Hansel in 2008 and Gretel in 2009. Both were developedspecifically to breed out some of the undesirable characteristics of mosteggplants.

There are almost no practical differences between Hansel andGretel eggplants. Hansel has deep purple skin and Gretel’s skin is white but,otherwise, they both have the same qualities that make them great options forthe vegetable garden:

  • The fruits are long and narrow and generally small compared to other varieties.
  • The skin is thin and delicate without a bitter taste, so there is no reason to remove it for eating.
  • The seeds have been greatly minimized to improve the texture of the fruit.
  • The harvest window is larger than for other eggplants. You can start harvesting and using the fruits when they are just 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm.) long.
  • Continue harvesting the eggplants as they grow up to about 10 inches (25 cm.) and you will still have a tasty, delicate fruit.

Growing Hansel and Gretel Eggplants

Growing Hansel eggplants and growing Gretel eggplants isexactly the same. They are so similar and have basically the same needs asother typesof eggplants that there really is no distinction. The plants aresmall, which means they can grow in your vegetable bed but theyalso do well in containers on patios.

Make sure the soil is rich, adding compost or fertilizer ifnecessary. It should drain well, and if you are planting them in containers,there needs to be drainage holes. You can start your Hansel and Greteleggplants as seeds indoors or use transplants. Either way, don’t put yourplants outside until the weather is decidedly warm. They won’t tolerate coldtemperatures well.

Whether grown in the garden or in a container, put your eggplantsin a spot that will get full sun and water regularly. Eggplants will be readyto harvest beginning 55 days from transplant, but remember that you can keepharvesting them as the fruits grow bigger.

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Hansel and Gretel (fairy tale)

Hansel and Gretel (fairy tale)
Author Published by Brothers Grimm
Country Germany
Language German
Genre Fairy tale
Publisher Unknown
Publication date 1812

Hansel and Gretelis a well-known fairy tale of German origin, recorded by the Brothers Grimm and published in 1812.

Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery.


The nights are getting downright cold. I haven’t found the time to start seedlings of lettuce or choi under the lights in the bedroom to put into the hydroponic 10 gallon bins on the deck. (I’ve been too busy with the beans, new peas, basil and tomatoes in the soil containers in the front yard).

But, the cuke, eggplants and pepper (planted out in the hydro bins June 17th) are still going gangbusters in their Kratky method hydroponic containers on the deck, so I thought I’d show you and give you some additional info on the growth progress and variety names etc.

H-19 Little Leaf Cucumber in a 10 gallon Hydroponic bin, as of Sept 7, 2014

These ‘H-19 Little Leaf’ pickling cukes get easily 4+ inches long and they are firm and tasty. As of Sept 8th, I have picked a cuke every day for a salad, for 2 weeks now.
I have not needed to replace any nutrient solution in the 10 gallon bin/tote yet. (It went in around the 3rd week of June, but since the early small leaves had spider mite, the newer stronger leaves didn’t take off, and make lots of flowers and large cukes, until mid August). They have the same nutrient solution as all the rest (see earlier posts for details).

The H-19 Little Leaf pickling cucumber closer up, as of September 7, 2014

Hansel & Gretel Eggplants as of September7th, 2014

Hansel and Gretel (the names of their varieties) are in 5 gallon Kratky method hydroponic 5 gal buckets, both loaded with eggplants and flowers. They are also growing taller by the day…. I hope they stop growing taller now (should be at their 3 foot height) and just put all their energy into eggplants.

Hansel Eggplant as of Sept 7, 2014

The Hansel & Gretel eggplant variety (from ‘Johnny’s Seeds’)are a small, long oriental type. Hansel is the purple and Gretel is the white- same size & length. They reach about 5-6 inches in length and are about 1.5 inches in diameter. They are totally non bitter and slice up perfectly in anything (stir fry, eggplant parmesan etc.). As you can see they grow in clusters- easy to see & pick.

I would definitely recommend growing this variety in a hydroponic bin (Kratky non-circulating method), but the size of the container needs to be bigger than 5 gal (which really only starts out with a little over 3 gallons of nutrient solution). For the past 3 weeks, I have added to each bucket- 1.5 gallons of freshly mixed nutrient solution as the level drops to almost nothing within 5-7 days.

I don’t really mind mixing it by the gallon and adding a milk jug’s worth of solution (lift up the top of the bucket net cap, with plant tilting on top, and pour in carefully), but if I could find a larger capacity container that has the same features as the bucket- I might go that route in the future. The bucket-covering 6″ net cup and the tomato cage that goes into the bucket through holes drilled in that net cup/bucket cover, is important. The cage holds up the netting cover until the plants are huge and flowering well, and after the netting comes off, the cage helps support the 3 foot eggplant from toppling etc. I just don’t know what other system/container, net cup, cage system I could use to get the same results of protection and support. So 5 gallon buckets are my choice for now, and I’ll just keep adding solution. It’s still easier than watering everyday (as I have to, for my container soil plants in the yard).

Gretel Eggplant as of Sept 7, 2014

Gretel grows a little slower than Hansel, but if you look in the middle you can see her little white eggplants coming on strong.

Pepper & eggplants in 5 gallon buckets as of Sept 7, 2014

The Boris pepper and behind it, the 2 eggplants, sit on the deck in their hydroponic (Kratky non-circulating method) 5 gallon buckets. They are covered (as are the now-empty lettuce bins), over all with plastic over an old canopy frame. The nights are getting colder, so the extra protection is good for both types of plants.

Boris Pepper as of September 7, 2014

The Boris pepper up close. We have already harvested 4 peppers that were easily 6 inches long, and a good diameter. The size and production of the Boris variety is great- but the taste is not as good as any old banana pepper (not as sweet or as pepper-ry tasting).

I am however, definitely impressed with the ease and production of growing peppers in a 5 gallon bucket

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Baked Japanese Eggplant with Herbs

3 eggplants, halved lengthwise

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs. freshly chopped basil

1/2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After pricking the flesh to allow the herbs to penetrate, place the eggplant halves in a medium roasting pan.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until blended well.

3. Spread the paste evenly on the eggplants

4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the they’re tender and the tops are lightly browned.

To eat, just scoop the velvety mixture from the skin and enjoy!

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