The MUST-HAVE Autumn Decorating Marvel!
When our Director of Seeds began carrying around a branch of Pumpkin on a Stick laden with clusters of up to 5 little fruits here at Park, the speculation began. “It’s a tomato!” “Look at the cute little pumpkins!” “Is it some kind of new gourd?” Nobody guessed the truth — that this charmer was actually an eggplant!
Pumpkin on a Stick has been delighting gardeners for more than 125 years, and goes by many names. Some call it Pumpkin Tree or Pumpkin Bush, because of the sturdy, long-lasting branches set with large purple thorns. (Those thorns are one of the giveaways that it’s an eggplant, by the way!) Others call it Mock Tomato, because it really does resemble a heavily ribbed tomato, especially when the fruits first turn from green to scarlet. They won’t get their pumpkin-orange tones until they begin to dry out. Still others know it as Hmong Eggplant, Red China Eggplant, or Scarlet Chinese Eggplant, reflecting its origin in Southeast Asia. But whatever you call it, you must grow it for indoor bouquets and arrangements all autumn long!
The plant itself is very attractive, well-branched and upright, reaching 3 to 4 feet high and 2 to 3 feet wide. It boasts handsome, very large foliage that protects the clusters of 2- to 5-inch fruits from sunscald. After the insignificant blooms pass in mid- to late summer, the fruit appears. At first it’s pale green and nubby. But it quickly achieves its pumpkin-y shape, then turns rich, deep scarlet. This persists into autumn, when the first chilly weather begins to turn the scarlet to orange. Within a week or two, you have it — pumpkins on a stick!
You will want to stake this plant as the fruit grows — it’s really quite heavy, but the stems are woody and very strong. Throughout the growing season, give it plenty of food and water, and make sure you find a site in enriched, well-drained soil for best growth. A single plant will yield dozens of pumpkins-on-a-stick!
The seed is easy to grow. It can be direct-sown when the weather warms up in spring, but for best results, begin it indoors about 6 weeks before last scheduled frost. Your Bio-Dome is the perfect seed-starting system for Pumpkin on a Stick, because it gives you better control over the temperature and humidity level. For germination, a warm temperature (70 to 85 degrees F) is best. The seed will germ within about 2 weeks, and can be transplanted when it has at least two sets of true leaves and nighttime temperatures are consistently above about 55 degrees. Space the plants about 3 feet apart, to leave plenty of room for the dangling fruit!
You will love this ornamental eggplant, and it is certain to become the talk of your gardening circle. Have fun dreaming up new ways to use the fruit! Pkt is 25 seeds.
(P)Pkt of 25 seeds
Item Form:(P)?Pkt of 25 seeds
Bloom Start To End:Mid Summer
Seeds Per Pack:25
Plant Height:3 ft – 4 ft
Plant Width:24 in – 3 ft
Fruit Diameter:2 in – 5 in
Foliage Color:Medium Green
Harvest Season:Early Fall,?Late Fall,?Mid Fall
Light Requirements:Full Sun,?Part Shade
Moisture Requirements:Moist,? well-drained
Resistance:Disease Resistant,?Heat Tolerant,?Humidity Tolerant,?Pest Resistant
Soil Tolerance:Normal,? loamy