Vegetable Grafting: Eggplants and Tomatoes
Vegetable grafting is a centuries-old technique utilized in Asia to improve plant production, reduce disease susceptibility, and increase plant vigor. Commercial production and demand for grafted vegetable plants continues to increase across Asia and Europe. Vegetable grafting was introduced in the United States almost 20 years ago and commercial growers and home gardeners are becoming more aware of its attributes and potential to manage soil-borne diseases and adverse soil conditions.
This fact sheet provides brief descriptions of how to prepare plant material for grafting, some general considerations for grafting, the most common techniques used to graft eggplant and tomato, healing grafted plants, and transplanting and maintaining grafted plants in the field. Each grafting technique has several different names, so for clarity, here we use the most common name for each technique. Also included is a step-by-step process for grafting both eggplant and tomato using the splice grafting technique.
Splice grafting is the most commonly used grafting method for eggplant and tomato because it has a high success rate (95%), is relatively simple, and can be used to graft a large number of plants in a short amount of time. Deciding which grafting technique to use depends on the number of plants, their size at the time of grafting, the feasibility of using special grafting clips, and personal preference.