How to Grow Hybrid Plants?

Hybrid plants have many advantages. Research has shown that they are naturally disease resistant and are stronger and more resilient than their parent plants. They have also been found easier to maintain and less problematic for surrounding wildlife. And even better, not only do they taste good, but they also offer the same beneficial nutrients!

What are Hybrid Plants?

A hybrid plant is created when two different varieties of a plant in the same plant species are cross bred, aimed to produce a “hybrid” that contains both positive traits of each plant parent. However, it’s necessary to note that growers can’t control which traits will be passed on.

Some examples of hybrid plants are a pomato (A mix between a tomato and potato), plumcots (in which plums and apricots are cross-bred, producing a fruit with a juicy, sweet tart flavor), and sudachi yuzu (a cross between yuzu and mandarin orange).

When created, pollen is exchanged between two varieties of the same plant. The stamen, or the male part, of one of the plant’s flowers pollinates the pistil, or the female part, of another flower, creating seeds that you can plant and grow to create your very own hybrid plant.

How Do You Grow a Hybrid Plant?

Choose your two plants and make sure that they’re in the same species. Once decided, choose which plant will act as the female and which will act as the male. Then remove the stamens from the female plant to prevent self pollination, which happens when pollen from the same plant arrives at the stigma of the flower or the ovule.

Gather the pollen from the stamen of the male using a cotton ball or q-tip.  Brush the pollen onto the female plant’s pistil and cover the female plant in a transparent or plastic bag to prevent extra cross pollination.

The fruit that grows from the cross-pollinated female plant is the first hybrid variety. The seeds from the fruit can be grown the following year into your new hybrid plant.

Tips for growing Hybrids

  • If you can’t identify the pistil or stamen,  Look in the center of the flower and look for tiny stalks that are a different color than the petals. They are most likely pistils.

  • For the stamen, if there are only a few stalks that are long and slender, they’re probably stamens.

  • Remember that you can only make a hybrid out of flowering plants. If it has a bud and a flower, go for it!

Who knows? If you do everything correctly, maybe you’ll create a stunning hybrid that will inspire people to do the same. Make sure to trust the process and have fun.

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