What Are the Best Non Hybrid Garden Plants?

Hybrid plants are the result of the merger of two different types of varieties of the same plant. For example, the Early Girl tomato is a hybrid variety that produces disease-resistant tomatoes early in the summer. Non-hybrid plants are old-fashioned varieties that are open pollinated, meaning the birds and the bees are responsible for any crossing of varieties that humans often undertake to produce desired characteristics. All native plants are non-hybrids.

Native Plants

Plants that grow in the forests and meadows of your region are good choices for home gardens. From wildflowers such as penstemon to native trees, these plants are well adapted to the climate where they exist. Native plants are easy to grow because they belong to the same ecosystem as your garden. They require little supplemental irrigation, fertilizer or pruning--nature takes care of them so you can sit back and relax.


Many varieties of heirloom (non-hybrid) vegetables have fallen out of favor with seed companies and commercial growers in the past 100 years because of the desire for uniform size and color, ease of shipping, long shelf life and other factors, which do not normally include taste. If you want to experience the taste of the tomatoes your grandparents might have grown, shop for heirloom varieties. Some heirloom tomatoes include Black Krim, Stupice and Brandywine. You can grow purple green beans and peppers, yellow carrots and many other unusual vegetables when you select heirloom varieties.

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are often hybridized to produce good-looking fruit that keeps and stores well. However, if you want an old-timey taste experience, try heirloom varieties of fruit trees, such as the Blenheim apricot, Babcock peach, Blue Damson plum and Arkansas black apple.

Lawn Alternatives

Native and wild grasses offer good non-hybrid alternatives to the standard lawn favored by most homeowners. Seeds Trust encourages growing native grasses because, "Wild, sod-forming grasses are increasingly valuable as low-maintenance, drought tolerant substitutes for the traditional lawn. They offer the option of remaining unmowed to create natural looking 'meadow' transitions between manicured lawns and untouched surroundings." Nurseries are beginning to carry more native species, so home gardeners have more choices than in the past. Many Internet sources exist for seeds and starter plants of non-hybrid plant varieties (Resources).

Keywords: non-hybrid plants, heirloom gardening, heirloom fruit vegetables

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.