How to Make Hybrid Plants Naturally

Overview

Many plants in the United States are the result of hybrids between two or more plants of different species. For example, loganberries are the result of a fruit cross between blackberries and raspberries, while Boysenberries are the result of crossing loganberries, blackberries and raspberries. The most popular avocado brand on the market, Hass avocados, came from a natural hybrid. While some growers create hybrids by manually pollinating fruit, you can create natural hybrids by allowing Mother Nature to help you in your orchard.

Step 1

Select plants that are compatible for cross-pollination. Most fruit and vegetable cultivators will cross-pollinate within their variety to create a new hybrid. Tomatoes and apples are both good examples of this. Other fruit and vegetable varieties will cross pollinate with separate varieties to create a new type of fruit or vegetable. For example, blackberries and raspberries will cross-pollinate.

Step 2

Plant vegetables or fruits in two separate rows that are near one another. This will encourage cross-pollination from bees and wind.

Step 3

Save the seeds from fruits and vegetables that the cross-pollinated plants produce.

Step 4

Plant a seed 2 times as deep as the seed's diameter at its widest point in a container of damp peat moss. Cover the container with plastic and place it in a sunny windowsill. Wait for the plant to sprout and then remove the plastic.

Step 5

Transplant the plant into the soil when it matures by opening a planting pocket that is slightly larger but no deeper than the root ball. Place the plant's root ball in the soil and cover it with dirt. Water until the soil is as damp as a wrung-out sponge. The point of maturity differs between plants. A plant is usually ready for transplant when it has outgrown its seedling container and has produced two true leaves, which are new, species-specific leaves that grow after the plant has already sprouted two generic, round leaves.

Step 6

Wait for the plant to mature to determine what type of hybrid you have created.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Potting tray
  • Watering can

References

  • University of Colorado Extension: Pollination of Tree Fruits
  • Texas A&M Extension: Hybrid Varieties and Saving Seed
  • University of Missouri Extension: Pollinating Fruit Crops

Who Can Help

  • Knotts: Historical Background
  • Hass: About the Variety: Our Story
Keywords: hybridize plants, growing new plants, creating new fruit

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."