How Can I Crossbreed Two Different Fruit Plants?


If you've been to the grocery store lately, you may have seen a variety of odd fruits. These fruits have names like Tangelo or Aprium. As their names imply, these fruits are crossbreeds between two different species of fruits. Crossbreeding fruit is not a new phenomenon. Knott's Berry Farm became famous for its pies, jams and jellies made from boysenberries, which are a cross between blackberries, raspberries and blackberry/raspberry hybrids known as loganberries. Crossbreeding two fruit plants is typically undertaken to produce a plant with all of the benefits of the parent plants and none of the deficiencies.

Step 1

Select the two species of fruit plants that you wish to propagate. Species that are closely related, such as two species of citrus, grapes and muscadines or segmented fruits such as blackberries and raspberries are more likely to produce a successful crossbreed.

Step 2

Cross-pollinate plants manually by collecting the pollen from the anthers of one plant's flowers onto a paintbrush and then rubbing it onto the stamens of the other plant.

Step 3

Wait until berries are fully ripened and pick them. Harvest the seeds from inside the berries.

Step 4

Put seed-starting mix in a shallow tray and dampen the soil with a plant mister. Plant the seeds in the tray. And mist again.

Step 5

Cover with clear plastic and place the tray under a grow light to germinate the seeds. Check the tray daily and mist with water again if the soil shows signs of drying out.

Step 6

Remove the plastic covering when the seeds sprout. Allow the seedlings to grow until they produce two leaves, then transplant them into seed pots.

Step 7

Transplant plants into their permanent spot in the ground when they become large enough to establish themselves and survive on their own.

Step 8

Wait until plants produce fruit so that you can determine which plants are crossbreeds. Not all plants produced will be crossbred plants.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 species of fruit plants
  • Paintbrush
  • Seed starting mix
  • Seedling tray
  • Plant mister
  • Clear plastic sheeting
  • Seed pots


  • "The Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste #9;" P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams; 1874
  • University of Illinois: Plant Breeding
  • Rainy Side Gardeners: Crossbreeding Christmas Cactus: Bringing up Babies

Who Can Help

  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Backyard Orchard Culture Growing Fruit Trees in Limited Space
  • Knott's Berry Farm: Historical Background
Keywords: fruit hybrids, crossbreeding plants, growing hearty vines

About this Author

After 10 years experience in writing, Tracy S. Morris has countless articles and two novels to her credit. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets" and "CatFancy," as well as the "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World," and several websites.