How to Hybridize Flowering Plants


In high school science, students first learn genetics by studying about Gregor Mendel's work of cross-pollinating bean plants to create hybrids. Hybridizing plants is one of the oldest tricks in a gardener's arsenal to create plants that are healthier and more desirable. The hybrid plants exhibit all of the strengths of the parent plant. This makes them more disease resistant, more hardy and more vigorous. Hybridize flowering plants through cross pollination to create new plants for your own garden.

Step 1

Select two plants to cross pollinate after the plant has produced buds.

Step 2

Designate one plant to be the seed-bearing mother. Gently open the mother plant's petals and remove all of the pollen-bearing stamens with a pair of tweezers.

Step 3

Place a paper bag over the mother blossom to protect it from accidental pollination. Close the mouth of the bag and secure it with a twist tie.

Step 4

Select a plant to be the father plant. Put a bag over this plant and secure it with a twist tie to collect pollen.

Step 5

Wait for the blossoms to open on their own. Gently shake the bag of the father plant to release pollen into the bag.

Step 6

Remove father plant from its bag and dip a paint brush into the bag to gather the pollen.

Step 7

Remove the mother plant from its bag. Brush the tip of the paint brush onto the stigma of the mother plant's flower. Place the bag over the blossom again to prevent accidental pollination by other flowers.

Step 8

Wait several days for pollination to occur. Remove the bag and allow the mother plant to continue its growth naturally.

Step 9

Collect seeds from the mother just before they fall from the plant.

Step 10

Place them in a paper envelope and label with the seed type and date. Plant seeds the next spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowering plants
  • Tweezers
  • Paper bags
  • Twist ties
  • Paint brush
  • Paper envelope
  • Pen


  • "Experiments in Plant Hybridization": Gregor Mendel;1865
  • Kids Valley Garden: Cross Pollinating
  • Texas A&M: Hybridizing Plants

Who Can Help

  • University of Arizona:Plants and Pollination
Keywords: propagating plants, pollinating flowers, growing a garden

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.