Create your own hybrid plants in your garden without any special tools. In order to create a hybrid plant, you have to use two varieties of the same type of plant. For example, you can hybridize two varieties of tomatoes, but you can't hybridize a tomato and a pepper. The seeds produced by hybridization are called “F1” hybrids. F1 hybrids generally grow stronger, more robust plants that produce a reliable crop in a shorter amount of time, as compared to an open pollinated variety of the same vegetable.
Choose the parents for your new hybrid. Designate one as the male and one as the female parent.
Remove the anthers from the female parent by pinching them off with your thumb and finger. These are the elongated stems that jut out from the center of the flower. They are the male portion and must be removed from the mother plant so that only pollen from the father plant pollinates the female.
Cut the male flower from its plant. Push the anthers from the male flower into the de-anthered female flower and gently rub the two together. Discard the male flower.
Cover the female flower with a small paper bag, such as a lunch bag. Secure the bag to the base of the flower with string. This is necessary to keep pollinating insects from alighting on the flower and perhaps adding additional pollen. Leave the bag on the flower until the pollen dries up and the seed pod begins to swell.
Remove the seeds or seed pod from the plant as soon as they are dry and have turned to a tan or brown color. Do not leave the seed pod on the plant too long or it may burst and the seeds will scatter on the ground.
Store the resulting seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them. Place them into an envelope or wax paper and label with the varieties of their parents.
Things You Will Need
- Paper lunch bag
- Paper envelope
- Plants grown from hybrid seeds will not produce seeds that grow plants identical to their parents. In order to grow the same hybrid plants again, it is necessary to repeat the hybridization process with the same parent plants.
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