posted on November 30, 2010 09:13
Winter time is a great time of the year when to get together a breeding program if you’re interested in taking the quantum leap to create something special and exciting.
To best decide if you’re ready for a hybridization program, here’s a few good pointers to consider:
1. Are you willing to invest in the necessary tools and accessories to properly hybridize and propagate?
2. Do you have a goal in mind (more disease resistance, compact plant, a specific color goal, a brighter color, double/triple, larger or smaller flowers, etc.? (It’s best to have just one or two primary goals in mind when approaching your immediate result expectations).
3. Do you have experienced and prepared plant friends you can send your seeds to grow out for you if you don’t have the space to grow all the seeds yourself?
4. Do you have enough space (year-round) to overwinter at least few dozen seedlings in gallon pots or larger?
- Outside Zone 9-11, you would need to keep green wood seedlings in an artificial greenhouse-like condition for at least the first winter or even two. The root ball needs to develop thicker basal roots that can last through a winter without dying back. For those in the north, your Brug dormancy can last several months, posing a more complex winter growing cycle, requiring more winter preparation and more equipment to assure sustaining them over at least the first winter.
5. Are you patient? Getting successful AND correct cross-pollination can be tedious, and at times can seem like surgery.
6. Are you willing to read a book on proper hybridization to understand the proper techniques and necessary steps to assure correct pollination and results.
7. Last, and MOST important – Are you willing to sacrifice chopping into many flowers before even seeing them bloom? Aptly asked last, because this seems to be one of the most difficult factors to overcome.
If you have been able to answer “yes” to all of the above questions, then you’re ready to get started. There is a lot of great info available online and in books regarding breeding programs for plants. Brugmansia hybridizing is similar to rose hybridizing. It is crucial to understand many factors, and is why it’s so crucial to read at least one good book on hybridizing.