Beginner Hybridizing Help?

krystalfoxfire(6b)February 28, 2012

Hello!

I'm 16 and interested in the hybridization of plants! I'd like to try it with my recently acquired Echeverias. :)

If anyone could tutor me a bit on how to go about hybridizing my plants effectively, if it is possible, I'd appreciate it so much. I know some genetics in animals, but plants are a totally new thing for me.

My plants were labeled as:

- Echeveria 'Perle von Nuernberg'

- Echeveria 'Ramillette'

- Echeveria 'Tsunami' (but it's very tall?)

I also have 'Alpenglow'/'Vera Higgins' Graptosedum, and Anacampsoros Rufescens. They look much like the Echeverias, are they a related plant?

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andrewofthelemon(7b Central Arkansas)

Sorry, I don't know, but I want to say it's good to have another teenager on here.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 11:26PM
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hanzrobo(11)

Hi Krystal,

Welcome to the forum! Hybridization is very interesting to me as well and I did a bit of research on the subject a while back.

With succulents, hybrids are mostly achieved by cross-pollination. There's also tissue culture (mixing genetic material) which is amazing, inspiring work but done in a lab. I could explain it more but you're better off doing your own research on that.

With cross-pollination it's important to keep a record of what you're mixing. A paintbrush is handy for many flowers or a cat's whisker (poor kitty) or other filament for more tubular flowers.
Some species will hybridize with others readily and some will not mix. Some genus' are much "easier" in general, like Aloes. Even crossing genus' is possible in many cases and it doesn't hurt to try but it helps to know what's been achieved in the past for frame of reference. Also, many hybrids are sterile and will not produce seeds so if you succeed, propagate vegetatively (by offsets).

When you successfully cross-pollinate and produce viable seeds and then are able to grow those seeds into new plants, there will be variation in the offspring. Some, or all may be identical to the mother. Many or most may not sprout. You have to watch the plants grow to see if anything different is happening. If you have a few successful hybrids, usually the best one is chosen for propagation and there you have it!

There's lots of information out there, lots more than I have. It's a great goal and you should find out as much as you can. I hope to create some hybrids of my own one day, maybe soon:)

Here's an interesting hybrid along with some info on its origin, originally shared with us by Jeff.
Click the link below and good luck!

Jeff, someone in your neighborhood!

Click the link below

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Pangolin'

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 11:54PM
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hanzrobo(11)

One more thing. A good first step would be to try some different succulents from seed. It would be good experience for when you're trying your own seeds.

-Ryan

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:01AM
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krystalfoxfire(6b)

My Echeveria 'Ramillette' is sending out an odd vine/stem structure with a very small cluster of buds on the end. Is it a possibility to store the resulting pollen? None of the others however, have any bud activity at the moment.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 2:02AM
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cactusmcharris

Krystal,

Welcome aboard here. I don't know about the shelf life of pollen, but New World Crassulaceae (Pachyphytum, Graptopetalum, Echeveria, Sedum, to name four) are notorious for their intergeneric promiscuity.

Your 'Alpenglow' and 'Vera Higgins' are examples of that - Graptosedum is a cross of Graptopetalum and Sedum. Almost all of the NWC cross with each other, the exception, I believe, is Dudleya.

I'm in Kamloops - where are you?

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 9:45AM
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krystalfoxfire(6b)

Ahh, so I could go entirely crazy with my project then! Hahaha! I'm from Vancouver; nice to meet you! :)

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 4:21PM
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hanzrobo(11)

You can store pollen on a brush in a tightly sealed jar in the freezer.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 5:35PM
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