Flower breeding is a process in which flower growers will alter the characteristics of specific flower species over time to produce new flowers. In its simplest term, breeding is the process of choosing the best plants or flowers and then growing them into a full seed and later on, use such particular seed to grow new generations of flower species with new colour or shape. Such selective breeding can change the overall genetic composition of flowers over time. The most important factor in breeding flowers is the genetic variation of a particular characteristic.
The popularity of Flower Breeding
In a typical garden store, you’ll find several different varieties of flowers that are cultivated for specific traits. Today’s diversity of flowers is mainly a result of modern genetic engineering and partly a result of flower breeding techniques. Cross-breeding flowers are done by deliberately taking pollen from one flower and then dusting it on to another. This might seem like basic horticulture. However, the process has been criticised by orthodox religious groups who are against the deliberate creation of new kinds of life. Many other social activists seem to be against the genetically engineered flora too. The debate is ongoing, and it is a rather subjective matter.
Today, flower breeding happens at a more rapid pace, simply because horticulturists can now possibly tinker at a molecular level. Quite often, a new variety of flower will not last more than a year or two before it will be superseded by something else. That is why when it comes to buying flowers, it is highly recommended to get fresh cut locally grown flowers. Those bunch of seasonal beauty will not last forever, but they will live long enough to colour your life with natural scent. Look out for local florist such as Daily Blooms for reasonably priced, a fresh cut bouquet to your doorstep.
The recent popularity of flower breeding is a result of certain factors. Annualization of perennials could be one factor, and this has mainly risen because of the advent of annualized perennials that can be possibly grown from cuttings or seed and starts producing flowers on the first year. These flowers offer a distinct advantage compared to growers who can produce herbaceous perennials but are yet to domesticate and commercialize them. With flower breeding, there are more opportunities for flower breeders to be able to create new products quicker. Follow garden columnist Adrian Higgins on Twitter for beautiful hybrid flowers across the world.
Flower Breeding Techniques
Breeding plants or flowers to produce new varieties and improve the older types is a hobby that anyone can engage in. Flower breeders who are interested in learning a unique diversity of flower traits, including the shape and colour, will appreciate the process of flower breeding. You can manage to learn the techniques quickly and experiment with several different flower species that you want. Usually, beginners start off with species that are relatively easy to change, for instance, flower colour, size and shape. Nevertheless, although the techniques are pretty simple, there’s a possibility that you could end up producing unusual flowers.
Breeding can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone who is into gardening. Simply arm yourself with the necessary skills for flower breeding and have some patience as well. Good observation is also important to be successful with this hobby. Check here to read about the birth of blue chrysanthemums by genetic engineering. You do not need to have an ample sized room or a massive amount of space to start breeding new flowers. There are gardeners who were able to produce their ideal new flower in only the smallest area of their backyard gardens. In fact, flowers like geraniums, petunias, fuchsias, carnations, cosmos, pansies, lilies and many others can only be grown on container or pots and should not take up a lot of space.
Known Flower Breeding Combinations
For a start, you need to educate yourself of the flower breeding combinations that can lead to a successful result. Here are some of the best flower species you can start with.
<bCarnations – carnations may be a bit tricky since you can only get them during holidays. For instance, you can have red carnations for Father’s Day or pink carnations on Mother’s Day. The process of cross-breeding these flowers is pretty straightforward: red x pink = white.
Cosmos – these flowers are available in two generations. Pink and orange cosmos can be possibly obtained by pairing basic flowers. Here are the possible crossings you can make out of cosmos: red x yellow = orange; red x white = pink; orange x orange = black.
Lilies – these flowers only come in one generation. You might also find it difficult to source red lilies. Here are some possible crossings for these flowers: red x red = black; red x yellow = orange; red x white = pink
Pansies – pansies are among those three generation flower species, and you can expect to work at the third generation for several months or weeks. Here are some possible crossings: red x yellow = orange; white x white = blue; red x blue = red; red x red = purple.
Tulips – tulips are two generation flower species. Unfortunately, these flowers are not the easiest to grow. Here are some possible crossings of tulips: red x red = black; red x yellow = orange; red x white = pink; orange x orange = purple.
Violets – another flower species you can try for flower breeding is the violets. These flowers are so easy to crossbreed since they only have a single hybridization available. Thus, it’s great for first-timers: white x white = blue.
Be very observant as your flowers start growing. Go around your garden and look out for anything unusual, such as more petals than the usual, new variation of colour and size and difference on plant habit and height. If your garden receives plenty of sun, selective watering is also very useful.