wikiHow to Cross Pollinate Different Vegetables to Create Hybrids

While you generally can't cross-pollinate vegetables from different species, you can create a hybrid of vegetables from the same botanical species. The process is fairly simple. Many vegetables have male and female flowers. Male flowers can be cut off to pollinate female flowers. Here's how.

Steps

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    Find out if the two plants are in the same botanical species. For example, zucchini, Howden Field pumpkin, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, small decorative gourds, and Jack-Be-Little miniature pumpkins are all members of the same botanical species, C. Pepo. But Butternut squash, Small Sugar pumpkin, White Cushaw pumpkin, and Big Max pumpkin are not in the same botanical species, so they cannot be crossed with this method.
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    Cut a male flower off of one variety of the plant.
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    Rub the pollen on a female flower of another plant that's within the same botanical species.
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    Wait for the fruit to mature and ripen. The results of cross-pollination will not be expressed in this generation; they will show up in the next.
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    Save the seeds.
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    Plant them. They will grow into plants which make hybrid vegetables.

Warnings

  • Plants may make fruit which is tasteless, nasty, ugly, or inedible, so use common sense, like don't expect to eat a cross between miniature gourds and apple gourds! These hybrid plants are mainly for show, so don't get discouraged.
  • Plants may not make hybrid fruit, or the plants could have weak immune systems because of being hybrids.

Article Info

Categories: Planting and Growing