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Getting started in hybridizing


Hi Catia and Group,
    Hybridizing can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
Sounds like Catia is ready to explore this dimension of pelargonium growing.
     Stellars are indeed a fun plant to take on this adventurous task. There
are many stellars that have already been hybridized and I'm sure with the
right combinations of desired characteristics more can be added to this vast
intriguing list of diverse leaf colors, sizes of plant, compactness, doubling
of flower petals, the size of a given umbel. The list of genetic plant play
is endless with this unique plant make-up.
     Catia, you have mentioned that in the last year you have obtained some
different interesting plants and would like to know how to check if they are
really new. The best way to go about this is to obtain pictures and photos,
real plants of what's out there already, so, you can start to compare these
picture, photos, etc., with your plants. Do you have a list of Stellars that
have already been developed? I make lots of lists...I call them my Hunt
lists. I hunt for what I already know that is a named varieties. This gives
me an idea of what hybridizer have come up with. When this has been achieved.
It's time to take part in making a plant that takes on the characteristics
that you are wanting to achieve with this hybridizing project.
    Organization is a must. Tagging, logging the generations that one is
working on to develop the desired hybrid.
      Always have the mothers name on your tag. If you are in control of
pollination and know exactly the father plant, then you add the father plant
on the tag after.  So in research one....the tag is as so:
      golden staph x stacatto
            mother    x       father
           ovary      x        pollen
    If the pollination is done by bees....the tag will not have the fathers
name. When my bees get involved in the action without my permission I call it
"mystery,"
        mother  x mystery
    When seed production has been achieved, plant with tag of parents and
acknowledge generation on tag. mother  x  father g1
    So these little ones grow up into blooming developed plants. After this,
look at what your plant is doing. Now is the time to decide which direction
you want to take your hybridizing project to. Many ideas...Add different
fathers to the different generations and run with it....experimenting with
what you want your plant to do and become.
    Locally, in the world of nursery's I see the new names that are being
hybridized to have pelargoniums characteristics that are of their own
interest. For example, "How soon will it set a bloom from the beginning of
production to the day they ship it out to the public." They really don't care
about anything outside of this genetic characteristics that they have
developed for their business of making money fast precedes other plant
varieties that maybe more beautiful to the collector.

    I have touched on the rock bottom basics here on getting started in
hybridizing and I hope others will share their stories and ideas concerning
this very interesting topic. More questions are welcomed and we can all learn
more from those hands on experiences.
     Lovely Day in Sunny San Diego
    Cynthia Pardoe





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