Fuchsias forum: Fuchsia Hybridization

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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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chalyse
Apr 20, 2014 8:21 PM CST
I gave up on hybridizing Fuchsia after two summer's without success, but I would LOVE to hear and see how others do it ( @midnight21 )!! Maybe by osmosis someday it will sink in and I'll be able to get from cross-pollination to viable seeds to OMG seedlings. Even other tales of mishaps might give me insight into what needs to be done.

I approached it the same way I do daylilies ... pollen applied to stigma, mark the bloom with notation, and harvest seemingly ripe berries. Though, all of them seem to produce berries and doesn't seem like much difference in how "ripe seeded" ones look. Anyway, after opening the berry (and getting a nice Fuchsia-henna design on my fingers) I also could not really tell if I ever saw a ripe seed. I did try sprouting them, like I would with a tomato seed, on damp coffee filters in a slightly open baggie. Nothing, nada, zilch.

Whistling Whistling Whistling

Thumb of 2014-04-21/chalyse/3aac90
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: John
St.Osyth Nr Clacton on Sea. E
Region: United Kingdom Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Master Level Ferns Butterflies Salvias
Hostas Heucheras Clematis Birds Bee Lover Daylilies
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midnight21
Apr 21, 2014 4:26 AM CST
Hi Tina

Hybridising needs a lot of patience. First finding the seed. Although fruit looks ripe, most will have no seed in them. Do not bury the seed but just press it onto the top of a moist compost. Remember also the majority of the seedlings will be no good, and around only 1 in every hundred will be good enough to register. Below is a copy of the basics to hybridizing. Credit to my brother Mick for writing this. If you have more questions, just ask. Confused

Choose a flower which you wish to pollinate. Pick a flower which is at the top of the plant and about to open.
Open the bloom with tweezers or a small pair of scissors being careful not to damage the STYLE or STIGMA.
Remove the FILAMENTS and ANTHERS from the bloom, again being careful not to damage the STYLE and STIGMA. This is now known as the SEED PARENT. This process is known as EMASCULATION. Having already chosen a plant that you wish to use as the pollinator make sure that the pollen is fresh. The pollen may be attached to viscine threads (appears sticky) or may be small grains of dust that are hardly visible. Various factors of heat, wind and humidity can affect the pollen. You can also have sterile plants and infertile pollen. It is believed by certain experts that 8am to 10am is the optimum time to carry out this cross pollination. The plant from which the pollen is obtained is now known as the POLLEN PARENT. You need to carefully collect the pollen from the ANTHERS of the POLLEN PARENT either by removing the ANTHERS or the complete flower and transfer the pollen to the STIGMA of the SEED PARENT. Some people use small paint brushes, others their fingers. There are various schools of thought about what should happen now. Some people believe that the STYLE and STIGMA should be covered to stop further pollination’s by insects or wind. Others believe that the pollination, if successful, is like human fertilization and that once the pollen has taken the door is shut to further pollen grains. I believe the latter to be true. For various reasons not all pollination’s will take, or seed set. You may have one seed, 30 or more or none at all, even in a seed pod that seems apparently ripe. You will now need to keep records of the SEED PARENT and POLLEN PARENT for every cross that you make, plus ensuring you keep a label in the pot. You should also put either a long thin computer label or coloured twist tie or some other item carefully around the PEDICEL to denote which flower you have pollinated. I prefer to use the coloured wool, giving each cross of the SEED PARENT a different colour. If and when the seed pod (OVARY) swells and ripens you should remove it and place it on some paper, such as kitchen roll or newspaper. With white paper you are more able to see the seeds. Using a sharp blade such as a scalpel open the seed pod to see if seeds are present. They are usually small, brown, and quite hard, although they may be larger and lighter in colour. Even if the seed appears to be immature it still may germinate. If there does not appear to be any seed present check the area where the PEDICEL joins the seed pod (OVARY). Sometimes a single seed may be found. Carefully remove the seeds to small trays or pots, ensuring that you label them again with details of the SEED PARENT and POLLEN PARENT. Push the seeds into moist compost but do not cover. It also helps to put the seeds near to the edge of the pot and to cover with a clear plastic cup to maintain the humidity. The ideal temperature is around 64 degrees F. Germination times vary from a few days to a few weeks. When the seeds germinate and are large enough transplant to individual pots and label each one correctly. There are various methods people use, but I prefer to label them as follows. I Number them with the year, then the plants number. So this years plants will 2011/01, 02 and so on. I also keep a record in a notebook. This needs to be done for every cross pollination that you do. When the seedlings are large enough, take cuttings, again making sure that you label them correctly. The cuttings will grow quicker and stronger than the original seedling. Providing you have been successful with the above you will need to grow and test the plant/plants for at least three years and to start showing to people to get their opinions. If a nursery likes it you can then release it, and if you wish, register it with the American Fuchsia Society. Alternatively you could grow it for your own use, after all it is your plant, and whatever other people think you will love it! Have a try - and good luck.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Apr 21, 2014 8:54 AM CST
Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

OMG this is wonderful, thank you so much for posting it! Hurray! First of all, it is a great Relief to hear that it is indeed very hard to get, find, and start fuchsia seeds. Really, I thought I was a bit addle-headed after trying so many times ... I could see little seeds, but even photos of ripe versus not-ripe did not help me see any difference in the vast majority. Then, when I felt _sure_ one was ripe, it never took! Rolling on the floor laughing So, yes, I am ready and full with many questions, thank you! I'll say "you" though I know you are also crediting your brother Mick - just easier, since I'm asking you the questions. Rolling my eyes.

When you say pick a flower that is at the top of the plant, is that meant to keep low hanging - OK what are they, canes, branches, shoots?! LOL why am I so confused about fuchsia terminology - anyway, to keep low hanging *things* from being disturbed or hit with water and dirt, etc? And if so, is it okay to use lower ones for tree or hanging basket fuchsia? Or is it meant to guide us to the tender new growth blooms?

Do these two examples seem to fall within the spectrum of viable pollen?

Thumb of 2014-04-21/chalyse/d67e97 Thumb of 2014-04-21/chalyse/9d1c1a

Are these both seeds you would try to start?

Thumb of 2014-04-21/chalyse/5925db Thumb of 2014-04-21/chalyse/22c337

That is a very informative article - I learned so much! Not burying the seed, putting it near the edge of the pot and covering with plastic, taking cuttings from any resulting seedling as they will be more vigorous.

Any thoughts about fertilizing needs for seedlings?
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
[Last edited by chalyse - Apr 21, 2014 8:55 AM (+)]
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Name: John
St.Osyth Nr Clacton on Sea. E
Region: United Kingdom Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Master Level Ferns Butterflies Salvias
Hostas Heucheras Clematis Birds Bee Lover Daylilies
Image
midnight21
Apr 22, 2014 3:36 AM CST
Hi Tina

Glad you found this interesting. The answers to your questions> First the photo's. That is certainly pollen on the left hand picture. not sure on the right. The left hand picture of seeds. They certainly again look fine. Not sure about the ones in the pod still. The flowers at the top of the plant. Just the highest ones in the pot, although I have had ones at the bottom that have had just as much success. A lot of this is just an opinion of certain people. Just have a try and good luck. When you ask about fertilizing needs for seedlings, do you mean feeding? if so, when large enough I transplant my seedlings into three and a half inch pots in ordinary potting compost. There is enough food in there for their needs till they need potting on. They then go up in stages till they finally go into two litre pots as their final home.

HTH

John
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Apr 22, 2014 4:33 AM CST
Thank you so much, John, you've given me knowledge enough now to give it a try again! Yes, by fertilizing I meant I wondered if they needed supplemental feeding to take hold, and I'm glad to hear they do fine with a good potting soil to start with.

And, HTH means?

Tina
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up
Name: John
St.Osyth Nr Clacton on Sea. E
Region: United Kingdom Hybridizer Garden Ideas: Master Level Ferns Butterflies Salvias
Hostas Heucheras Clematis Birds Bee Lover Daylilies
Image
midnight21
Apr 22, 2014 6:58 AM CST

HTH = Hope this helps.

John
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
Daylilies Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Dog Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
chalyse
Apr 22, 2014 10:20 AM CST
Ahhhhhh nodding many thanks, it was most helpful! Hurray!
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of old; seek what those of old sought. — Basho

Daylilies that thrive? click here! Thumbs up

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