Ask a Question forum: Calibrachoa Sterile

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 14, 2014 4:05 PM CST
Since all Calibrachoa seed is suppose to be sterile or doesn't produce seed, how do they create new cultivars or have they just inserted Monsanto's Terminator Gene into plants sold to the public?
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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
May 14, 2014 10:30 PM CST
From what I've read, I'm guessing that they are bred using two different Calibrachoa species that have different chromosome counts which results in sterile hybrids. They would basically be "mules." Sterility often produces continuous bloom since the plant can never fulfill the flowers' purpose of setting seed. A Japanese company called Suntory was the first to start the Calibrachoa breeding craze back in the 1980's.

As frustrating as not being able to collect seeds from them is, it is that sterility that makes them so floriferous. With fertility comes the need to dead-head to get non-stop bloom which many people despise doing (like with most petunias.)

I have recently read that PanAmerican Seed will be introducing a new seed propagated Calibrachoa series. See link:
http://www.ballpublishing.com/GrowerTalks/ViewArticle.aspx?a...

Whether the resulting plants from those seeds will be sterile or not likely depends on the parent plants and the compatibility of their chromosomes. I guess we have to wait and see! Smiling
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 14, 2014 10:40 PM CST
Awesome info .. thanks!
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
May 15, 2014 4:15 PM CST
Oh, wow! I love calibrachoa, but I'm too tightfisted to pay for them. I've tried taking cuttings to overwinter, but they always end up aphid infested (like just about everything else I try to overwinter, sigh). This should be interesting.
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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
May 15, 2014 5:05 PM CST
Now if they can just produce seed for evolvulus that would be awesome too!
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - May 15, 2014 5:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
May 16, 2014 9:42 AM CST
Evolvulus starts pretty easily from cuttings, though, Anne. Best to do it in warm weather when the mother plant is growing nicely.
Elaine

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Cat Lover
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Xeramtheum
May 16, 2014 10:16 AM CST
Thanks Elaine .. I'll definitely be rooting cuttings when the plant gets bushier.
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