Ask a Question forum: What are the odds of getting variegated offspring?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Mar 2, 2016 3:19 PM CST
Out of thousands of seeds I have one rose of Sharon (hibiscus syriacus) plant that since sprouted has always had variegated leaves. It's not a sport it's fully variegated so it has to be genetic. Since this plant self pollinates and produces seeds, what are the odds of getting more variegated plants from its seeds?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 2, 2016 3:58 PM CST
Hard to say odds on seedlings, exactly Keith. Even if it does self-pollinate it still could produce plain seedlings. It could also be getting pollinated by another plant across the street. You just can't know unless you have it indoors and isolated. Sow the seeds, one to a cell and see what you get. You'll probably get some variegated babies and you can just give or throw away the others if you don't like them.

But I can tell you that if you really want to propagate it, the odds are very good you'll get variegated plants if you start from cuttings.

I'd recommend you wander over to the Hibiscus forum for advice on starting Rose of Sharon from cuttings because I'm not sure what time of year you would want to start them. I've only done tropical varieties of Hibiscus that grow year round.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 2, 2016 4:14 PM CST
Do you have a pic? The type of variegation may help to answer your question.
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Mar 2, 2016 5:01 PM CST
Leftwood said:Do you have a pic? The type of variegation may help to answer your question.



Thumb of 2016-03-02/keithp2012/b8edb7

Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 2, 2016 5:11 PM CST
I love variegated plants.
Is this plant the same as the one you posted here?:
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Purpureus Variegatus')
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 2, 2016 5:56 PM CST
greene said:I love variegated plants.
Is this plant the same as the one you posted here?:
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus 'Purpureus Variegatus')


No that one you mentioned Greene is store bought.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 2, 2016 7:14 PM CST
Cool. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 2, 2016 8:26 PM CST
[Last edited by DaisyI - Mar 2, 2016 8:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 2, 2016 9:05 PM CST
This is getting silly. I had this whole thing almost done and then my tablet hiccuped and it was gone.

What I saying ... (take 3)... This could be a really fun experiment even if you decide your hibiscus is Hibiscus syriacus 'Purpureus Variegatus'.

It is the old question. What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Cuttings are clones; they are genetically identical to the parent plant. BUT.. remember CC (CopyCat)? She was a cloned kitten, all of her DNA coming from one parent, a calico cat. But CC was a brown tabby. Part of the problem with a calico cat donating CC's DNA is that calicos are sports themselves.

If your plant is truly a hybrid, it would not matter where on the plant you took the cuttings; they would be variegated. But like CC, there could be some differences. If its a sport and still exhibiting some original plant DNA, some of your cuttings will grow green.

Seeds on the other hand are drawing DNA from all their ancestors on both sides of the family. Its why I have blue eyes in a brown-eyed family. Plant genetics and animal genetics work exactly the same. No telling what you will get from seed.

So have I answered the question? I think its seeds (or the eggs). Its the only way to truly get genetic diversity.

Hibiscus cuttings can be taken in the spring or summer. Put them in a jar of water with a drop or 2 of Hydrogen Peroxide. Everytime you change the water, add more H2O2.

Daisy
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Mar 3, 2016 8:51 AM CST
Your odds will certainly be better with self pollination, but would that matter? Who knows... There are no completely solid rules in nature.

That kind of sparse, irregular variegation sometimes recedes in woody plants with age. After 5, 10, 15 years, it may disappear (or not). Even if your odds quadruple, say, from one in 10,000 to one in 2500, would that be advantageous for you? On the far less likely other hand, it might produce seedling variegation abundantly. Unless you can ferret out those who have tried such an experiment, and it's likely that many people already have, only your own results will tell. A fun project, for sure, although very long termed.

By the way, sports are genetic, just in a different way than seeds. Either of them may or may not be stable.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 3, 2016 2:54 PM CST
Rick is right in all that he said. My 3rd rendition was a bit underwhelming. The first version was genious, of course. Smiling

Daisy

Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 3, 2016 3:23 PM CST
When it sets seed I will save them and have to see.

Reason I ask is all variegated ROS varieties we buy are sterile, they fail to produce seeds. But this pretty plant is grown from seed, variegated, and not sterile, if it passes on its variegated genes it could be a VERY valuable plant breeder! I wonder if seed color will be striped too?

I have a double flowered variegated (flower) ROS next to it, imagine variegated leaves AND variegated flowers on one rose of Sharon plant, beautiful! The variegated flower ROS gets pollen but has no female part, if I pollinate my variegated leaf ROS with pollen from it, who knows what will develop?! 😎
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Mar 3, 2016 3:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 3, 2016 3:26 PM CST
DaisyI said:This is getting silly. I had this whole thing almost done and then my tablet hiccuped and it was gone.

What I saying ... (take 3)... This could be a really fun experiment even if you decide your hibiscus is Hibiscus syriacus 'Purpureus Variegatus'.

It is the old question. What came first? The chicken or the egg?

Cuttings are clones; they are genetically identical to the parent plant. BUT.. remember CC (CopyCat)? She was a cloned kitten, all of her DNA coming from one parent, a calico cat. But CC was a brown tabby. Part of the problem with a calico cat donating CC's DNA is that calicos are sports themselves.

If your plant is truly a hybrid, it would not matter where on the plant you took the cuttings; they would be variegated. But like CC, there could be some differences. If its a sport and still exhibiting some original plant DNA, some of your cuttings will grow green.

Seeds on the other hand are drawing DNA from all their ancestors on both sides of the family. Its why I have blue eyes in a brown-eyed family. Plant genetics and animal genetics work exactly the same. No telling what you will get from seed.

So have I answered the question? I think its seeds (or the eggs). Its the only way to truly get genetic diversity.

Hibiscus cuttings can be taken in the spring or summer. Put them in a jar of water with a drop or 2 of Hydrogen Peroxide. Everytime you change the water, add more H2O2.

Daisy

You said seeds draw DNA from both parents. Being this is from seed, is it possible to get different colored flowers on this one plant or will all flowers be the same?
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 3, 2016 4:01 PM CST
Simplified genetics 101: Plants grown from seed will be variable in their characteristics from each other. Each seed will inherit characteristics from each parent but dominant traits will usually be exhibited. Recessive traits will be stored in the DNA to pop up some day somewhere. So if you cross a plant with variegated leaves with a plant with green leaves, the seed will carry the genes for green leaves and also for variegated leaves. If green leaves are the dominate trait, most of the seedlings will have green leaves but the trait for variegated leaves will still be there. Only one set of traits will be exhibited in each plant.

Hybridizers cross plants to get certain characteristics. They may have to grow thousands of seedlings before one has all the characteristics they are looking for. Then, to keep the look of the chosen plant, they grow all the offspring from cuttings (clones). Most of the offspring will look like the parent. But if you grow seeds from that plant, all those traits from all those ancestors get thrown back into the gene pool.

There is a very cool flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa 'Toyo-Nishiki') that does produce pink flowers and white flowers on the same branch. And then, every once in awhile, a red branch. Its an oddity - most plants don't do that.

Daisy
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 3, 2016 4:25 PM CST
Phew! Daisy. Blinking The simple answer is you almost never get different colors of flowers on one plant, unless you graft it.

Even if seeds came from the same seed pod you might get plants with colors of any of the parent or even grandparent plants. eg. if you plant seeds that grew on a white-flowered plant, but was pollinated by a red-flowered plant, you can grow red or white flowers and if the grandparents had pink or purple flowers you might get those, too. But not on the same plant.

In a garden, you only know the mother plant (where you get the seeds) for sure, because the pollen could have come from the plant itself, the plant next to it, or a plant a block away via bees or butterflies or the wind, etc.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Mar 3, 2016 7:31 PM CST
Thanks Elaine! Thank You!
Name: Alda yarbrough
Tx. (Zone 8a)
Through God, all things are possib
cillay
Mar 11, 2016 12:42 PM CST
Hi, I have some seedlings that are growing and one plant is solid white all over. Will it survive or will it die? These were rose of Sharon plants.
cillay
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 11, 2016 12:56 PM CST
No, without Chlorophyll (what makes plants appear green), the white seedling will die as soon as it uses up the reserve in the seed.

If the plant is just at the seed leaf stage, the secondary leaves might develop Chlorophyll - might...

Daisy
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Mar 11, 2016 2:04 PM CST
cillay said:Hi, I have some seedlings that are growing and one plant is solid white all over. Will it survive or will it die? These were rose of Sharon plants.


By any chance is this from seeds I sent you?
Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
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Azgarden
Mar 11, 2016 3:00 PM CST
Thank You! Daisy...brought back memories of Mendel's peas and the old Punnett square!

Here is a nice link to Mendel's laws.

Http://www.biology-questions-and-answers.com/mendel.html

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