Achimenes hybridizing

Achimenes hybridizing

Postby admin » June 28th, 2011, 10:35 am

Dear members, I created this topic for those who are interested in Achimenes hybridizing. The flowering season has just started, so we can make crosses, and share our experiences. Is there anyone here who is growing Achimenes?
I'll collect the information on hybridizing and share with you.

Laci
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Re: Achimenes hybridizing

Postby Laci » June 28th, 2011, 2:27 pm

Here are some instructions from Dale Martens:

Dale's message:
Wait until the flower has been open for 3 days. Then put pollen on it. Do it again the next day with the same pollen.
Then wait for a seed pod to happen.

Take a look at the flower parts on this web site:
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/gpe/case4/c4facts1a.html

The female part of the flower is the pistil which is the thing in the center that protrudes out of the flower. The pollen goes on the tip of the pistil which is the stigma.

The male part, the stamen, consists of filaments and anthers. The pollen is on the anthers. Rub a lot of the yellowish colored pollen on the stigma. Some like to use a finger to transfer pollen to the stigma, but I cut off the filaments and hold onto those with a pair of tweezers. Then I rub the pollen area onto the stigma. I tend to pollinate the same flower with the same pollen two days in a row to make sure the timing is good.

It takes anywhere from 35 to 50 days for a pod to ripen. At that time write and we'll walk you through sowing seeds and growing seedlings.

Only if you self a species will you get something that looks exactly like the parent. "Self" means to cross the flower to itself: rub pollen from the flower onto its own stigma.

Selfing a hybrid will not get you plants identical to the parent.

If you have hybrids, then consider avoiding purple when you hybridize because it's a dominant color.

Look for qualities you like when you hybridize any plant. The hard part of hybridizing is to throw away seedlings that are not different enough from current hybrids. I throw away 99.9% of all my seedlings. I keep only something that is new, exciting, and different.

Serge Saliba in Romania has a web site showing beautiful Achimenes hybrids:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gesneriads/
There are several pages of pictures.

---------------------------------------
Angel wrote:
" When the stem behind the flower dies and is no longer green,the pod can be removed and put in a small container to finish drying. When the pod is dry,it will crack and all the seeds will come out, so put it in a container that has sides and a lid or you will loose the seed,when the seed pod is dry tighten the lid. Sow the seed in Febuary on sphagnum moss. Water the moss until its wet and put it into a plastic container with holes in the top and in the bottom, small holes. Sow sparingly on the moss, close the container and put it under lights, but not to close or if you have greenhouse, on a bright but shaded bench. It takes about 30 days to sprout and the seedlings are very small but they grow fast. The first year they don't generally bloom, they are just babies,but the second year you will get flowers...also,the seeds are very fine and hard to see. I use see through containers and if you put a white sheet of paper under the container,you can see the seed.
Good luck,Angel of South Louisiana"
---------------------------------------

Dale's message:
You will have more fun if you cross a hybrid with a different hybrid. When you self Blue Sparks, it is more likely to get seedlings that look alike. If you cross pink x red, you are more likely to have a variety of colors...which makes it more fun. It's also educational to do a cross then what is called a "reverse cross". Pink as the mother, red as the father. The reverse cross is red as the mother, pink as the father. That way you can see what was dominant or see if all the seedlings are identical.

Another experiment is to use blue as the father onto both white and red to see what is dominant.

Sometimes hybrids do not have pollen or very much pollen. So if an achimenes doesn't have pollen, then you'll just have to use it as a mother with another hybrid's pollen.

When you sow the seeds, I recommend only sowing 20 or less of each. Save the rest of the seeds in the refrigerator. I have more fun if I sow 5 different crosses totalling 100 seedlings than if I sow 100 seeds of one cross. I keep the seedlings in small pots until they bloom. My trays can hold 30 small pots, so they don't take up so much room. All I am interested in at first is what the flower looks like. If I like the flower, then I give the seedling a bigger pot and pinch off the top to help make it branch at the base area. I root the top, too.

You will need a system to identify the seedlings. The first seedling of Snow Princess x Blue Sparks could be: SPxBS1, the second is SPxBS2, and so on.
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Re: Achimenes hybridizing

Postby Gabi_Munich » November 27th, 2015, 5:22 pm

I found some more info on hybridizing achimenes given by Dale Martens (thank you Dale!)

Here is a short summary:
Fertilization of the flower: on the 3rd day when the flower is open
Humidity: humidity is important for the fruit production so it is good to place the plant in a terrarium or put it under a dome.
Maturity: the plant forms a small berry (white in the beginning), it is mature in about 60 days.
Seedlings: they also need high humidity and like to be transplated every fortnight in the first 8 weeks.
Soil: 50-50 mix of vermiculite and normal soil used for African violets. When sowing seed do not cover the seeds but keep them domed (for humidity)
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