How to breed succulents? Everything About Pollination

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How to breed succulents

When I started growing succulents I came across the breeding of succulents. Back then I had no idea what that was, so started researching about breeding, and is it possible to breed succulents. After gathering some information I started to experiment with the process on my succulents but I failed miserably many times.

So I came to the conclusion that when breeding succulents you need to have the patience that is the most important thing then you need to have proper knowledge about it. So from my many failed attempts, I have learned the correct way of doing it and I hope you do not make the same mistakes. Let’s walk you through the process of how to breed succulents?

Breeding is the process of combining two types of succulents and growing a hybrid. This looks very fascinating and is very popular among gardeners and succulent lovers. Many people attempt it and very few succeed in it. I have learned a technique that might help you to breed your succulents. 

How to breed Succulents?

The basic process to breed succulents we all know is to combine the two types of plants to make a new hybrid species out of them. This can also be called as cross-pollination. The flower is most important when pollinating the plants.

Breeding succulents

When breeding succulents it is very important to have a flower as that is the main part of the process. But in the case of succulents, there is a lot of variety of flowers but thankfully the inner structure of every flower is the same. So that makes the process very easy to understand and can be used on every type of succulent.

You just need to know the correct process of doing it and that’s what I was lacking when I was breeding the succulents eventually had to learn it by experimenting a lot of times. Let’s dive into the step by step process of breeding the succulents.

Step 1

The first thing you would want to do is to select the type of succulents you are breeding. As soon as you decide then make sure to check for the flowers on both the plants. You will need a receiver and a donor flower while breeding the succulents. 

What I find interesting in the process is what type of color will I get when I breed the succulents. So I look for breeding the similar genus succulents and will wait for the interesting hybrid color combination. 

Step 2

In this step, you need to get a brush with very soft bristles. Now what you should do is take the receiver and donor flowers place them on the table or on something which finds comfortable for this process. Now you need to transfer the pollen from donor flower to the receiver. Take the donor flower and start to rub very smoothly with the brush to get the pollen on the brush. 

Once you get the pollens on the brush take the receiver flower and then slowly start rubbing off the pollens on the receivers stamen. Continue this procedure until you are satisfied but remember while doing this always make sure not to reverse the process. 

For this process, we are using a single brush so it is possible to have a reverse effect that is putting the pollens of receiver flowers on the donor flowers. To avoid this process I recommend to use a brush with very soft bristles. Also, do this process very carefully to avoid such effects. 

While doing this process another thing you should consider is that not all flowers show their petals at a similar time. Some of the succulents will show their petals for only a short period of time so it is important to take action in that short time to breed succulents. 

Step 3

Now that you have done step two it is important to protect the succulents from insects and cross-pollination. What you should do is that if your succulents are kept outdoors then you need to cover the flower or the whole plant with a bag or something. By doing this you will save them from insects as well as from cross-pollination.

If your succulents are kept indoors then they are already safe and insects will not bother the indoor plants. 

Step 4

Now that you have done the breeding process how can you be sure that you have done it correctly? For that, you need to notice the little swelling on the bottom part of the flower. That is the sign of successful breeding. This can take several weeks as it mainly depends on the time that your succulent takes to grow and also on the type of succulent you are growing.

Step 5

In this step, it is important to mark the flowers that just have undergone the breeding process. For marking what you can do is tie a thread or use a marker pen on the flowers. By doing this it will help you identify the breed flowers. 

Then the last thing you should do is to keep the pollinated plants away from any kind of harm and disturbance from the environment. Once you have kept them away from the disturbance then you just have to wait for the results.

Breeding succulents require a lot of patience. As it takes several weeks to complete this process successfully so patience is the most important thing to have while breeding the succulents. Breeding can be a tough process for those who do not like to wait a lot and do not have a lot of patience. If you are one of those who doesn’t have a lot of patience then I recommend not to try this at all as that will add frustration. It is better to propagate succulents instead.

How to take care of breed succulents?

Once you have successfully completed the breeding process its time to care for the plants. While taking care of plants there are a few things you should do also there are a few problems that you may face while breeding.

The first problem one can face is that breeding takes lot of time and is very unpredictable. So you should be certain about the time it can take hundreds of attempts before getting a successfully pollinated flower.

The next thing to consider is to isolate them from the other plants and also to save the pollinated flowers from the attacks of the insects. As I mentioned earlier outdoor succulents need to be protected while indoor succulents are safe as insects cannot live indoors.

Another thing to look for is that you are maintaining a proper environment for hybrid plants. As you are breeding the two different flowers then their growing climate can differ so it is important to maintain the balance in the environment to help the pollinated plant survive. Sometimes you may need to manipulate the external climate to help them thrive.

Hybrid succulents are not as healthy as normal succulents but that does not mean that they will not survive. You just need to give them proper care and attention so that they can grow beautifully. Sometimes even after taking care of them, they might just not make it as they are more prone to environmental changes.

In such cases, you can directly get hybrid succulents as they are sold by many sellers online as well as offline. But usually, they are costly because of the process it takes to grow the hybrid succulents.

Also read:

What are cold hardy succulents?

Final Thoughts

Breeding succulents is a time-consuming process and needs a lot of patience. If you love growing succulents and have a passion for succulents then you can experiment by breeding succulents. But you should know that it takes a lot of failed attempts(It can take up to hundreds of failed attempts) before you finally succeed in pollinating the plant. 

This process will become easier by attempting it many times. Then you will be more experienced and will have more knowledge. And eventually, you will understand that patience is the key to pollinating the succulents. 

Hybrid succulents are good to have in the succulent collection. Many gardeners love to have various different colored succulents and when you pollinate the succulents you get the desired colored flowers. Which can be useful when you are creating a beautiful collection of succulents. 

I hope you found all the answers you were looking for in this article. If you have any doubts then make sure to leave a comment below I will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Planting!

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