Hybridizing Goals

Hybridizing Brugmansia is very simple. It doesn’t require advanced knowledge of genetics or a large garden to grow the seedlings out. Some of the most successful hybridizers have small gardens and yet they have created the most outstanding, beautiful hybrids.

The first thing you want to do is imagine what kind of hybrid you want to create. A good way to start is to study the hybrids already made. There has been a lot work done with white flowered Brugmansia and double pinks. If you like to work with these, try and see, if you can add new trait, that hasn’t been seen before or an improvement.

An improvement could for example be to add heat tolerance or wind hardiness to the hybrid or it could be to make the flower longer lasting. In the world of Brugmansia today there is a tendency, that the flowers can not be large enough or the number of duplicate corollas can’t be high enough. Why not try and work the other way around. To make the flowers smaller and more abundant? My own goal in hybridizing is the “Vacation Brugs”. A vacation Brugmansia is a Brugmansia, where looks and smell are favored, but most important, that it is a bit drought resistant. In other words, when you go on a vacation you don’t need to ask someone to look after your Brugmansia. It will survive for more than a few days without your intensive care and when you come back from your vacation it will greet you with healthy green leaves and a new flush of flowers.

To make your creation become real you have to collect the parent plants that you will need for your work. Select those, that come close in quality to the hybrid, that you want to make and combine them.There are a few things worth knowing, before you start to select plants for your breeding stock. Some Brugmansia that look very advanced and colorful may not come true in the cross. The offspring might have white flowers. Don’t give up. Let experience lead you.

When growing out the seedlings you must give them the best possible care. This will not only improve the hybrid’s general appearance, it will also improve the seedling’s ability to bloom in proper time. When the seedlings starts to bloom try to note the characteristics (color, form, size, branching, etc.). If you are lucky, there will be a few individuals worthy to name, but if not, try to look after individuals that you consider an improvement and save them for further breeding.