Tulips are one of the most highly hybridized flowers available on the commercial market, and this has led to an almost endless array of colors and shapes in this popular bulb flower. As with any type of cross-breeding, the successful hybridization of tulips requires an extensive knowledge of such things as the color, flowering period, disease resistance, etc. of each plant. The goal of hybridization is to produce new varieties that not only look beautiful but are better at resisting disease, insects, and other pests. Past cross-breeding experiments have produced tulip species in every color of the rainbow, as well as ones whose blooms are unusual shapes, far different than the standard tulip bloom. In addition, careful cross-breeding has led to tulip varieties that are resistant to disease and that grow even in less than optimal soil conditions.
To understand cross-breeding and hybridization of tulips and other flowers, it is helpful to understand the terms used by gardeners, horticulturists, and botanists. People usually are using the terms cultivars, botanicals, sports, and species. If you didn’t hear anything about these terms before, don’t worry because we are here to help you out and explain everything step by step.
The Cultivars means that the flower has been previously made by some plant breeders. Some of the most popular garden plants that you might have used as an ornamental item are in fact cultivars that were created by careful breeding and they were selected especially because of their unique form and color levels.
Species is most likely the most commonly used term out of all of them because it stands for flowers that were found in nature. Sports are also flowers that are found in nature and they have not been in contact with a human. However, the special thing about them is that they have somehow naturally mutated. This means that the flower has a unique look that was completely made by a change and no human was involved in the process. The most popular sports tulips that you may found or come across is the double flowering one.
If you are interested in the process of hybridization of flowers, then you are in the right place. We will be now talking about some important things that you have to watch out for. Whenever you are working with a flower, or in this case any other type of plant, you must be very careful when you handle them because you can accidentally pollinate them. In order to avoid that from happening, we strongly suggest that you first protect those flowers with a piece of foil. Also, while protecting them, you have to make sure that you are working very gently with those flowers not to start the pollination process.
If you ever want to do this on your own, we suggest that you first do your research about the flower type you are dealing with because not every flower has the same process. If you want to avoid making any huge mistake, you should ask a professional for an advice.