There are so many hybrid plant and flower species on the market today that it’s difficult to imagine life without them. Many of the fruits at your local grocery store come from hybrid plants and even when you send flowers, there is a good chance that at least some of the flowers in the bouquet are hybrids. Hybrids have been developed over a long period of time and, initially, they require much research and investment. The question is, why go to all this trouble?
Well, the best way in which to help people understand the advantages of hybrids is by using fruit and vegetables as an example. As you well know by now, different plants need different conditions in order to grow. In many cases, it’s quite difficult to cultivate non-hybrid plants because of their high demands. So, hybrids are developed in order to make the plant stronger in many aspects.
Plants are crossed in such a way as to preserve their best qualities which will make them more resistant in the end. Not only do growers seek to make them less vulnerable to diseases but also more tolerant of various weather conditions. If a plant can be made to tolerate higher or lower temperatures than usual, then it will continue to produce fruit for a longer period of time. This means a longer harvest period and, in turn, more fruit to sell. If you do the maths, it makes sense. Sure, it takes time and money to create these hybrids but you will make your money back shortly after when your plants yield a larger crop. Another goal is to create more uniform looking crops. They should all be of similar size, shape and colour. They also aim to increase the amount of fruit produced at a single time.
So, when it comes to flower, much of the same can be said. Flowers might be more popular for display purposes as opposed to eating but the bottom line is that there is a consumer market for them. Flowers that are more fragile and temperamental were hybridized to make them more hardy and last longer. Improved quality has made cut flowers that much more popular.
Flowers are also hybridized in order to create new colours and to ensure that the flowers bloom consistently. In the flower industry, nothing can be left to chance. Florists are faced with many busy occasions throughout the year and they can’t afford to go through Valentine’s Day without any roses, for instance. Not only do florists have to meet the demands of the public but farmers also have to meet this need. Farming flowers is much like fruit or vegetable farming in this sense and targets need to set and met. This can only be done if you have a reliable, consistent crop.