Doesn?t it seem like every time you walk into a grocery store there are new types of fruit on the shelves? Often times there are new apple, citrus, banana varieties and more popping up that you don?t recall growing up with. That?s because new hybrid fruit varieties are constantly being created and emerging in the scene. Best of all, you can easily grow these fruit hybrids at home!
What Is A Hybrid Fruit?
Hybrid fruit varieties are produced naturally by hand and sometimes even nature by being cross-pollinated or grafted. For example, when two parent plants like a nectarine and a plum are cross-pollinated they produce an offspring known as a nectaplum. The nectaplum has traits from both the nectarine tree and the plum tree, which combine to give it a unique color and flavor.
Not all hybrid fruits are as wild as nectaplums, some are common apple varieties, like the Pink Lady or McIntosh. You may have been enjoying fruit hybrids for years without even knowing it.
One way hybrid fruit varieties are created is by the cross-pollination of flowers from two different fruit trees. This can happen in nature when the wind, birds and bees spread pollen naturally. You can also do this by hand by taking a small paintbrush and painting over each bloom on two different trees.
This works when two different types of fruit trees have different blooming periods, because the pollen can be stored. If a tree is successfully pollinated it will produce fruit that contains hybrid seeds that you can plant.
You can also produce a hybrid by taking a cutting from one tree and grafting it to the rootstock of another mature tree. Cut into the branch to expose green flesh on both the branch and the trunk. Place the green flesh of the branch against the green flesh on the trunk and tie the branch to the trunk with twine or hold it together with wax to keep it in place. The trunk and the branch will grow together.
There are many different ways to cut and place cuttings on to rootstocks, and this is how fruit hybrids like the 3 in 1 blueberry are made. Three different blueberry varieties are grafted to a single root system.
Are Hybrid Varieties GMO?
While some hybrid fruit varieties are GMO, ours at Fast Growing Trees are not. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, which are generated when the DNA of a plant has been changed. As a result GMOs are not organic.
Massive produce operations will modify the DNA of their crops in order to produce fruit and vegetables that are larger, more colorful, to have a longer shelf life, and a stronger resistance to pests, molds, and diseases.
Plants are also genetically modified to survive against the harmful chemicals and pesticides that are sprayed on craps to keep bugs and molds away.
Once the DNA has been modified in a lab it becomes unnatural leading some to believe that GMOs are harmful to humans if consumed. However, no conclusive studies have been made.
Hybrid fruits are created naturally and contain natural DNA, making them different from GMOs. Also, they can be grown organically.
Notable Hybrid Fruit:
1. The Meyer Lemon, which is a hybrid cross between an ordinary lemon and an orange, outshines ordinary lemons with its large size and sweet citrus flavors, so much so that it has revolutionized the culinary world. Chefs love using its unforgettable sweet yet tart zest for entrees as well as desserts. Plus, Meyer lemon wedges are perfect for flavoring hot beverages and teas.
2. Do you ever find yourself stuck trying to decide what citrus fruit you want for a healthy breaks or snacking? The Cara Cara Orange will end that decisiveness for you because it?s simply irresistible. They are a cross between a Washington Navel Orange and a Brazilian Bahia Navel Orange. While they look like ordinary oranges on the outside, with bright orange skin, they have unique rosy-pink flesh and an incredibly sweet flavor.
Cara Cara oranges are low in acid, which takes the bitter zing out of its taste. Grapefruit lovers often mistake this sweet citrus fruit for a grapefruit hybrid, and enjoy them just the same.
3. The Clementine can be slightly confusing because isn?t it the same thing as a mandarin or tangerine? The answer to that question is no! A clementine is the result of crossing a sweet orange with a mandarin. As a result you get a scrumptious little citrus fruit that?s easy to peel, and that?s almost seedless. Clementines are perfect for snacking because you don?t have to worry about spitting out seeds in front of anyone!
They?re different from tangerines because tangerines have a much more bitter taste and have seeds in each segment. Mandarins are smaller orange relatives with loose skin and a taste that is sweeter than a tangerine, but not as sweet as a clementine.
4. The 4 in 1 Apple Tree serves as a guide for those who enjoy multiple types of apples. It can be difficult trying to choose flavors among the huge varieties of apples offered at stores today. I often find myself wondering if it?s the Gala or McIntosh that?s really sweet. Instead of staring at apples in the store with turmoil grow four different varieties on a single tree at home.
You can create a miniature apple factory in a small space and harvest fresh apples over the course of five months. The apple varieties pollinate each other, so you only need one tree. This is great for gardens with limited space and for those looking for apple varieties.
5. The Pineberry is a classic fruit that has been grown in South America in Europe, but has recently started to become extremely popular in North America for the twist that it puts on the classic strawberry that we are used to.
Pineberries are the result of crossing the North American strawberry with the Coastal Strawberry. These berries combined create a strawberry with white skin, and red seeds. It seems like a strawberry with inverted colors and we can?t keep our eyes away.
Best of all pineberries provide a tropical splash of refreshing flavor because they taste like sweet pineapples. They are perfect for snacking on and for adding to tropical fruit smoothies. If you want the pineapple taste with out the bitter zing then don?t hesitate to start growing your own pineberries at home, either in the ground or in a container.
Enjoy Hybrid Fruit
Hybrid fruit varieties are created both by hand and nature, and often provide irresistible new flavors that are exciting to try. Some hybrid fruits have been around for centuries, while new fruit hybrids are frequently becoming very popular.
As a gardener and plant enthusiast I?ve loved growing trees and shrubs my entire life. Unknown to most, there are always new faster fruiting and double blooming plant hybrids emerging on the scene. I often feel the need to share my plant knowledge and new trends with the growing gardening community through my blog!
Originally published at www.fast-growing-trees.com on January 13, 2016.