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Plant Care 101: Plant Hybrids

Blair Brown — May 30, 2019

So, every time you walk into a grocery store, it seems there are new types of fruit on the shelves. Where do these new varieties come from? Enter plant hybrids. New hybrid fruit varieties are constantly being created and hitting the scene. And the good news is that you can easily grow these fruit hybrids at home!

What Are Plant Hybrids?

Plant hybrids and their new fruit varieties are produced naturally, by hand and sometimes even nature, via cross-pollination or grafting. 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 plant hybrids for years without even knowing it.

Are Hybrid Varieties GMO?

While some hybrid fruit varieties are GMO, ours at Fast-Growing-Trees.com are not. GMO, also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, are generated when the DNA of a plant has been changed. As a result, GMOs are not technically organic.

Massive produce operations will modify the DNA of their crops. This produces fruits and vegetables that are larger, more colorful, last longer, and boast a stronger resistance to pests, molds, and diseases.

Hybrid fruits are created naturally and contain natural DNA, making them different from GMOs. Also, they can be grown organically.

However, it’s important to note that no conclusive studies have been made on the effects of GMO hybrids.

1. Meyer Lemon

A hybrid cross between an ordinary lemon and an orange, the Meyer outshines ordinary lemons with its large size and sweet citrus flavors. 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. Cara Cara Orange

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.

3. Clementine

The delectable result of crossing a sweet orange with a mandarin. You get a scrumptious little citrus fruit that’s easy to peel and almost seedless. Clementines are perfect for snacking because you don’t have to worry about spitting out seeds!

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. 4-in-1 Apple Tree

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.

Blair Brown

Blair is the Content Marketing Manager at FastGrowingTrees.com, and though she's not your traditional gardener, the planting world is definitely growing on her (pun intended!). She's enjoyed digging into plant care and maintenance and growing her plant collection, especially with exotic indoor varieties.

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