In my recent articles about seed saving, I had mentioned the consequences of saving seeds from a plant grown from hybrid seed. There was also some explanation on why saving such a seed will not produce the same type of yield that you got to begin with. While it is good to understand the concept theoretically we always need some visual proof as to what happens if we really save the seed from a hybrid plant. In this post, we are going to see just that.
Last year, I had purchased White brinjal seeds.By white I mean milk white. The moment I saw that brinjal seed I was taken away. It had glowing white color and it was priced at 50/- per packet. I didn’t bother too much about the fact it is hybrid or not. What went in my mind was, the packet has many seeds!..why should I bother about saving the seeds. I don’t even know if i can use all the seeds. Anyway, I bought those seeds and sowed them without any delay. I got a bountiful harvest whose pictures I posted in this blog here. One of those plants, had a huge brinjal which I left for seed. The white brinjal when ripe becomes yellow in color.
After it reached the stage I can collect seeds, I did the obvious.I collected seeds and sowed most of them back. All of them germinated with in 3-4 days and I had lush green seedlings. I transplanted them into different pots. Things are fine so far. Due the difference in sizes of the pots, few started flowering early and few took their own time.
The first few flowers I saw were purple in color. The initial plant I grew from purchased seed was purple. You sow purple you get purple. Like the flower below, I was happy. I got the purple flower and the Brinjal was white as milk.
Purple flower and its fruit
Well, After couple of weeks, I had few more plants starting to flower and guess what the color is White. Initially I thought, may be thats a ‘sport’. More and more plants with white colored flower.
White flower and its fruit:
It dawned on me then!.. I went back again to look at the seed packet and there you go! it has hybrid written on it in uppercase. Interestingly, the ones with the white flowers have fruits that are dull white more towards pale green and the ones with purple yield perfectly white brinjal. Also, the size of the fruit has come down drastically. These could be one of the parents that resulted in the Hybrid.
Now what If i wanted those original seeds that gave me good yield and big veggies? I guess i will have go to the seed company to buy it again. May be not. If I carefully sow many seeds and select the plants based on their traits may be I can get the same variety again. But who can do that?. This is exactly why you don’t save seeds from a F1 hybrid plant.