Updated 2/1/05.
Lesson One

Why Should YOU hybridize
an African Violet?

        I remember a long time ago my mother got an AV from her mother.  It was a beautiful purple.  This AV had a special place in the home.  One day, for some reason, Ryan's Grandma's Legacymy mother taught me how to break off a leaf and propagate it.  I was not very old at the time.  I think I may have been six or seven.  The point is I enjoyed it so much; I went on to get a B.S. in Horticultural Science, and another in Crop Biotechnology.  An AV had in fact changed my life, or rather provided a fork in the road that I took.

        Plants bring us a lot of joy, addiction, and make our homes more inviting to others, and help cure and rid depression.  I am positive that my grandmother had no idea what doors that AV gift many years ago would do to her grandson. 
Imagine now if YOU can give your friends, family, daughters and sons, something that isn’t just a present; it is a part of YOU.  This plant, not only was a gift, but took a lot of days, weeks, months and years in the making.  It can become a legacy.  Your legacy for all to enjoy.  And perhaps, some will not even care about the name it has, it might be an unnamed variety found in the grocery store, but that was your gift to society. 

        Hybridizing an AV can help cure your addiction.  We can get so caught up in collecting our particular niche, at times we forget about our love for them.  Let’s just say you love variegated AV’s, and you want more.  Well, instead of trying to get every variegate out there, try your hand at making your own.  This is an easy gene to pass from mother to child.  But more about that later.  Just imagine the possibilities.  You can make your own, to fulfill your own niche.  It will take space, so you will always have plenty of plants around; you will not have to get so many leaves traded in the mail.  I am not trying to tell you to avoid this; just it will help slow it down a bit.

        The satisfaction of the flower:  It seems so many of us are fascinated with some of the amazing flowers on our plants.  Do you remember standing there mesmerized by the beauty of an AV flower?  Take yourself back to that moment and you can see how much more intense the feeling will become when a seedling, a cross that you made, opens its flower for the first time.  The awe inspiring moment will live on in your mind for a very long time.  You will achieve perhaps many people's dream.

        As a hybridizer you get to pick the flower color, the foliage type, the size of the plant, the leaf color, and so many more characteristics that belong to the AV.  This is your chance to make that “dream violet” come true.

        It doesn’t take millions of dollars to hybridize.  This is a dream that costs relatively little.  It can be performed under a functioning shop light with fairly inexpensive water, fertilizers, growing media, and just a few hybridizing tools that can usually be found around the house.  So don’t let money hold you back.

        It doesn’t require a greenhouse.  Okay, it will take some space!  But if you’re already addicted to AVs, you already have space for them.  You might have to add a new light rack, or maybe weed out duplicates to make room for seedlings.  But if you are interested in hybridizing, don’t let space rule you out.  You can always send out your babies to an “adoptive parent” while it comes into bloom. (This is another program which will be very fun)—“Adopt an AV Seedling for a Hybridizer”--- ---- ----*more on that later*.

        Now is your choice and you are the deciding factor.  Once you make up your mind there is no turning back.  There are not any contracts that have been signed. There are no fees being waived; there is no small print. There is just you, your violets, and your dream. 

        I am opening up this for discussion.  I want to know “Why YOU want to hybridize?”  I want to know “What is your dream AV?”, and last but not least I want to know if you have any more questions in regards to this first very basic lesson.  It was simply meant to get you excited, get you interested, get your gears lubed, the oil changed, the windows cleaned, CUZ WE’RE GOING ON A RIDE THROUGH YOUR DREAMS!

           ~~ Ryan Ferre

asstrix  Introduction
asstrix  Lesson One
asstrix   Class Discussion
Lesson One Assignment:

Ryan has asked us

three questions:

  • “Why YOU want to hybridize?”
  • “What is your dream AV?”
  • I want to know if you have any more questions in regards to this first very basic lesson.
Think about it, and
post your answers to
the Class Discussion!

structure of AV

Hand pollination

AV Seed Pods

 copyright 2005 by Ryan  Ferre