Breeding variegated Dorstenia from zero to hero
Dorstenia prefers sunlight of at least 80%, so while it is not too hot for breeders to work with, they can grow quite large.
Since 2011, Mr. Lek received a variegated Dorstenia Lavranos 23877 from Mr. Suthichai, and had begun crossbreeding into a career. At the time Dorstenia Horwoodii, despite its rarity and heavy price tag, did not have good wavy leaf blades, unlike those in the market today. Nonetheless, Mr. Lek worked with what he had, and through time and perseverance, he successfully bred a potently variegated Dorstenia that had bright white-green contrast and wavy leaf blade.
As he began his career, his breeding practice was both of organic and human-intervention propagation. Dorstenia Lavrani was his most preferred species to breed with others, since its genetic superiority would make the offspring to have similar features to D.Lavrani, having good thicket form, and silverish leaf color, for instance. The offspring turned out mostly unisex, infertile and had variegation level not so much different from its parents. This posted real challenge in his development.
With other species than D.lavrani, breeders can let natural pollination to occur because they are bisexual. However, selecting good offsprings to work on is very critical to the development.
Crossbreeding with D.lavrani would produce offspring looking similar to it, only with more vivid color. Most of them are infertile, so every seed that they can bear is priceless. Expensive species like gypsophila or giga may not be suitable to develop into hybrids, because the offspring would not look good.
Mr. Lek stresses the importance of crossbreeding and selecting process. In every rendition, select variegated offsprings that have bright, contrast color, and evenly distributed throughout all leaves from bottom to top. Lastly, experts always say that smart purchase of a good plant to start breeding your own can save years of development down the line.
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