Ever consider breeding your plants? If you have some varieties that you love, what would it be like to combine them? How would your unique creations look, smell, or taste? What would you name them?
In the past, it was easy to let the realities involved with breeding keep you from doing so. Tiresias (\tī-ˈrē-sē-əs\) Mist makes breeding easy enough… that you might find it hard to resist.
Traditional breeding is somewhat of a luxury; it requires time, space, and resources that could otherwise be used for growing proven varieties. Finding genetic combinations worth keeping is a long process of elimination. Much of the patience, effort, and expense goes towards plants that end up in the trash can. It’s no surprise that many people choose to let the professionals do it.
Tiresias Mist, however, makes breeding an appealing and accessible reality for those who have previously left it to the pros.
It is a natural product that allows you to produce feminized seeds. It works by inhibiting the expression of female hormones in a female plant. This allows the treated plant to create pollen which can then be used to pollinate other females. As a result, the male gender is removed from the breeding process entirely.
Users of this product have referred to it as “the coolest product ever…hands down”.
Why is it so cool? You can create all-female seeds from a female plant: you do not need a male plant. This means that you can even breed from “clone-only” plants. Since there aren’t any males, you don’t need to take the time to sex plants or grow out the best males for pollen. You can, instead, spend that time trying out different genetic combinations knowing the results will be female. Proponents of the product maintain that, since there aren’t any male genetics involved anywhere in the process, there is no tendency towards increased hermaphroditism.
To use the mist, pick a branch from a female plant and spray it once a day starting at the beginning of the flowering/fruiting stage. Continue spraying once a day for 14-21 days (this varies depending on the plant variety). Make sure to coat both leaves and stems of that branch while avoiding overspray onto other leaves and branches. One way to avoid overspray is to use a small plant and spray the whole thing. After approximately 3 weeks the sprayed portion will develop male flowers. Shortly after male flowers appear, the sprayed plant needs to be moved into its own flowering room to prevent it from unintentionally pollinating other females. This room can be rather basic; if you don’t use high intensity light then you may not need much air movement which can help decrease the chance of pollen spreading. Just as the male flowers begin to open the pollen is ready. Pollen can easily become airborne so make sure that the pollinated plant is isolated effectively and that you don’t unintentionally transfer pollen to other flowering plants. To collect the pollen, turn off any fans to keep pollen from blowing around. Place a small bag or container under the male flower and tap the pollen into it. Make sure that any other plant matter besides the pollen is removed from the container as it will produce moisture. As long as there isn’t moisture in the container, pollen can be stored for extended periods in the refrigerator or freezer. To pollinate a female plant, use a small paint brush or q-tip to apply pollen on to female flowers when they are half way through their flowering cycle. Then, let the pollinated plant mature at which point you can harvest the seeds. All of the resulting seeds will be female.
You can choose to create dozens of seeds or hundreds of them depending on how much plant you pollinate. As usual when starting from seeds, some will produce “keepers” worthy of being mom plants while many won’t have the desired combination of genetic traits. If breeding multiple combinations at the same time be sure to clearly label all of the treated plants to keep them separate.
Many people love feminized seeds and attest to their long term genetic stability. Such seeds are a convenient alternative for those who don’t want males. They also lend themselves well to direct seeding outdoors by skipping the need to sex directly seeded crops.
So, back to the original questions: what will your new and unique plants look, smell, or taste like? What are you going to name them?