Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Dear all,

Happy holidays to you! As the 2014 year is coming to an end, I thought I should write a short assessment of the floral results I've achieved so far.
Well, this past season wasn't too fruitful in terms of pollination and new hybrids, although I do have a number of seeds in my refrigerator, awaiting the spring time to be sown. Anyway, here are just some quality plants that I grew the previous season. First of all, it's a number of yellow and orange hybrids with a red eye:

Then, there was my favorite very compact hybrid of a dark peach color 'Tea Rose":

Tea Rose
Tea Rose
Besides, I focused on hybridizing the Tiger Eye hybrids, crossing them with my most compact hybrids and getting these:

Abutilon Carioca
...and a set picture of this:

Abutilon Carioca and snow

...and a really tiny 2-inch flower this:

And, of course, I was trying to grow abutilon vitifolium from seeds:

abutilon vitifolium from seeds
Finally, here are just some nice pictures of my plants:

Good luck to you all! Have a great and blooming year 2015!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Sunny Delight

a super-small abutilon hybrid

Can you guess the diameter of this flower? Oh, well, it started off with 1,5 inches (about 3 cm), but then reached 2 inches (5 cm), with the size of the whole plant being also slightly taller than 2 inches.

Yes, I'm getting there -- slowly but steadily hybridizing a super-compact, mini-, dwarf-, micro-, nano- (or whatever you want to call it) abutilon. I have a couple more hybrids that aren't blooming yet which demonstrate the same compact tendencies. Wait and see!

Sometimes I think that this wish to have a pretty, tiny plant has something to do with my hypopituitarism -- with me being short and loving it that way. Or maybe wanting to prove it to the world that something (or someone) non-standard, non-fitting within the conventional framework, exceptional -- can be exceptionally good and much wanted... Maybe I'm trying to instill tolerance in insidious ways -- via abutilons...

compact abutilon hybrid 2014

Anyway, here are some more of my abutilon hybridization results of this year AND much awaited well-known hybrid of abutilon megapotamicum 'Ines' ... blooming indoors, St. Petersburg, Russia.

I had a number of sunny hybrids like this one
just a showy red, my hybrid 2014
my new hybrid, 2014
abutilon hybridum megapotamicum 'Ines'

abutilon hybridum megapotamicum 'Ines'
I would love to read your comments! Let's share experience.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In Full Bloom

abutilon 'Ella' and my dog

It's autumn up here, which means it's not so hot anymore, and there's still enough sunlight. Abutilons on my enclosed balcony are in full bloom -- and when I say in full bloom, I really mean it: they demonstrate their maximum (for this latitude) corolla size.

Abutilon 'Ella"
'Ella' is especially delightful this year -- and I'm delighted, too. I think I managed to capture its airy character with a bit of natural light. So, here are some more photographs...

abutilon 'Ella'

abutilon 'Ella'
Barasha and 'Ella' -- again

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Have A Dream...

I do! My dream is to have a compact and obedient abutilon hybrid devoid of any plant-related problems. Showy flowers. Sturdy stature. Easily pruned and propagated. The dream is still a dream...

Meanwhile, I've been looking into ways to improve my plants' life. One of them was mentioned in the previous post -- clay! I've started adding clay to soil, about 20% of the total amount. Here's what it looks like:

Some compound soil components

Yummy! Abutilons love it!

Then, to improve the pruning procedure, I started removing the big leaves which use up too many nutrients and hinder the development of the adventitious buds.

In addition, I started practicing root trimming while re-potting the plants. This is what it looks like:

Extra rings of roots need to be removed, or they may rot
I shear the extra roots off
It's perfect. The abutilon plant won't even notice the loss.
Finally, I understand that it might sound stupid to the learned scholars of botany, but I dream of propagating abutilon via leaf grafting. So far I managed to get the roots, but then the leaf would wither and die. I do hope I can do something to make it live and develop an adventitious bud. Mother Nature is a very rational woman: why would a leaf develop roots if it wasn't going to survive?..

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crazy Summer

This summer has been crazy so far. It started off with a long heatwave which, in my case, resulted in losing 18 of my plants – some of which didn't even have doubles.
This happened to some bacterial infection received with the ready-made soil purchased in a shop. High humidity and high temperature awoke this "ancient evil" so to say. Bacterial wilting, as the scientific name goes, shows itself on the 5th day with a leaf or two wilting. At first you think it is nothing, just too much sunlight, but the next thing you know is that it is too late.
In my case, Bella Yellow wilted within hours; other plants wilted more gradually, so that I eventually managed to save three of them.
Anyway, losing so many plants left room for contemplation and research. Here are some conclusions: acidic soils are more prone to the development of bacterial diseases, so I switched to the neutral one. A great addition that I now use to improve the soil is clay. Clay has a number of benefits, which you can read about in Wikipedia. All I can say is that my abutilons love clay!

This summer, as planned, I wanted to experiment with cross-pollination even further, although losing hybrids and starting from scratch again (that is from green cuttings) set me a bit back. But! I already have started pollinating with Alcea, Sidalcea and Hibiscus pollen.
Alcea x abutilon pollinations were quite successful last year, but hibiscus x abutilon weren't. Here is my guess: fancy, large flower hibiscus hybrids will not cross-pollinate with abutilons. However, some wild varieties might.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Abutilon x hybridum 'Zephyr' (Alina Chitova, 2014)
My Own Experiments

Time to tell about my abutilon cross-pollination results. Like I said before, last year, overwhelmed with seedlings, I delegated the hoard to two volunteers (about 35 to Tatiana Sergeeva and about 80 to Victoria Sokolik). This spring I only assess the photos they show me and decide which plants we could keep and breed further.
Above is one of my most successful hybrids from Tatiana's share. We called it marshmallow (it's a mallow after all! :))) or zephyr. I think the hue is very tender. Besides, the hybrid is fertile (that is why I don't know when I could get a graft).

But there are more interesting things to describe. Last summer I experimented with alcea rosea and abutilon Bella cross-pollinations. Not all abutilon hybrids were willing to cross-breed with alcea (only two, actually). So, abutilons were the parent plants, whereas the alceae were the donor plants. Now, the results are very curious. First of all, alcea added various new hues to the flower palette (the parent plant was very delicate pink), but also it added the unwanted tall and straight stem without side shoots. Even when pruned back, these abutilon-alcea plants are rather reluctant to spread shoots.

Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)

However, some hybrids retained the parent plant (Bella series) growth and development pattern and remain quite compact.

Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
The greatest disappointment for me was a much expected/desired chocolate-brown abutilon (crossed with a dark-brown alcea). Initially, the first flower demonstrated some brownish hue; however, later it mutated and changed its color completely to a more common for abutilons pink color.

Initially a promising brownish abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
Yes, that's the VERY plant! Abutilon x alcea (Alina Chitova, 2014)
Anyway, my experimenting with alcea and abutilons (which belong to the same Malvacea family) turned out to be successful and calls for its continuation. This summer, I would love to cross-pollinate abutilons with other plants from the same family -- any ones I could find. Cross-breeds between abutilon and hibiscus haven't been successful yet, although as a parent plant hibiscus forms seed pods, but as a donor plant -- it doesn't work (at least not yet). The problem is that hibiscus germination and growing period before blooming is excruciatingly long... But then, we are in no hurry here, aren't we?.. :)))

Abutilon Palette: Spring 2014

Dear blog readers,
I haven't written for a while but that does not mean we have no news in the world of Russian abutilon hybrids-2014!
In this post I would like to overview some hybrids of Elena Glushkova (Izhevsk). Originally, Elena experimented with the Kirsche-orange cultivar which is known as a heavy bloomer. The downside of this cultivar, to my mind, is the smallish and not-at-all-showy shape of the flower petals. As a result, Elena's new abutilon hybrids have numerous cute little button-like flowers. So, let's have a quick look...
Abutilon x hybridum 'Sweet Dreams' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
 This first hybrid was called 'Sweet Dreams' (actually, the name was proposed by me). I haven't seen the plant myself, but according to the photos it has a candy-like hue with chiseled veins. It does look sweet!

Abutilon x hybridum 'Sweet Dreams' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
 Elena's next hybrid (that has been previously mentioned) resembles a wild buttercup flower with delicate stems. Quite unusual for abutilons is the bunch of buds at the end of a branch. The hybrid has tiny pointed leaves.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Lutik (Buttercup)' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)

Finally, there's my favorite one - the 'Belosnezhka' (Snow-white) abutilon hybrid with perhaps the whitest flowers ever.
Abutilon x hybridum 'Belosnezhka' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
Abutilon x hybridum 'Belosnezhka' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)
Oops, how could I forget one more showy hybrid of Elena Glushkova? I showed it in my previous post and would like to show it again. This is 'Christmas', bright and festive, from a different parent plant, with large wide-open flowers.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2014)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

 Abutilon hybrids Spring 2014

Abutilon x hybridum 'Cold Heart' (Xenia Dyuryagina, 2013)
Spring 2014 has brought new colors and inspiration into our little abutilon hybrids' world. A new hybrid from a budding abutilon breeder Xenia (Ksenia) Dyuryagina, Izhevsk, Russia surprised us with its abundant blooming and fluorescent color. Its unofficial name - 'Kholodnoe serdtse' (or 'Cold Heart') refers to the flower's whitish throat.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Cold Heart' (Xenia Dyuryagina, 2013)
This hybrid has stirred much interest even in other potted plants growers and is likely to become a fad.

Abutilon x hybridum 'Lutik' (Elena Glushkova, 2013)
Meanwhile, Elena Glushkova from Izhevsk has spotted some very promising qualities in her initially seemingly uninteresting hybrid 'Lutik' ('Buttercup'). It turns out, the hybrid is capable of blooming non-stop and so abundantly! This cutie has smallish light-yellow flowers -- but so many!

Abutilon x hybridum 'Lutik' (Elena Glushkova, 2013)
This abutilon hybrid has been immediately recognized and loved.

Finally, Elena has revealed her latest abutilon hybrid, which she named 'Christmas' due to the time of its blooming. Indeed, it looks very festive with its bright two-colored and well-veined flowers. An abundant bloomer, too!

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2013)
What a nice present for Christmas it must have been!

Abutilon x hybridum 'Christmas' (Elena Glushkova, 2013)