E-mail -Changing the Sex of Plants

I have heard of (but never seen) products supposedly able to "convert" female flower parts into male flower parts, effective ONLY on the area of the plant which gets sprayed. From what I’ve heard, this can be VERY advantageous when attempting to capture plant traits and breeding. If these products exist, do you happen to know where they are available? Are the products safe to use on edible as well as ornamental flowers?

I saw you asked this after reading my post on determining plant sex. Thanks for reading the past posts, I encourage everyone to do searches, I have been writing for three years and will gladly expand on any past topics as well as try to write about new questions.

I too have not heard of products that change the sex of the plant. If you apply plant hormones to parts of the plant, it will change that part of a plant. This might be hard for us mammals to understand, we are one sex only. Plants can be separate male andfemale (dioecious). like us, they can also have separate male and female flowers on one plant, or have the male and female parts together on a plant. Just like in us animals, it is hormones that determine the sex, testosterone will make boys and estrogen will make girls. If you apply a hormone to a part of the plant it will change that part of the plant only. How the hormones affect the plant depends first on its type of flower.  Hormones are also tricky because they can have a different effect on the same plant if applied at different times of the plants life cycles. Many different hormones are widely used, Hormones like gibberellins are involved with sex determination in some plants as well as other traits such as stem elongation. They can make plants produce seedless fruit, seedless grape, for example, wouldn't fully develop and mature without an application of hormones at the right time. These hormones can also force plants to flower, which is important in commercial greenhouses where the timing of flowering needs to be exact. I do not to use plant hormones too much, I do not have any reason why, I just have not.

Sorry I could not be more precise, if you send me the type of plant I could help more.  If you want to experiment, I do not think it will have any harmful effects on consumable plants, so long as you don’t consume the plant too soon after the hormones have been applied
Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

1 comment:

hillbilly said...

many thanks Dr. Myers - no apologies necessa whatsoever for not being able to be more specific Doc - i'm simply glad to get input from a doctorate level educated plant person AND from a high quality trustworthy source (your blog). i'll refine this question a bit (if i can) and bounce it off ya again soon