What’s very interesting about gardening is that you can combine various seeds and plants to make a hybrid? This can happen when you start growing plants of the same families in one garden. It’s called cross-pollination, which can be done with tomatoes and peppers, and I call it the tomato pepper hybrid!
Yes, this is possible, but is it recommended to try it, and will it affect your future plants? Read on as I talk about the tomato pepper hybrid and what to expect from cross-pollinating tomato and pepper plants.
What Is a Tomato Pepper Hybrid?
Hybrid tomatoes are made when you pollinate a true open-pollinated variety with another different open-pollinated variety. In this case, it is when a tomato plant is pollinated with a pepper plant.
What makes the tomato pepper hybrid very possible is because both tomato and pepper come from similar families. That’s why you can easily plant them close together with a better chance of cross-pollination.
But what exactly does cross-pollination entail?
While tomatoes and peppers are self-fertile, a tomato would require the bees’ help, along with other insects. They will transfer poles from flower to flower as they are androgynous, meaning there are male and female parts of a flower.
Bees, other insects, and wind may cause the cross-pollination. Bees and insects will go from flower to flower, and when planting tomatoes and peppers close by, they are most likely to cross-pollinate with these two plants.
Sometimes, the flavor and looks of tomato or pepper won’t be immediately affected if cross-pollination happens. They would taste and look normal, but the seeds you collect may not produce similar plants and fruits, creating the hybrid!
What Does a Tomato Pepper Hybrid Look Like?
Once you have the tomato pepper hybrid, you’ll be pleased! It has a similar shape and color of tomato with some characteristics of the pepper. But what makes it different is its flavor!
Depending on how hot your pepper variety is, the tomato pepper hybrid can have a slight acidity taste AND a spicy kick to it.
It’s why many gardeners are interested in creating these hybrids through cross-pollination. But while it may seem simple, it’s a bit tedious and will take time and patience before you get good tomato pepper hybrids. You can start by gathering seeds from any existing tomato pepper hybrids to plant.
But what if you DON’T want the hybrid to happen? The best solution here is to space out your planting of tomato and pepper plants. The same goes for peppers, even if they do come from the same family, if you have different pepper varieties, it’s best to separate them.
Plant similar types of plants together and keep it further away from other varieties to reduce the possibility of cross-pollination. But if you’d like to try for that hybrid, be patient and grow your plant varieties accordingly!
Do you want to learn more about cross-pollination and tomato pepper hybrids, check out this interesting video:
Wrapping It Up
Many home gardeners love growing both tomatoes and peppers since they come from the same family and are fairly easy to grow. When you do grow them together though, you might come across a tomato pepper hybrid! If you don’t wait for cross-pollination to happen though, there are ways to prevent that from happening with your tomatoes.
I hope that this article on the tomato pepper hybrid gave you an idea of what these are. If you do want to try it out, learn how to properly plant your tomatoes and peppers together now.