HomeGalleryFAQRegisterLog in
Latest topics
» Is this Opuntia ficus-indica ?
by Eck Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:30 am

» New Forum Now Open!!
by Eck Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:33 am

» Romanian Online Journal - Xerophilia
by eduart Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:37 am

» Wanted: Pereskia Aculeata (Not Godseffiana)
by EightySeven Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:02 pm

» White spots on my cacti
by cactgustim Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:11 pm

» Problem with cacti
by nzivanovic Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:58 pm

Share | 

 How to create variegated plants

Go down 

Number of posts : 737
Location : Adelaide
Registration date : 2010-04-29

PostSubject: How to create variegated plants   Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:15 pm

After talking to a friend about all the lovely variegated plants up for sale in Asia and Europe he seems to think that growers are some how creating these variegated plants presumably by means of introduction of chemicals of a certain kind. After hours of searching the net for any information regarding this it seems we have hit a brick wall.
I would love to hear anyone's thoughts or experiences with variegated plants. I have had normal plants throw the occasional variegated offset also i have propagated haworthias from leaves and got a variegated offset these are very rare in my experience though.
Another interesting thing i have found that old seed if it germinates i seem to get on the odd occasional variegated seedling. There is a answer out there in regards to creating variegated plants just have to find it.
Back to top Go down

Number of posts : 733
Location : Langwarrin
Registration date : 2008-04-05

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:34 am

I strongly suspect that for commercial production of variegates a lot of cloning takes place. I suspect for the more unusual plants, tissue culture is the preferred method.

I have seen variegates appear naturally in large sowings of seed, however this would usually occur at rates of a fraction of a percent.
Back to top Go down
avid contributor & moderator

Number of posts : 862
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-05-07

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:20 pm

I used to think they just sow an enormous amount of seed and bin 99.99% of the seedlings and select the variegates, same as for monstrose cultivars etc, and breed/tc from there.

But I wonder how much intentionally produced via chemical eg colchicine application and radiation exposure

Lots of variegated agaves, yuccas and broms are tissue cultured, a quick google search reveals


Here you go:

Though I thought that a lot of variegated plants were more difficult to grow reliably from TC as if you get the achlorophyllous tissue and culture that you will yield unviable albino plants?

Some variegated plants are also virus-infected, such as the vulgar Aucuba japonica variegata.

Seems radiation exposure is common in history and made many modern foodplants... might make you think twice about your food... pretty unnerving stuff:

"Though poorly known, radiation breeding has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world’s crops...including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum."

Back to top Go down

Number of posts : 737
Location : Adelaide
Registration date : 2010-04-29

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:43 pm

Thanks for that Lewis. Some great info.
Back to top Go down
avid contributor & moderator

Number of posts : 862
Location : Melbourne
Registration date : 2008-05-07

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:30 pm

Actually CC re-reading that I think I may have overstated the induced mutations and i admit I have not researched how these particular production nurseries to which you refer actually operate, but it seems seed produced by variegated x parent plants esp of hybrid origin, may produce a high % variegated offspring (which can presumably be crossed further to enhance the prevalence) so no need for nasty chems/radiation treatment.
see here:


Also re: the t/c, perhaps they just use regular plants as stock tissue, then use certain techs to induce mutation (variegation) afterwards (easier than say using variegated stock tissue to begin with and producing many albino/solid green propagules). If you look at the succulent tissue culture and the bcss forum link they say that they can "make" anything go variegated. However, whether you'd want an entire collection consisting of plants that look virus-infected or with nitrogen-deficiency is I suppose a matter of personal preference..Twisted Evil
Back to top Go down

Number of posts : 69
Location : central italy tuscany cortona
Registration date : 2008-11-04

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:47 am

talking about astrophytum asterias i can tell that if you use a variegated/albino motherplant a good part of the ofsprings are variegated and some are albino,the opposite cross give poor result but this is something that the japanese master cultivators of astrophytm thinks differentlly .....probably japanese cultivars act different from the cinese one that i have...
Back to top Go down

Number of posts : 825
Location : SA
Registration date : 2008-09-14

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:53 am

I have 2 variegated Astrophytum asterias. When I used them as mother plants and crossed another asterias, around 50% of seedlings were variegated.

I tried to make ruri kabuto nishiki (variegated ruri kabuto) and gave a question to a Japanese expart. He suggested ruri kabuto x variegated kabuto would give a better result, used variegated kabuto as a father plant.
I collected seeds made by crossing both ways in this year.

When you crossed Astrophytum which have different flower colors, you will get variegated seedlings also. This variegation is called "akebono-han" meaning twilight variegation made by the hybridization issue. Seedlings are very weak and slow growing or short life if you kept them as own-rooted plants.
It is possible to keep them if you grafted.

asterias: yellow petals and orange throat (father)
capricorne: yellow petals (mother)
I normally dislodge these seedlings.
The photo is capricorne v niveum x super kabuto, grafted akebono-han.
Back to top Go down

Number of posts : 12
Location : melbourne
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:09 pm

Reviving an old thread. But here are some picture from a collector who posted their photos on facebook.
You can see that the cacti's new growth is not variegated where the rest is. I feel like this is an obvious example of chemical variegation.
I'd be really interested in knowing what  is done to cause this. I forgot what chemical it was but someone tried cleaning their cactus with some kind of solvent and it made the cactus look as though it had scarring, so there would be different chemicals to produce different looks i feel
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content

PostSubject: Re: How to create variegated plants   

Back to top Go down
How to create variegated plants
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
» How to create variegated plants
» Variegated cactus question
» Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower plants not producing.
» Pruning Cucumber Plants?
» Strawberry plants dying back?

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Australian Cacti Forum :: - :: Specialist Cultivation-
Jump to: