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What doe Hybrid F1 mean on a seed packet

I am ordering my veg seeds and looking through the catalogue last night and noticed that there are an awful lot that have this on the seed packs. What does it mean please? I also have an Aquilegia pack that says the same. I'm guessing that it means that they don't come true to the original seed? image Is this the case?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802


    F1 seeds are a result of a crossbreeding of two different parents to get a more resilient plant-quite common in tomatoes-the reason they are dearer is because a lot of this is done by hand so more labour intensive-the result is you get a better plant as it combines the best of two worlds

    A tomato will then produce seeds-these generally are not the same as the parent -so the process has to be repeated again  back to the F1 variety

    If you sow some of the tomato seeds-there is knowing what you will get

    I have used tomato as an example but the same process applies across the board-so you will initially pay more but you will get a better plant.


  • In your opinion is this a good path to go down? Will it not mean that the true breads will slowly die out or do they still produce non F1 plants? Do they taste any better? I was hoping to look at the heritage varieties as well.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    If it produces more resilient crops resistant to blight and other diseases and matures earlier then yes-there are still plenty of non-F1 seeds about-the 99p shop were selling seeds at 25p per packet so there is still plenty of choice

    Taste is a personal thing-it doesn't necessarily mean that the the "true breeds"taste any better-and there are seed banks that save heritage varieties

    I think there is a lot of nostalgia for how things used to be-dosn't mean to say they were better

    F1 varieties are a boon to people like yourself who live in Scotland where the growing season is shorterimage

  • Ok. Thankyou image

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Heritage varieties are open pollinated.  Tomatoes are naturally self-pollinating so you can collect the seed  and grow the varieties again and again.

    To produce the F1 seeds the companies will have to keep the parents from year to year if they want the same cross again.  But they will eventually be superseded as something bigger and brighter comes along. Some F1s will be worth the extra, some are little better than what has been grown for years.

    But do not try to grow on from seed produced by the F1 plants, you will get all sorts.

  • Thanks Welshonion. Thats what I kinda wondered image

  • Thanks Geoff image

    Im off for a nose

  • F1 Hybrids can be good for beginners growing Tomato or Chilli seeds. The only down-side is not being able to re-use the seeds the fruit produces.


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