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How to crossbreed flowers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Crossbreeding flowers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you will get access to flowers in colors that aren’t purchasable from Leif or Nook. On the other, you could spend days, even months, trying to crossbreed flowers with little to no luck. However, there are a few ways to help encourage flower growth.

If you’re struggling to get those blue roses or green mums, there is hope in crossbreeding them still! There is no full-blow guaranteed way of getting the colors you want, but there is a way to influence what color flowers you get. With time, patience, and a few tips, you’ll have a colorful, lively, flower-infested island in no time! Here are a few tips, tricks, and approaches to growing rare flower colors.

Further reading

How to crossbreed flowers

Animal Crossing New Horizons Hybrid Flowers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When starting the game, players will have a native flower on their island. The native flower will either be lilies, roses, windflowers, pansies, mums, hyacinths, tulips, or cosmos. In order to breed hybrid flowers, players will need to have at least the three basic colors for each flower. The basic colors will vary depending on the flower.

Finding the basic colors for native flowers is easy, as they can be found in Nook’s Cranny. As the shop upgrades, a few more flowers will be added — up to the three basic colors of three different flowers. You can also find flowers and hybrids on Mystery Island tours and with friends. When Leif comes to visit, you can even purchase the basic colors of different flowers from him.

Placement of the flowers is extremely important. For hybrid flowers to grow, players will need to plant flowers in a diagonal pattern, leaving one square of space between each flower in its row and column. This will leave flowers in a bit of a checkerboard pattern and will help leave space for new flowers to grow. In previous renditions of the game, flowers would only pollinate flowers that were in the same 3×3 grid. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this grid has been upgraded to 5×5. When planting flowers diagonally from one another, this leaves a minimum of four open spots for hybrids to have a chance to grow.

Remembering to water the flowers on the island each day is extremely important to growing hybrids. Players can also let either the rain or other villagers take charge of watering flowers (gift a villager a watering can and watch them go to town). Either way, be sure to check back on flowers daily to see if another flower has started growing on any side of the initial flower. If players plant one lone flower or flower color, the new flower will be the same color as the parent flower, but, given time, the colors will diversify and change.

Another important note on hybrid flowers is that the more friends that come to your island and water flowers, the more likely it is that the flowers will produce hybrids at a faster rate. Players have been experimenting with flower rates and breeding. Through extensive Animal Crossing research, players have found that if you water your own flowers, you’ll only get a 5% chance of breeding new flowers. However, if five visitors water the flowers on your island, the chance of getting a new hybrid flower increases to 80%. The number of times that visitors have watered flowers is represented as the sparkles on the flowers after watering. The sparkles go from small blue and silver sparkles to large yellow and gold flashes, making them stand out a bit.

Here is a list of what color flowers to match together to get those beautiful hybrid flowers on your island! Keep in mind, these may not be the only way to pick up these colors. Crossbreeding flowers has been a random trial and error for players, so you may find your own way of creating the colors you want!


The original colors for these flowers are Red, White, and Yellow.

  • Red + White = Pink
  • Yellow + Red = Orange
  • Red + Red = Black


The base colors for roses are Red, White, and Yellow. Additionally, roses will require certain flower colors to be hybrid to create new colors. Planting the following colors close together will increase a player’s chance of getting hybrid colors.

  • Red + Red = Black
  • Black + Golden Watering Can = Gold
  • Red + White = Pink
  • White + White = Purple
  • Orange + White or Orange + Purple = Hybrid Red
  • Hybrid Red + Hybrid Red = Blue

The Hybrid Red roses can be a little tricky, as these red flowers look the same as other reds. However, Hybrid Red roses are the only way to get Blue roses. We recommend taking the Hybrid Red roses out of the garden and placing them somewhere else to avoid confusion. Additionally, the Golden Watering Can will not be available to players until their island reaches a 5-star level. However, sometimes 5-star islands get lucky and the rain will encourage gold roses to bloom.


The base colors for windflowers are a little different from other flowers. The primary colors for Windflowers are Red, White, and Orange.

  • Orange + Red = Pink
  • White + White = Blue
  • Pink + Blue or Blue + Blue = Purple


The base colors for pansies are Red, White, and Yellow.

  • White + White = Blue
  • Yellow + Red = Orange
  • Red + Blue = Hybrid Red
  • Blue + Orange = Hybrid Orange
  • Hybrid Red + Hybrid Red or Hybrid Orange + Hybrid Orange or Blue + Blue = Purple

If you want to create custom colored flowers, like purple, then you have to use the hybrid pansies in your mix. This can be tricky because the Hybrid Red and Hybrid Orange pansies look like regular Red and Orange, but the regular pansies will not create unique colors. If you go to Roses and read the Hybrid Red note, then you’ll understand why you need to get the hybrid pansies for customizations.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Hybrid Flowers
Image used with permission by copyright holder


The primary colors for mums are Red, White, and Yellow.

  • Red + Yellow = Hybrid Yellow
  • White + Red or Hybrid Yellow + Hybrid Yellow = Pink
  • Purple + Purple or Hybrid Yellow + Hybrid Yellow = Green
  • White + White or Hybrid Yellow + Hybrid Yellow = Purple
  • Purple + Purple = Hybrid Red

Mums are strange because, while you can create a Hybrid Red by combining two purples, there’s no purpose to the Hybrid Red. We think that the developers will release other color options in a later update, but for now, it’s still possible to create them.


The starter colors for hyacinths are Red, White, and Yellow.

  • Red + White = Pink
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • White + White or Red + Red = Blue
  • Orange + Orange or Blue + Blue = Purple


The base colors for tulips are Red, White, and Yellow.

  • Red + White = Pink
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Red + Red = Black
  • Orange + Orange or Black + Black = Purple


The original colors for cosmos are Red, Yellow, and White.

  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Red + White = Pink
  • Orange + Orange or Red + Red = Black

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Leijah Petelka
Leijah Petelka is a freelance gaming guides writer for Digital Trends. She covers a variety of game types, but she does love…
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