The source in Torah is from vayikra ch 19 verse 19

You shall observe My statutes: You shall not crossbreed your livestock with different species. You shall not sow your field with a mixture of seeds, and a garment which has a mixture of shaatnez shall not come upon you.

יטאֶת־חֻקֹּתַי֘ תִּשְׁמֹ֒רוּ֒ בְּהֶמְתְּךָ֙ לֹֽא־תַרְבִּ֣יעַ כִּלְאַ֔יִם שָֽׂדְךָ֖ לֹֽא־תִזְרַ֣ע כִּלְאָ֑יִם וּבֶ֤גֶד כִּלְאַ֨יִם֙ שַֽׁעַטְנֵ֔ז לֹ֥א יַֽעֲלֶ֖ה עָלֶֽיךָ

(translation from chabad.org)

What exactly is the name of the prohibition of to "not sow your field with a mixture of seeds"?

Is this prohibition just the creation of a plant/tree or does it also apply to eating, growing, or benefiting as well?

If a Jew bought a hybrid plant/tree could he plant it or would he have to get rid of it? Would knowledge of the plant being a hybrid make a difference? For example if he didn't know it was a hybrid would he then have to remove the plant after the fact?

  • 1
    Have to hunt. I'm pretty sure that the prohibition is specific to a Jew making the hybrid, not in buying one already made from a Gentile, say. Thus, I am quite sure one can buy a nectarine or grapefruit tree or plant their seeds.
    – DanF
    Jun 29, 2018 at 14:33
  • related: Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz
    – mbloch
    Jun 30, 2018 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


The prohibition not to sow your field with a mixture of seeds is called Kilayim.

PracticalHalacha describes how it prohibits from planting two species of fruit or vegetable plants (and trees) together in Eretz Yisrael (except for grapes which also applies outside). The prohibition covers all types of food-producing plants: herbs, vegetables, grains, trees. It also prohibits from grafting two trees of different species together (grafting a branch or shoot from one tree onto the trunk of a different type of tree) as well as paying someone else to graft a tree for you.

To give a sense of the distance between plants (as few people realize it), grains need 2 amot (96 centimeters/38 inches according to R Chaim Na'eh), legumes need 1 ama/48cm/19in, most vegetables need 12cm/4.7in. Vegetables that spread extensively (e.g., pumpkin, cucumber, melon) need up to 204cm/80in (R Moshe Bloom, Torah ve Ha'aretz Institute).

There is no prohibition to eat or sell grafted fruit (except for kilayim of a vineyard). The Rambam and Shulchan Aruch agree that one may cut a shoot off a grafted tree and plant it as a new tree, see e.g., here.

Kilayim has an entire tractate of Mishna and the Mishne Torah has a full section on it.

See also here for more.

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