Baby's Breath (Gypsophila)

Baby's Breath (Gypsophila)

The Gypsophila is one of the daintiest of the old-fashioned flowers with a misty grace which is not found in other flowers. The flowers themselves are tiny, white or blush-white and the plants are covered with myriads of these blossoms all during the Summer. The plant grows from 2 feet to 3 feet tall; the foliage is grass-like, the stems are branched minutely and are wiry, and the general appearance is filmy, gauzy, or misty white. Gypsophila paniculata has single flowers, while G. p. flore pleno has larger, double, rosette-like flowers and is more satisfactory. G. acutifolia is frequently cultivated, differing from G. paniculata.in its greener and narrower leaves. G. cerastoides and G. repens monstrosa are trailing species blooming in June and July; the former has pinkish tinged flowers.


UTILIZE. The Baby's Breath is an excellent cut flower, especially when combined in bouquets or decorations with other flowers which do not have much foliage. The flowers, especially of the double form, can be cut and dried and used during the Winter months. The plants themselves are useful in the hardy border, or as pot plants. The trailing form is useful for edging and for rock gardens.

GENERAL. Gypsophilas endure open, dry places and rather poor soil. The name Gypsophila (Gypsum-loving) seems to indicate its preference for limestone soils. Some gardeners claim that cutting the plants back after blooming is detrimental to them.

PROPAGATION. They may be propagated from seeds or cuttings taken either in the Fall or Spring. The double sorts should be grafted on the root's of the single flowering ones, as about 30 per cent of the seedlings come double from seed. The plants are divided most frequently.

Tips & Warnings

    *   Baby's breath comes in both annual (lasts one year) and perennial (returns year after year) types, so be sure you know which one you're getting.
 
    *    Baby's-breath blooms best in akaline soil, so it's a good idea to work a little lime into the soil if your yard doesn't have it naturally.

Common Name:  Baby's Breath
Botanical Name:  Gypsophila
Type:Perennial
Soil Preference:  Will grow in moist, well-drained soil with a neutral pH
Light Requirements: Full sun
Attributes: Good cut flower, rock garden,  good dried flower, attracts butterflies
Pests: Snails, slugs
Diseases: Stem rot
Good Companion Plants:  Japanese Anemone, Bleeding Heart, Dwarf Delphinium, Foxglove, Gayfeather, Garden Phlox, Oriental Poppy, Russian Sage, Shasta Daisy
Care: Cut back after its first bloom to promote a second blooming.   Can be divided in fall or spring but keep in mind that this plant is difficult to transplant because of it's long tap root.


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