In floral arrangements, baby’s breath plants (Gypsophila spp.) have become something of a cliché. They may, however, look attractive in the garden. This genus has around 100 annual as well as perennial plants with a wide range of looks. Some have a creeping growth tendency that produces a lovely floral ground cover. Others form tall, enclosed mounds with abundant branching of their thin stems, giving the plants a bright, airy appearance. Their tiny, thin leaves range in hue from gray-green to blue-green. Baby’s breath plants produce small, five-petaled white or pink flowers that bloom for many weeks in the summer. The blossoms are known to attract pollinators such as butterflies as well as bees. After the threat of frost has gone, plant baby’s breath in the spring. The plants grow at a rapid pace.
|Common Name||Baby’s breath|
|Plant Type||Perennial, annual|
|Mature Size||2–3 feet tall as well as wide|
|Flower Color||White, pink|
|Hardiness Zones||3–9 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia|
Toxic to people as well as pets
Care for the Baby’s Breath
Baby’s breath plants are usually low-maintenance plants. They’ll essentially take care of themselves if you put them in an area with plenty of sunshine as well as excellent soil drainage. Furthermore, pests as well as infections are seldom a problem for them.
You’ll just have to water during dry seasons as well as feed once a year. To keep the thin stems from flopping over as your plants age, you may need to supply them with support, such as garden stakes. You may also put stakes in place at the time of planting so that the baby’s breath can grow around them. There is no need to deadhead these plants (removing spent blooms). However, after blooming, they may benefit from a modest trimming to keep their form as well as perhaps induce another bloom.
The optimal conditions for growing baby’s breath plants are full daylight, which means at least six hours of direct sunshine on most days. They will, however, accept some shade, particularly from the intense afternoon heat. Too much shade, on the other hand, will result in leggy plants with poor blooming.
Plants of the genus Baby’s Breath may thrive in a variety of soil types as long as they have enough drainage. Wet clay soil does not function well with sandy soil. Consider growing baby’s breath in raised garden beds or containers if your soil is thick. These plants also need a slightly alkaline soil pH, so if yours is acidic, add some garden lime to make it more alkaline.
Baby’s breath requires very little water as well as thrives on dry soil. For young plants, keep the soil wet but not soggy. However, unless you experience a lengthy time of drought, you won’t need to water established plants. Overwatering may destroy a plant by causing root rot.
Humidity as well as Temperature
Within its growth zones, baby’s breath can withstand a wide variety of temperatures. Some species are more resistant to cold than others. A dry environment is preferable than a humid one for these plants. So, if you have a lot of humidity, make sure your plant has good soil drainage as well as isn’t lying in water all the time.
Too much fertilizer may produce floppy growth in these plants, which aren’t substantial eaters. Simply put some compost into the planting spot each spring to encourage healthy growth as well as abundant flowers.
Varieties of Baby’s Breath
If you just know baby’s breath from the flower trade, you may not realize how diverse the Gypsophila genus is. Here are some examples of the plant’s several varieties:
- Gypsophila elegans: This plant is classified as an annual, although it self-seeds as well as returns year after year in the garden. In comparison to other baby’s breath species, it has huge, open flowers.
- Gypsophila paniculata ‘Bristol Fairy’: This cultivar has double white flowers that are 1/4 inch across. It forms mounds that are two to three feet tall as well as broad.
- Gypsophila paniculata ‘Compacta Plena’: This is a compact type that grows in 15 to 18-inch tall as well as broad mounds. Its blooms are extremely similar to those of the cultivar ‘Bristol Fairy.’
- Gypsophila paniculata ‘Perfekta’: This variety may reach a height as well as width of 3 feet. It has blooms that are quite similar to the ‘Bristol Fairy’ cultivar, but they are about double the size.
- Gypsophila paniculata ‘Viette’s Dwarf’: This is another tiny cultivar that only grows 12 to 15 inches tall as well as broad, so it doesn’t need to be staked to stay upright. It has pink double blossoms that fade to white with time.