Gypsophila/Baby's Breath

(Images provided by AFIF)


The Gypsophila genus is a flower division more commonly known as baby’s breath. This genus is ever popular among florists, gardeners, and frequently, brides. Generally used as a filler plant for most bouquets and gardens, this tender flower is an admired way to decorate boutonnieres, corsages, and weddings.

Within this genus gypsophila, there are about 100 comparable species, all of which are a mixture of annual and perennial plants. Although this plant is native to the eastern world (Europe, Asia and North Africa), this plant has been found in North America since the 1800’s.

Growing this plant is often described as easy since it requires little care and grows at a rapid rate. To grow this flower position either the flower cuttings or seedlings in full sunlight exposure and in a rich, chalky, and light soil (hence the name gypsophila, which means “lover of the chalk”). If you do not have a rich soil to work with, make sure to add fertilizer as a substitute for nutrients. Also, baby’s breath loves regular water, so give this flower something to drink once a week on average. Do not drench the soil though, as they like it to be well drained as most flowers do.

Gypsophila can be grown year round, as long as there is no danger of frost. If there is and you’re ready to plant them, start the growth indoors and then move the plant outdoors when the last frost has passed. The nice thing about this plant is that it can be grown indoors year round or outdoors from early spring through late fall, unlike many flowers which only last 1 or 2 seasons. Once fully grown, this flower will stand anywhere from 1-3 feet in height and 12-15 inches in width. Therefore, spacing between these flowers should be about 12-18 inches apart.

This plant can be easily recognized by its cluster of dainty white flowers on single stems, accompanied by long narrow bluish-green leaves and stems. At times, the flowers may be a soft pink or off-white color, but they are mostly found to be white. Baby’s breath is probably most commonly recognized and associated as filler flowers in florist creations like bouquets of red roses or mixed arrangements.

Also visit our Gypsophila Life Cycle page.

(Images provided by AFIF)