Baby's breath (Gypsophila spp.) adds lacy charm to flower arrangements and bridal bouquets while also providing simple elegance to butterfly and rock gardens. While there are hundreds of annual and perennial gypsophila varieties available, the most popular specimens include Million Star, Mirabella and Perfecta. Most gypsophila varieties, which are drought tolerant, grow best with full sunlight in soil with a neutral pH level. Baby's breath varieties produce dainty white or pink blooms on plants with silvery green foliage, reaching up to 3 feet in height with a spread of 2 feet or more.
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Things you need
- Gypsophila seeds
- Garden trowel
- Water-soluble fertiliser
Incorporate several inches of compost into the soil at the chosen location to create a nutrient-rich, balanced bed. Gypsophila grows well in a variety of soil conditions, but a well-draining, airy growing medium ensures the best results.
Sow gypsophila seeds on the prepared bed, spaced at least 3 inches apart, and cover with a 1/8-inch layer of soil. Do not plant seeds outdoors until all chance of frost has passed for your location and soil remains at 15.6 degrees Celsius at nighttime.
Water the planting site gently to set the seeds in place. During the germination phase, which takes up to 21 days, keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
Decrease watering to once or twice per week after the gypsophila plants are established.
Tips and warnings
- For earlier harvest, start gypsophila indoors four to six weeks before the last frost for your location.
- Dry gypsophila by hanging cuttings upside down in a cool, dry location for several days.
- According to Dayton Nurseries, Russian sage, Shasta daisies and foxglove make excellent companions for gypsophila.
- Avoid overwatering, or watering foliage, to prevent stem rot from decimating the gypsophila plants.
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- Dayton Nurseries; Baby's Breath
- Michigan State University Extension; Gypsophila Elegans--Annual Baby's Breath; 1999
- Best Cool Seeds; Growing Tips: Gypsophila, Annual Baby's Breath
- Hallson Gardens; Planting Instructions for Gypsophila (Baby's Breath)
- Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants; Gypsophila
- Grower Direct: Gypsophila