How to Grow Gypsophila “Baby’s Breath”

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Dainty Baby’s Breath is actually quite a tough plant. Ordinary soil will do. Be sure it is not too rich, and avoid feeding plants. Cut back after flowering to encourage a second bloom. This species is well suited to xeriscaping. Follow these handy How to Grow Gypsophila Baby’s Breath instructions and grow these delicate blooms.

Latin
Gypsophila elegans
Family: Caryophyllaceae

Difficulty
Easy, Annual

Season & Zone
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Zone: 2-10

Timing
Plants bloom quickly from seed, so start outdoors, direct sowing in early spring in cool soil, when a light frost is still possible… Around March 15th on the coast. In mild winter areas, it can also be direct sown in late autumn. Germination takes 10-20 days. Sow every 3-4 weeks until July for continuous blooms.

Starting
Just cover the small seeds, and thin or space to 15-20cm (6-8″). Crowded plants bloom better.

Note that the Baby’s Breath one associates with bridal bouquets is grown in very controlled settings, and harvested with precision just as the flower buds begin to open. This is the same flowering plant, but it is difficult to predict exactly when the plants will be bouquet-ready. To grow for summer weddings, direct sow large amounts at regular three week intervals starting in early spring when there is still a risk of frost. That would be mid-March here on the coast. Keep plants relatively crowded. This is the only way to ensure that at least some of your Baby’s Breath will be at its peak for your special event.

Mark Macdonald

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