Gypsophila Paniculata [Jip-SOF-il-uh, Pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh] is a perennial herb flowering plant species from the family of Caryophyllaceae.
This herbaceous perennial is native to eastern and central Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Gypsophila paniculata is now widely distributed in North America.
The native plant is considered an invasive plant in many states.
This plant is often used as fillers in floral and bouquet arrangements.
This plant is a famous cut flower, which is widely used for its cloud-like, airy display for the summer border.
This plant has various common names, including:
- Baby’s Breath
- Soap Root
- Common gypsophila
- Panicled baby’s breath
- Bachelor’s Button
Gypsophila Paniculata Care
Size & Growth
This plant typically grows around 23” – 47” inches tall and spreads in a similar amount.
The stems of baby’s breath are slender, while the leaves are grayish and narrow.
Flowering and Fragrance
G. Paniculata produces ample double, snow-white flowers growing on sturdy stems during the early summer season.
The flowers are long-lasting and enjoy a prolonged bloom time.
Cutting back the flowers encourages more blooming.
Light & Temperature
This plant prefers the full sun.
Place it in a location which gets a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight every day.
It tolerates partial shade if planted in well-draining soil.
Warmth places a significant role in the successful flourishing of this plant, which is why this plant is often found growing in dry, stony regions, and cracks.
It is best to put it in a place which is wind protected to avoid damages occurring due to strong winds.
Warm temperatures also enhance the flowering process.
Lower temperatures at night might result in this plant remaining in the vegetative stage.
United States hardiness zone 3 – 8 (USDA).
Watering and Feeding
The baby’s breath doesn’t require much care when it comes to fertilization or watering.
It thrives when left alone.
However, it is recommended to water the plant in case of prolonged dry spells.
It is best to feed the plant once every month in its growing season.
Use all-purpose fertilizers which offer an equal amount of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
Soil & Transplanting
Grow this plant in somewhat dry soil, which is well-draining.
It prefers alkaline soil pH 7.0 to 7.5.
Add lime to acidic soils.
The plant might not survive during winters if placed in poorly drained and wet soil.
It should be left undisturbed when it has fully established.
Grooming and Maintenance
While Gypsophila continues blooming without the need to deadhead the plant, additional blooming is possible when old blooms are removed.
The more amounts of cut flowers you use, the more it reblooms and branches, which is why it is recommended to shear or cut back after flowering.
This plant is easy to dry for dried flower arrangements.
It is best to gather dry stems during sunny days, snip the leaves, and tie the stems together to start the air drying process.
How to Propagate Baby’s Breath
Propagation of this plant is through seeds, or grafting and cuttings.
Seeds are planted during April and May, and the new plants should be transferred to their permanent location during the autumn season.
All species of perennial grow in a single area for around 25 years.
The soil must be adequately permeable.
The cuttings serve as young plants which mature during May and June.
The cuttings must be trimmed 1” – 2” inches in length and placed in a cold frame with sufficient depth of silver sand.
The sand must be moist and placed in shaded light.
Soap Root Pest or Diseases
This plant doesn’t have many diseases or pest problems.
However, in rare occurrences, it might become vulnerable to parasites.
The leaves of baby’s breath might fall, which is not a significant issue.
During the spring season, young plants might attract snails.
It’s best to quickly remove the snails before they start feasting off the plant.
Diseases rarely hit Gypsophila, but it will experience rotten roots and stems with a high level of wetness and moisture.
To resolve this, the ground must be loose enough by adding sufficient sand before it is planted.
The dried flowers might cause dermatitis or allergic asthma in some cases.
It might result in sinus, nose, and eye irritation when the plant is continuously in contact with the skin.
However, the irritation is not severe and lasts for a few minutes.
In a number of parts of North America, this plant has become an invasive species or even been declared a noxious weed.
Uses For Baby’s Breath
The baby’s breath is famous as a filler plant in cut flowers arrangement and perennial border gardens due to its outstanding texture and contrast.
It is useful for covering up dying perennials, like bleeding hearts or poppies, or bulb foliage, which become dormant during the summer season.
This plant makes an outstanding dried flower.
This plant is also purgative.
Its roots have triterpenoid saponins which offer spermicidal abilities, used to prevent unwanted pregnancies.