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How to Care for Baby's Breath

Baby’s breath, also known as gypsophilia, is a bushy, bluish-green plant that develops masses of tiny white flowers. The delicate little flowers are often seen in bridal bouquets and in corsages. As a dried flower, it’s also used in wreaths and seasonal decorations. Although it’s a favorite in the florist’s shop, it’s also lovely in the flower garden where it grows rapidly and requires little care. It also does well in hanging pots mixed with brightly colored petunias.

Water baby’s breath regularly. It is a fast-growing plant that needs water in order to grow and bloom properly, and doesn’t do well in drought conditions.

Plant small batches of baby’s breath every two weeks for continuous blooms. Baby’s breath are short lived and this will ensure a steady supply throughout the growing season.

Feed baby’s breath a good all-purpose fertilizer once a month during the growing season. This is especially important if the baby’s breath are growing in poor soil.

Check the baby’s breath for signs of fungus or insect damage. Baby’s breath are hardy and not susceptible to insects and disease, but if a problem develops, treat the plant with a fungicide or an insecticide.

Prune the plant after it blooms. This can encourage the baby’s breath to continue blooming through summer, and sometimes into fall.

Grow Baby's Breath

Despite its soft, sweet name and wedding-bouquet reputation, baby's breath (Gypsophila paniculata) has a dark double life as an invasive weed. The tiny white blossoms that fill out flower displays grow on perennial plants that grow to 3 feet tall and wide. If you decide to grow baby's breath, consider the annual plant (Gypsophila muralis), which is not invasive. Locate your baby's breath plant in full sun for fastest growth. The plant also grows in partial sun. Plant baby's breath in any well-drained soil that is alkaline, with a pH range from 7.0 to 7.5. If you plant in a windy area, stake the plants when they are young. Water weekly after planting for the first few months. Baby's breath grows vigorously on dry, infertile soil and generally does not suffer from pest attacks or disease.

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