80328You might think that such a popular flower would be easy to get a picture of. Baby’s breath, Gypsophila paniculata, is everywhere, and almost a standard component of the mixed bouquets found in supermarkets. However, the flowers are so small and so sparsely arranged on thin stems, that they do not look like much in pictures. This picture is a closeup of a tightly bound bundle of bloom.

As common is it is with other cut flowers, baby’s breath is quite uncommon in home gardens. It is not often available in nurseries. Seed should have been sown by about now. Baby’s breath grows something like a tumbleweed about three or even four feet high and wide. The stems look too delicate to stand so tall. The minute flowers are usually white but can be pale pink and slightly fluffier.

While blooming in summer, baby’s breath is so handsome that no one wants to cut the flowers. It is difficult to take just a few good stems to add to other cut flowers without ruining the symmetry of a well rounded plant. Some people who grow it prefer to put it out of the way, or grow it amongst other flowers to hide the disfigurement of harvest. Baby’s breath blooms better if crowded anyway.


13 thoughts on “Baby’s Breath

  1. I worked one summer for a florist who specialised in providing flowers for corporate events. She liked to add gypsophila to almost every arrangement – not just because it looked good, but because it’s a good ‘filler’ and relatively inexpensive.

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    1. When I grew cut flowers in the summer of 1986, we grew only a little bit of this. Other growers provided plenty. It looked like tumbleweeds. We would cut them at the base and bundle them up in a seemingly violent way. We would push them up and over and press them onto the paper laid on the ground on the opposite side, and then hog tie them. It was like an event in the rodeo!

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