How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (2022)

Baby's breath plants (Gypsophila spp.) have become somewhat of a cliché in floral arrangements. But they also can look lovely in the garden. There are more than 100 annual and perennial species within this genus with varying appearances. Some have a creeping growth habit, forming an attractive flowering ground cover. And others grow in more upright and contained mounds with extensive branching of their slender stems, giving the plants a light and airy feel. Their small, narrow leaves are gray-green to blue-green in color. In the summer, baby’s breath plants are covered in tiny, five-petaled, white or pink flowers that last several weeks. The blooms are known to attract butterflies and other pollinators. Baby’s breath should be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. The plants have a fast growth rate and are considered an invasive species in North America. However, be aware that the plant has toxic qualities and can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, sinus, and skin, asthma, dermatitis in humans, and gastrointestinal problems including vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia in pets.

Common NameBaby's breath
Botanical NameGypsophila
FamilyCaryophyllaceae
Plant TypePerennial, annual
Mature Size2–3 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull
Soil TypeWell-drained
Soil pHAlkaline
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorWhite, pink
Hardiness Zones3–9 (USDA)
Native AreaEurope, Africa, Asia, Australia
ToxicityToxic to people, toxic to pets

How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (1)

How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (2)

How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (3)

How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (4)

How to Grow and Care for Baby's Breath (5)

(Video) Baby's breath plant - grow & care

Baby's Breath Care

Baby’s breath plants generally require very little maintenance. Plant them in a spot that gets lots of light and has good soil drainage, and they’ll practically take care of themselves.

You’ll typically only need to water during dry spells and feed annually. Once your plants mature, you might need to provide them withsupport, such as garden stakes, to prevent the thin stems from flopping over. You also can proactively install stakes at the time of planting that the baby’s breath can grow around.

Warning

Baby's breath has been classified as an invasive plant in the United States, especially around the upper Great Lakes. It is also considered a noxious weed in both California and Washington, and in Canada.

Light

Baby's breath plants grow best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. But they will tolerate a bit of shade, especially from the hot afternoon sun. However, too much shade will result in leggy plants and poor flowering.

Soil

Baby's breath plants can grow in a range of soil types, as long as they have good drainage. Sandy soil works well, whereas wet clay soil does not. So if your soil is heavy, consider planting baby's breath in raised garden beds or containers. These plants also like a slightly alkaline soil pH, so if your soil is acidic, sweeten it with an application of garden lime.

Water

Baby’s breath has low water needs and thrives in dry soil. Keep the soil moderately moist for young plants. You typically won’t have to water established plants unless you have an extended period of drought. Overwatering can cause root rot and kill the plant.

Temperature and Humidity

Baby’s breath can tolerate a range of temperatures within its growing zones. Some species have more cold tolerance than others. These plants prefer a dry climate over a humid one. So if you have high humidity, it’simperative to make sure your plant has excellent soil drainage and isn’t sitting in constant moisture.

Fertilizer

These plants aren’t heavy feeders, and too much fertilizer can cause floppy growth. To promote healthy growth and profuse blooms, simply work some compost into the planting site everyspring.

Types of Baby's Breath

There is a diversity to the Gypsophila genus that you might not expect if you only know baby's breath from the floral trade. Here are some different varieties of the plant:

(Video) How to Grow Baby's Breath

  • Gypsophila elegans: This species is considered an annual, but it tends to self-seed and comes back in the garden year afteryear. It features notably large, open blooms compared to other baby’s breath species.
  • Gypsophila paniculata ‘Bristol Fairy’: This cultivar sports double blooms that are white and roughly 1/4 inch wide. It grows in mounds that reach around 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.
  • Gypsophila paniculata ‘Compacta Plena’: This is a compact variety that grows in mounds only around 15 to 18 inches tall and wide. Its flowers are very similar to those on the ‘Bristol Fairy’ cultivar.
  • Gypsophila paniculata ‘Perfekta’: This variety can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide. Its flowers are very similar in appearance to the ‘Bristol Fairy’ cultivar, except that they’re around twice the size.
  • Gypsophila paniculata ‘Viette’s Dwarf’: This is another compact cultivar that only reaches around 12 to 15 inches tall and wide and thus typically won’t need staking to keep it upright. It features double flowers in pink that slowly fade to white.

Pruning Baby's Breath

These plants can be deadheaded by removing the spent blooms back to where the next spray is growing. They can also benefit from light pruning after the first flowering, which will help to maintain their shape and hopefully promote another bloom.

After the second bloom, during the fall season, cut the stems of the perennial baby's breath to about one inch above the ground, for overwintering. The plant will come back in the spring.

Propagating Baby's Breath

Baby's breath propagates easily and does it well from cuttings taken from a mature plant. Here's how:

  1. Cut pieces, about 4 to 5 inches, of healthy stems.
  2. Remove any leaves in the 1/3 portion of the lowest part of the cutting.
  3. Plant the cuttings in a small container filled with alkaline soil and mist often, keeping the soil moist, not soaked.
  4. The cuttings should be rooted in approximately four weeks, which you can then transplant outside.

How to Grow Baby's Breath From Seeds

This plant can be grown from seeds. Start by planting the seeds indoors in a seed-starting mix about six to eight weeks before planting in the spring. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and seedlings should appear in about 10 to 14 days. Once the threat of frost has passed, you can transplant them in a sunny area of your garden.

While this plant is self-seeding, spreading about on its own, you can also directly sow the seeds into the garden. Plant them in a sunny, well-drained area, and cover them lightly with soil. Keep the soil moist but not overly wet. Plants should be spaced about 12 inches apart.

Common Pest & Plant Diseases

Baby's breath has a few issues with pests and diseases. Pests for this plant include aphids, leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, slugs, and rabbits. You might notice discolored leaves or holes in the leaves, which are an indication of a pest problem. There are non-chemical ways you can control some of these pests, such as a citrus spray or soap spray. Common diseases for baby's breath include fungal infections and root rot, which can be caused by overwatering.

How to Get Baby's Breath to Bloom

Baby's breath is known for its tiny delicate flowers which bloom in late spring through the summer. To help this plant bloom better and longer, simply follow the pruning steps to help promote a second bloom and then winterize it before the first frost. The plant will come back each spring and rebloom every year.

FAQ

Article Sources

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Gypsophila paniculata (baby's breath). CABI Invasive Species Compendium.

  2. Gypsophila paniculata. North Carolina State University.

  3. Baby's Breath. Animal Poison Control Center.

(Video) 1328 -How to grow & care Gypsophila/Chalk Plant/Baby's Breath from seed/जिप्सोफ़िला बीज़ों से लगाना

FAQs

How do you take care of a baby's breathing? ›

Baby's Breath Care. Baby's breath plants generally require very little maintenance. Plant them in a spot that gets lots of light and has good soil drainage, and they'll practically take care of themselves. You'll typically only need to water during dry spells and feed annually.

Where does baby's breath grow best? ›

Gypsophila will grow in soil types many other plants don't care for, like dry and gravelly, sandy, or chalky soils, so it is a perfect choice for xeriscaping! It will do well planted in ordinary garden soil, but make sure to not plant in rich soils. Avoid fertilizing this plant.

Is Baby's Breath hard to grow? ›

Growing Baby's Breath is very easy, and they are quick to bloom. It is a popular flower to accent bouquets, corsages and flower vases. It also makes a great filler for at-home gardens. These plants bear an abundance of white or pink flowers.

Is it normal for a baby's mouth to smell? ›

Although rare, baby bad breath does occur in both infants and toddlers. Usually harmless, the foul odor can be treated and avoided. However, it is important to identify the cause of your child's bad breath to ensure it's not a symptom of a more serious health condition.

Does baby's breath need to be in water? ›

You have to allow these blooms to absorb water for at least two to three hours. These stems of baby's breath saturated with water can easily survive for 2 to 3 days out of water. Q#05: How much baby's breath do you need to make a bouquet?

Can babys breath grow in pots? ›

Baby's breath can be grown in containers or it can be planted directly in the ground. It can do well in dry, hot conditions. It will germinate within a week or two, and takes around 6-7 weeks to reach maturity. Baby's breath grows as small clusters of flowers.

Can I grow baby's breath from cuttings? ›

When propagating baby's breath, you will likely have better success by taking cuttings from an existing plant or planting one in the landscape. Baby's breath is normally grown as an annual flower in most areas, but some types are hardy perennials. All types are easily grown from cuttings taken in early summer.

How long does baby's breath last? ›

Baby's breath is a hardy shrub. It's a common joke among growers that the baby's breath plant is something even the worst flower growers can't kill. Fresh ones will last anywhere from 8-10 days, or more when properly cared for.

What time of year does baby's breath bloom? ›

Like lavender or catmint, baby's breath creates a charming, soft look in the garden. Because the plant blooms from early summer to fall, it is an excellent filler for hiding other perennials after they're done blooming.

How long does it take for baby's breath to bloom? ›

They grow rapidly and will come into bloom about 8 weeks after germination. Sow new baby's breath every 2 to 4 weeks to assure continuous bloom for the summer.

How often should you water baby's breath? ›

Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry.

Is baby's breath plant poisonous? ›

Keep in mind that the entire baby's breath flowers are toxic to pets as well as to people. It is best when used as decorations instead of for consumption. Vomiting and diarrhea can occur when you eat baby's breath flowers.

Is baby's breath toxic to humans? ›

Flowers like hydrangeas and baby's breath, while popular in bouquets, are actually toxic. Even if you aren't eating the actual flowers, just contact with the buttercream frosting you will eat could be dangerous, so it's best to stick with flowers that are edible.

Which shampoo is best for baby hair growth? ›

  • Himalaya Gentle Baby Shampoo (200ml) ...
  • Mee Mee Mild Baby Shampoo (with Fruit Extracts - 500 ml) ...
  • Curatio Spoo Shampoo 125ml| Gentle cleanser for your baby's scalp & hair | With mild surfactants and moisturizer | No Tears Shampoo For Newborns and Infants (0-2 Years) ...
  • Mamaearth Gentle Cleansing Shampoo for Babies (200 ml)

Does coconut oil grow baby hair? ›

It not only heals the scalp but also promotes hair growth. Massaging a toddler's scalp regularly with coconut oil can make their hair thicker and silkier.

How do you make baby's breath flowers smell better? ›

Did you know? Gypsophila is an extremely popular filler for bridal bouquets. If you notice that the Gyp smells a bit, just add a teaspoon of salt and the smell will vanish.

When should I start cleaning my baby's mouth? ›

Once your baby is about 3 months old, you can gently wipe your baby's gums using a damp, clean face washer or gauze twice a day. This helps your baby get ready for brushing when the first tooth appears. As soon as the first tooth appears, clean teeth using a soft infant toothbrush designed for children under 2 years.

When should babies brush their teeth? ›

As soon as your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the surface of the tooth and causing decay. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you start brushing your child's teeth as soon as the very first tooth comes in.

How many stems of baby's breath do I need? ›

Once the pieces from the one stem of baby's breath is bunched together, you can see that a little goes a long way. That one stem could be enough for a mason jar centerpiece. If you want a more full arrangement, you will need 2 stems. For a full bouquet, 5-7 stems.

What does baby's breath symbolize? ›

Baby's breath is blooming with symbolism. Most commonly, this flower is a symbol of everlasting love—which is one reason why it's a popular wedding flower. Baby's breath also represents innocence, which makes it a lovely gesture to include in baby shower gifts and gifts for new mothers.

What goes well with baby's breath? ›

Baby's breath can be used as a standalone flower or as an accent blossom for larger bouquets. These flowers pair well with roses, ranunculus, hydrangeas, and the flowers with bigger blooms. The Good: Baby's breath is an inexpensive and affordable option for bridesmaids' bouquets or centerpieces.

Is Baby's Breath an annual or perennial? ›

Gypsophila (baby's breath) are annual, hardy perennial or alpine plants that are grown for their sprays of tiny, button-like flowers in summer, in shades of white or pale pink.

What are the different types of baby's breath? ›

Baby's-breath

Is baby's breath toxic to dogs? ›

Toxic to both cats and dogs are Tulips, Azalea, Bird of Paradise, Aloe, Begonias, Baby's Breath, and Amaryllis.

How do you prepare baby's breath in the winter? ›

Winterizing Baby's Breath

Make sure your plants are in a spot with good drainage. Cut back the plants after they have finished blooming in the fall and cover them with mulch if you have very cold winters. The mulch can also help keep plants dry, so use this strategy if you have wet winters too.

Does baby's breath need full sun? ›

Growing baby's breath in a full sun area is relatively simple if the soil pH is right. The baby's breath plant likes an alkaline or sweet soil. Soil should also be well-draining. If your baby's breath plant does not perform well, take a soil test to determine the soil's alkalinity.

Does baby's breath attract bees? ›

The plant is attractive to many varieties of butterfly and also is known to attract bees. The variety, Coven Garden, was introduced in 1936 by the Grand Junction Seed Company of Colorado. Baby's Breath is heat, drought and soil tolerant, but flourishes most in friable soils that are rich in calcium.

What are the signs of a baby struggling to breathe? ›

What might breathing problems indicate in a newborn?
  • Rapid or irregular breathing. Rapid breathing is more than 60 breaths each minute. ...
  • Flaring nostrils. A baby who is having trouble taking in enough air will have nostrils that widen with each inhaled breath.
  • Retracting. ...
  • Grunting. ...
  • Blue color. ...
  • Coughing.

When should I be worried about my baby's breathing? ›

There should be no pauses longer than about 10 seconds between breaths. Pulling in of the ribs when taking a breath (retraction) Wheezing, grunting, or whistling sounds while breathing. Odor, drainage, or bleeding from the umbilical cord.

How do I know if my baby is breathing normal? ›

A newborn's normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 times per minute. This may slow to 30 to 40 times per minute when the baby is sleeping. A baby's breathing pattern may also be different. A baby may breathe fast several times, then have a brief rest for less than 10 seconds, then breathe again.

How do I know if my baby is breathing properly? ›

Increased breathing rate - Count the number of breaths for one minute. Is your child breathing faster than usual? Retractions - Check to see if the chest pulls in with each breath, especially around the collarbone and around the ribs. Nasal flaring - Check to see if nostrils widen when breathing in.

How can I increase my baby's oxygen level? ›

If the oxygen saturation level is below 90%, doctors will generally start by giving a baby supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen can be given through a mask or nasal cannula. If the baby's oxygen saturation levels are still low, the next step may be to give positive pressure ventilation.

What causes noisy baby breathing? ›

Laryngomalacia is a common cause of noisy breathing in infants. It happens when a baby's larynx (or voice box) is soft and floppy. When the baby takes a breath, the part of the larynx above the vocal cords falls in and temporarily blocks the baby's airway.

Why does my baby breathe so heavy? ›

You might notice your newborn breathing fast, even while sleeping. Babies can also take long pauses between each breath or make noises while breathing. Most of these come down to a baby's physiology. Babies have smaller lungs, weaker muscles, and breathe mostly through their nose.

Will a baby cry if they can't breathe? ›

If a baby is breathing stale air and not getting enough oxygen, the brain usually triggers the baby to wake up and cry to get more oxygen. If the brain is not picking up this signal, oxygen levels will fall and carbon dioxide levels will rise.

Do babies breathe faster sleeping? ›

Sleeping babies may breathe more slowly, at a rate closer to 30 breaths per minute. The baby may also breathe at an irregular rate while sleeping, breathing several times quickly and then stopping for a few seconds. This pattern, referred to as periodic breathing, is normal and can also happen when a baby is awake.

Why do newborns get hiccups? ›

Newborn hiccups are most frequently caused by baby overfeeding, eating too quickly or swallowing a lot of air. “Any of these things can lead to stomach distention,” Forgenie says. When the stomach distends it actually pushes against the diaphragm, which causes it to spasm, and voilà—hiccups!

Why does my baby's breath sound like it's snoring? ›

"The sound that a congested child makes is stertor," Walsh says. "It's almost like a snoring sound that indicates congestion in the mouth and nose." Stertor can happen with a common cold. It can also indicate adenoid enlargement from allergies or flu.

Do newborns have dreams? ›

Newborns spend about 50 percent of their sleep in REM, estimates the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is why it's thought that new babies might dream more than the rest of us.

Why do babies squeak when crying? ›

The noisy squeaking sound is often not serious and goes away on its own for most babies in their first year. “Squeaky breathing, also known as stridor, is caused by soft or “floppy” tissues around the baby's vocal cords,” notes Dr.

When I cough my throat closes up and I can't breathe? ›

Laryngospasm is a frightening condition that happens when your vocal cords suddenly seize up, making breathing more difficult. This rare phenomenon is often a symptom of an underlying condition. If you've had recurring laryngospasms, you should see your healthcare provider to find out what's causing them.

Why does my child sigh so much? ›

In recent years, sigh has become a more common symptom in children, especially in preschool and school-aged children. Many studies have revealed that sigh is related to emotions such as stress, fear, tension, anxiety, and a lack of security, amongst others.

Can a 1 month old breathe through their mouth? ›

Babies are "obligate nose breathers", meaning that they can only breathe through their noses; the only time newborns breathe through their mouths is when they are crying.

Videos

1. HOW TO GROW BABY'S BREATHS PLANTS
(Health Apta)
2. All About Gypsophila Part 1
(Triangle Nursery Academy and Flower Wholesalers)
3. Growing with me Gypsophila (Baby's Breath)│ Growth Update│Seeds to Flowering│Mothers Day Special.
(Shades Of Shreyu)
4. How to Care for Gypsophila - Wholesale Flowers and Academy ( Triangle Nursery)
(Triangle Nursery Academy and Flower Wholesalers)
5. Growing Baby's breath or gypsophilia flowering plant.|tips and careguide
(Green J by Ruthcel Mendoza)
6. How to Grow Gyphsophlia ( Baby's Breath ) from Seeds │ Gardening Beginners │Mother's Day Special.
(Shades Of Shreyu)

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