Gypsophila – Baby’s Breath, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Perennial Flower Information

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Gypsophila – Baby’s Breath, Chalk
Plant, Gauze Flower, Fairies’ Breath

The Gypsophila is one of
the daintiest of the old-fashioned flowers with a misty
grace which is not found in other flowers. The flowers
themselves are tiny, white or blush-white and the plants
are covered with myriads of these blossoms all during
the Summer. The plant grows from 2 feet to 3 feet tall;
the foliage is grass-like, the stems are branched minutely
and are wiry, and the general appearance is filmy, gauzy,
or misty white. Gypsophila paniculata has single flowers,
while G. p. flore pleno has larger, double, rosette-like
flowers and is more satisfactory. G. acutifolia is frequently
cultivated, differing from G. its greener
and narrower leaves. G. cerastoides and G. repens
are trailing species blooming in June
and July; the former has pinkish tinged flowers.

UTILIZE. The Baby’s Breath
is an excellent cut flower, especially when combined
in bouquets or decorations with other flowers which
do not have much foliage. The flowers, especially of
the double form, can be cut and dried and used during
the Winter months. The plants themselves are useful
in the hardy border, or as pot plants. The trailing
form is useful for edging and for rock gardens.

GENERAL. Gypsophilas endure
open, dry places and rather poor soil. The name Gypsophila
(Gypsum-loving) seems to indicate its preference for
limestone soils. Some gardeners claim that cutting the
plants back after blooming is detrimental to them.

PROPAGATION. They may be
propagated from seeds or cuttings taken either in the
Fall or Spring. The double sorts should be grafted on
the root’s of the single flowering ones, as about 30
per cent of the seedlings come double from seed. The
plants are divided most frequently.


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