Friday, July 16, 2010


If you've ever received a bouquet of flowers, you're familiar with BABY'S BREATH.  Baby's Breath may be small in the size of individual blooms, but they add much when it comes to their airy elegance in gardens as well as bouquets.  They bloom in abundance, in cloud-like mounds of bloom in the summertime.  The flowers bloom on loose, branched stems, and come in single or double-flowered cultivars. They also come in not only white, but pink, as well.  I have the white variety in my yard.  It is a very hardy, long-lived perennial, with blue-green narrow, lanced-shaped leaves.  My cultivar, Gypsophila paniculata, is about 4-5 feet tall, after 10 years of growth.  It's about 3-4 feet wide, and, if deadheaded, blooms from mid- to late summer.  It makes outstanding fresh or dried flowers!  To dry, all you need to do is hang it by bunches in a warm, dark place.  It needs full sun or very light shade in a site with evenly moist, but well-drained soil.  They have wide-ranging roots, and they don't like to be moved once planted.  Wet soil can be fatal--crown rot leads to short-lived plants.  So be sure to have it in a place that has good drainage.  Established plants are drought tolerant.  It's best to purchase by plants for the cultivar you want, because plants aren't true from seed, although they are easy to start from seed.  (NOTE:  I've never had seedlings come from mine in all the years I've had it).   I put mine in a big, tall cage in early spring to keep it upright throughout the season. (There are dwarf varieties that are smaller and don't need staking, or grow so big).   It looks especially nice as a backdrop to other plants.  I have mine in a group of pink monarda, white obedient plant, and tree lilies Garden Pleasures and Purple Prince.  If you make many arrangements, or need a beautiful backdrop to some of your treasured perennials, I highly recommend Baby's Breath.  I love having this valuable addition to the garden! 
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.


  1. I really like baby's breath as a backdrop as well. I think you're pretty brave to have it in with obedient plant. I understand it is anything but obedient, becoming invasive.

    Do you have much problem with powdery mildew with your monarda?

  2. No, I haven't had any powdery mildew--the variety I have is mildew resistant. My neighbor has a deep magenta monarda that I'd love to get a start from. I'll have to see if it is prone to powdery mildew.

    Obedient plant CAN be very invasive. I keep the obedient plant in check by having a barrier so it can't spread, as their roots are close to the surface. I also continue to hand pull any "strays" that may cross the barrier.

    One plant that does have powdery mildew right now are my lupines. But, it usually comes on when the plants are through blooming. I just cut them down and let them start leafing out again.

    Thanks for your comments!