Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans) commonly called “Happy Festival” is an herbaceous perennial plant of the Caryophyllaceae family, and was originated from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Caucasus, Central Asia, and North-West China.
It’s an annual flowering plant, quick and easy to grow and bears small white, pink or purple-blushed flowers that are complimentary to roses. Baby’s breath flowers are mostly used in wedding bouquets as cut flowers, ideal for cutting and drying, summer bedding, borders, containers, and hanging baskets.
Growing Requirements for Baby’s Breath
Soil. This plant tolerates with a moderate but fertile soil, moist and well-drained during its growing period. Soil should be amended with organic materials with compost or animal manures.
Propagation by seeds. Prepare your germinating tray or seed box by mixing your soil mix or bought from store. Fill the germinating trays with the soil mix and sow the seeds 1-2 seeds per hole. Don’t cover the seeds with soil for easy germination. Keep the soil wet until the seeds germinates after 10 – 15 days after sowing.
Transplanting. Before transplanting, prepare your plots in an open field with access to full sunlight the whole day. It should be well prepared and mix with organic materials and well-drained area. Transplant your seedlings into the dogged holes with the use of a garden trowel at a distance of 8 inches between hill. Insert the seedlings into the holes and cover the base with soil. Be careful not to damage the roots in planting.
Put a cover mulch on the plots to keep the soil moist and to get rid of weeds infestation during the plant’s growing period.
Light. Baby’s Breath favors with a complete sunlight 6 – 8 hours a day.
Water. It doesn’t thrives with a continues moisture in the soil. Once they’re already established, you should allow the soil to dry between each watering or every other day. Once they’re already planted in the plots, irrigate them with enough water but don’t flood them. Keep the soil moist until the plant’s full recovery.
Plant nutrition. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every week to enhance vigorous growth and continuous flower bloom.
Pest and disease control. Crown gall is the only insect pest that attacks Baby’s Breath being a hardy plant. To control crown gall, simply use a general pesticides or insect repellents. For some diseases, spray the plants with any fungicidal chemicals.
Harvesting and storage. Using your pruning shears, cut the stem with flowers 3 inches from the soil level. Tie them into 4-5 stems per bundle with a tying string or rubber band. Hang them upside down in a warm place with free air circulation. Monitor them if they’re totally dried out after 1-2 weeks. Dried Baby’s Breath are sold to flower shops for flower arrangements and bouquets.