Baby's Breath

1 entry found.
Baby's Breath
Common Name: Baby's Breath, Gyp
Botanical Name: Gypsophila paniculata (jip-SOF-i-la pan-i-cu-LAH-ta)
Decorative Life: 5-10 days.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Remove bottom leaves if present, recut stems under water and place into a fresh flower food solution. Or, place into a bleach solution (about 20 drops [1/4 teaspoon] per quart of water) and then into the fresh flower food solution.
  • Desiccates (dries out) easily.
Harvest Instructions: Can be harvested in the bud stage and subsequently opened in high sugar (5-10%) containing flower foods. The best opening temperature is 68F and a good opening solution contains gibberellin (~300 ppm) in addition to 5% sugar, STS and a germicide. In reference to replanting using crowns, later harvested crowns perform better the subsequent year than ones harvested early and therefore stored longer.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Caryophyllaceae (pink) family.
  • Native to Europe, Northern Asia.
  • Common relatives include carnation, sweet William and silene.
  • Tiny flowers on delicate stems occur in complex branched clusters at stem ends.
  • Stems are 24-36 inches long.
  • Plant is a herbaceous perennial or annual, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers have no to little fragrance.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Mostly white but some light pink. Normally white cultivars can turn shades of pink due to cold growing temperatures prior to harvest.
Storage Specifics: Hold at 32 to 36F under high (90-94%) humidity.
  • Gypsophila from the Greek words "gypos" (gypsum) and "philos" (loving), referring to the plant's preference for soils high in calcium. The specific epithet name paniculata refers to the type of flower form.
  • Single and double flower forms available.
  • 'Million Star' is a cultivar that has more compact flowers than the much more common 'Perfecta' and somewhat lesser known 'Bristol Fairy' cultivars.
  • Good filler and can also be used as dried flower by treating with glycerin or just letting them dry naturally.
  • Many ways have been suggested to treat this species including slamming them on a hard surface to promote flower opening, adding bleach to the water/solution and using plastic tents over them when trying to open flowers after harvest. Of these, using bleach at one teaspoon per gallon can be helpful.
Recent Findings: Van Gorsel and Ravesloot (1994) showed that a one day interruption at 68F in a 47F cold chain from grower to consumer resulted in a one day loss in vaselife. Reid (2000) demonstrated that flower food effectiveness varied greatly depending on brand name compared to plain tap water and a bleach/tap water solution.