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GYPSOPHILA paniculata 'Perfecta'

Image of Gypsophila paniculata 'Perfecta' ('Perfekta')

Jesse Saylor

Family

Caryophyllaceae

Botanical Name

GYPSOPHILA paniculata 'Perfecta' ('Perfekta')

Plant Common Name

Baby's Breath, Perfecta Baby's Breath

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Baby’s breath is the traditional filler flower for florist’s bouquets. It is an herbaceous perennial plant bearing tall, airy panicles covered with hundreds of tiny white flowers. When in bloom, from early to midsummer, the effect is cloud-like. Off-season it maintains an inconspicuous existence as a dense rosette of lance-shaped, blue-green basal foliage.

Baby’s breath is native to Central and Eastern Europe, where it thrives on dry, stony slopes, often with chalky soil. In the garden, it grows best in full sun and prefers light, deep alkaline soil. Monitor the soil pH to maintain its alkalinity. If necessary, amend the soil with calcium and magnesium to keep the pH high. During its season of bloom it should be watered regularly. Cut back the faded flower stems before they set seed as plants have a tendency to lightly self-sow. Baby’s breath is difficult to transplant because it has a deep tap root, so plant it where it won’t be disturbed. Protect its tender new leaves from snails and slugs.

Baby’s breath adds an airy puff of delicate blooms and is perfect in bouquets, either fresh or dry. Florists love ‘Perfecta’ for its large double-white flowers. One of the more popular varieties for the garden is the dwarf ‘Pink Fairy’, which has double pink flowers.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, H1, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Eastern Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Pink

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes