Gypsophila – Baby’s Breath
A fast-growing annual, Covent Garden is often added to fresh and dried flower arrangements and used in the garden as a filler. The plants will blossom with minimal care. The multi-stemmed plants produce clouds of cute little white flowers half an inch wide on plants that reach 1 to 2 feet in height.
Baby’s Breath is heat and drought resistant, but it prefers calcium-rich soil, as it is often found growing wild on gypsum deposits. Sow every two to three weeks for a continuous harvest to make gifts all summer. Covent Garden is beloved by butterflies and pairs beautifully with Bachelor’s Buttons in the garden.
– Latin Name: Gypsophila
– Life Cycle: Annual
– Days to Maturity: 75-90
– Planting Depth: Lightly press 4-5 seeds into soil or broadcast directly
– Plant Spacing: 45 cm
– Growth Habit: 30-45 cm tall
Seeds can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the season grow. Plant seeds in flats or individual pots and cover very lightly with soil. Keep the soil moist and warm. Use a heating mat if one is available. Under these conditions, seeds can pop up in as little as 10 days. Continue giving seedlings warmth, moisture and bright light. When they have developed two sets of true leaves, they can be thinned. Once the danger of frost has passed, move them outside to begin the hardening off process. Handle transplants carefully, as they are prone to shock.
Gypsophila can also be sown directly outdoors. Till your garden bed deeply, remove any debris and break down leftover clumps. Add in some compost to improve the fertility and water retention of the soil. in season grow t, sow seeds thinly about 20 cm apart. Cover lightly with fine soil and firm seeds into place. Water the bed and keep it moist.
Be vigilant about weeds while seedlings are getting established. Thin crowded seedlings and add a thin layer of mulch when they’re tall enough. Give a weak feeding when seedlings are about four weeks old.
Gypsophila like full sun, but benefit from afternoon shade in the hot months. Baby’s breath is not picky about its soil type, as long as it’s well-drained. The soil of young plants should be kept moist, but established plants will only need water in long periods of drought. Baby’s breath doesn’t feed heavily, an initial fertilizing and supplemental compost will take care of its nutrient needs.
This plant has few issues with pests and disease and is overall a very low maintenance flower. Mature plants may require staking to give support to the thin stems. Give plants a light pruning after flowering to achieve a bushier shape and hope for a second bloom.
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