Growing Baby’s Breath From Cuttings: How To Root Gypsophila Cuttings
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Baby’sbreath (Gypsophila) is the starof the cutting garden, providing delicate little blooms that dress up floralarrangements, (and your garden), from midsummer to autumn. You are probablymost familiar with white baby’s breath, but various shades of rosy pink arealso available. If you have access to a mature baby’s breath plant, growingcuttings from baby’s breath is surprisingly easy in USDA plant hardiness zones3 through 9. Let’s learn how to grow baby’s breath from cuttings, one step at atime.
Baby’s Breath Cutting Propagation
Fill a container with good quality commercial potting mix.Water well and set the pot aside to drain until the potting mix is moist butnot dripping.
Taking Gypsophila cuttings is simple. Select several healthybaby’s breath stems. Cuttings from baby’s breath should each be about 3 to 5inches (7.6 to 13 cm.) in length. You can plant several stems, but be sure theyaren’t touching.
Dip the cut end of the stems into rootinghormone, then plant the stems in the moist potting mix with about 2 inches (5cm.) of stem above the soil. (Before planting, remove any leaves that will beunder the soil or touching the soil).
Place the pot in a clear plastic bag to create a warm, humidenvironment for the baby’s breath cuttings. Place the pot in a warm spot wherethe Gypsophila cuttings aren’t exposed to bright sunlight. The top of arefrigerator or other warm appliance works well.
Check the pot regularly and water lightly if the potting mixfeels dry. Very little water will be needed when the pot is covered withplastic.
After about a month, check for roots by tugging lightly onthe cuttings. If you feel resistance to your tug, the cuttings have rooted andeach can be moved into an individual pot. Remove the plastic at this time.
Continue to care for the baby’s breath cuttings untilthey’re large enough to grow outside. Be sure any risk of frost has passed.
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How do you propagate Euryops?
Cut a 3- to 4-inch portion of a side shoot that contains at least one node and two healthy leaves with garden shears. A node is a bump on the stem where leaves emerge from. Remove one side shoot for every daisy you want to propagate. Select young, vigorous parent plants for your cuttings in early morning.
Beside above, how do you propagate Arctotis? Arctotis are also easy to propagate and now is the time to do it. So remove a few of the still burgeoning stems (2in-3in long) with a sharp knife. Push them into a gritty mix of compost (four or five to a medium-sized pot), and if possible, place in a propagator with a bit of bottom heat.
Herein, how do Argyranthemums propagate?
Remove the cuttings from the mother plant when the shoots are fully turgid, that is, in the morning, before the temperature warms up. Take 2-4in-long, non-flowering shoots (if you can, although it is difficult with subjects like argyranthemum, which are such prolific flowerers), cutting them between the leaf nodes.
How do you care for Euryops?
Perennial African Bush Daisy (Euryops pectinatus)
- Plant Feed. Slow release feed in spring.
- Watering. Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings.
- Soil. Light, well-drained soil.
- Basic Care Summary. Tolerates poor soil, heat, and drought. Does best in light, well-drained soil. Allow soil to dry between thorough waterings. Trim back lightly after flowering.
Plant Profile: Creeping Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila repens)
Creeping baby’s breath is a herbaceous perennial native the mountains of central and southern Europe where it grows on dry, chalky slopes. It is a member of the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae, that also includes pinks (Dianthus), soapwort, and Lychnis. The trailing eighteen inch long stems with gray leaves ½-1 inch long form substantial mats in about two years. Small open flat clusters of star-shaped ¼” flowers are white to pale lilac and cover the plant in summer. Plants are more tolerant of acid soils than their more famous cousin, florist’s baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) and tolerate heat but not wet feet. They are especially attractive tumbling down walls and over large rocks, and are an excellent choice for use as an edging, ground cover, or container as well as for alpine and rock gardens. The generic name Gypsophila comes from the Greek words gypsos meaning gypsum and philos meaning loving, referring to the fact some species thrive only in limey. The specific epithet repens comes from the Latin word repto meaning to crawl or creep, describing the habit of the plant.
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Bloom: White to pink single flowers ¼” across in early summer
Foliage: Narrow blue-gray leaves ½-1” long
Size: 4-8” H x 12” W
Light: Full sun
Soil: Average, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline but tolerates some acidity.
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Care: Low maintenance cut back to the crown in late winter to tidy up the garden (optional)
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed (do not cover) division in summer cuttings of nonflowering terminal stems summer to fall
Companion plants: Campanula, lavender, ornamental grasses such as Festuca sp.
Perennial Baby's Breath
Almost everyone has given or received a bouquet of flowers from the florist that contained a few sprays of baby's breath. The genus is Latin for the phrase "friendship with gypsum," because one species, Gypsophila repens, has been found growing on gypsum rocks.
Description of baby's breath: Small, blue-green leaves, almost fleshy, on stems with slightly swollen joints bear a profusion of many-branched panicles containing numerous 1/8-inch wide flowers. Plants bloom in June and July.
Growing baby's breath: Baby's breath require full sun and a good, deep, well-drained garden soil with humus. Even though the plants have tap roots, they still require liberal amounts of water. If the soil is at all acid, a cup of ground limestone per square yard should be added into the soil surrounding these lime-loving plants. Tall plants will probably require staking. They will rebloom if spent flowers are removed. Note: This species is invasive in the Midwest and Great Plains on alkaline soils. Ease of care: Easy.
Propagating baby's breath: Start new plants from seed. Propagation by cuttings requires patience, skill, and luck.
Uses for baby's breath: Baby's breath are wonderful for filling in gaps in a bed or border. They are especially lovely when tumbling over rock walls or falling out of a raised bed.
Baby's breath related species:Gypsophila repens is a creeping baby's breath that grows 6 inches high, but covers an area to a width of 3 feet. Alba is white Rosea is pink.
Baby's breath related varieties: Two popular varieties are Bristol Fairy, with pure white, double flowers, that grows to a height of 4 feet, and Pink Fairy, reaching 18 inches in height with pink doubles.
Scientific name of baby's breath:Gypsophila paniculata