Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Baby's Breath
Gypsophila elegans 'Covent Garden'

Family: Caryophyllaceae (kar-ree-oh-fil-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Gypsophila (jip-SOF-il-uh) (Info)
Species: elegans (ELL-eh-ganz) (Info)
Cultivar: Covent Garden

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Flowers are good for cutting
Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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1 positive
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NatureWalker On Jun 25, 2004, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Gypsophila Snowfountain, thrives on being cut. Their cut and come again growth works very well. Or you can sow it in succession every two weeks in your garden from the beginning of the season for lots of wonderful white filler in your bouquets. They work very well in large containers.
Easily grown from seed it blooms 6 weeks from the day it was sown. If you're short of space, broadcast seed in the bulb bed and it will do a great job of hiding their faded foliage in summer. Their height is 12- 18".

They are tender flowers and cannot be sown direct in the garden until all danger of frost is past. For an earlier start, seed indoors 4 to 6 weeks ahead.

I put some soil (a 1/2') in a shallow tray, moistened it with a spray bottle, then scattered the seed on top, then patted it down gently. Sprayed the top of seeds once again. Put plastic wrap on top; or clear plastic lid. *Do Not* let them dry out. Remember to spray with plain water every day! Plain 'Top Soil' works best.

**Do Not Cover** the seeds with any soil; they need the light for germination!

I then put the tray under a florescent light. As they popped up, I removed them gently with a pair of tweasers and a tug and replanted them into the plugging pots, (very shallow roots.) This 'thinning out' is needed anyway. Requires a lot of patience.

**Seeds are a little smaller than 'Black Poppy', the kind used in baking cakes & rolls** That's why they need to grow in a shallow tray first.

They can be planted in separate pots later on; or one foot apart in beds or rows. Pinch out the growing tip at transplant (going to the flower bed outside) to encourage bushiness. Soil should not be too rich or you will get large plants with few flowers. Plain 'Top Soil' works best. **Do Not** fertilize! You'll kill them.
Good for Xeriscaping: planting a drought tolerant garden.

For bouquets: Do this the evening *Before* you want them!
Cut stems in the late evening, or just before sundown or 2 hours before sundown, after blossoms have opened.

Leave 6 to 12 inches of stem on the plant (at your knee height or middle of your calf, when you've planted them in at the ground level, of course) and cut just above a leaf joint so the plant will produce more blooms. You should be able to get 3 more come backs during the entire season. The last ones to come up (3rd come back) in late August should be left to re-seed for next year; or collecting your own seeds.

For longer lasting blooms, carry a bucket of cool (not cold) water into the garden and immerse the stems immediately. Allow them to stand overnight in a cool, dark place to the harden stems before arranging the next day. My friend a fellow gardener and 'Florist ' told me this one.

Neutral gardener_mick On Nov 27, 2000, gardener_mick from Wentworth, SD (Zone 4a) wrote:

Gypsophila elegans is an annual baby's breath. It grows between 1-2' tall and should be spaced 10-13" apart. The soft-looking, airy flowers grow in a mound. The flowers bloom from late spring into the fall. Plant in full sun. In warmer climates, plant in part shade. Taller varieties should be supported so that they keep the mound shape. If cut back after flowers die, they will bloom again. Baby's breath prefers well-drained, slightly alkiline soil, however avoid soil that is too alkiline or moist. Flowers are used in both fresh and dried arrangements. If you want continuous blooms, you can use successive sowing ever 2-3 weeks.
'Covent garden' is white and grows to 1 1/2' tall.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oak View, California
Denver, Colorado
Cordele, Georgia
Valdosta, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Columbus, Indiana
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Atlanta, Michigan
Buffalo, New York
Deposit, New York
Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania
Locust Dale, Virginia
Artondale, Washington
Kalama, Washington

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