Last Updated on October 24, 2022 by Plant Mom Care
Baby’s breath is indigenous to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia and looks lovely in gardens. Upwards 100 annual and perennial plants of varying appearances make up the genus.
While some are suitably grown as attractive ground covers due to their creeping growth, others grow more upright and in mounds with widespread branching, giving the plants an airy and light look.
These plants can be upright and bushy, from 6 – 36 inches tall and as wide, depending on the species, the leaves are small and narrow and blue-green to gray-green. These plants should be planted in spring in cold climates and autumn in warm climates.
These plants are covered with tiny pink or white flowers with five petals that often last for several weeks in summer. The flowers attract insect pollinators like butterflies and bees. These plants are fast-growers and are considered invasive in North America.
Baby’s Breath Light Requirements
These plants grow best under full sun, with at least 6 hours of sun every day but they can tolerate some shade, particularly during hot afternoons. The excessive shade will result in leggy plants and poor flower production.
Baby’s Breath Watering
These plants are not water-demanding and thrive in dry soil, but keep the soil reasonably moist for young plants. Established plants don’t need watering unless there’s an extended period of drought. Overwatering could cause root rot or might even kill the plant.
Baby’s Breath Humidity
These plants prefer an arid atmosphere over a humid one so it’s important to ensure the plant has good soil drainage and is not sitting in too much moisture in very high humidity settings.
Baby’s Breath Temperature
These plants are tolerant of a broad range of temperatures. Ideally, daytime temperatures should be around 77°F and around 59°F at night.
These plants will not tolerate temperatures under 40°F, although some species can tolerate colder temperatures than others.
Baby’s Breath Soil
They can grow in an assortment of soil types if they have good drainage. Sandy soil will work well, while wet clayey soil will not.
So if your garden soil is heavy, think about planting them in containers or raised garden beds. They also like slightly alkaline soil, so if the soil is acidic, add garden lime to sweeten it.
Baby’s Breath Repotting
Repot your plant after it doubles its size or once a year—whatever comes first. Use a larger container ½ filled with well-draining soil mix. Carefully lift the plant and loosen the soil around the roots.
Trim any dead/damaged roots and place the plant in the center of the container. Add soil to cover the roots and water thoroughly.
Baby’s Breath Propagation
These plants propagate easily from cuttings taken from mature plants.
Cut several pieces from healthy stems, each around 4 – 5 inches in length. Remove leaves from the lower 1/3 portions of the cuttings. Plant the cuttings in small individual containers filled with alkaline soil and mist frequently to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
The cuttings should take root in about four weeks and can now be transferred to larger containers or in the garden.
Propagation From Seeds
While these plants are self-seeding and spread naturally, you can also sow the seeds indoors before spring in seed-starting soil and keep the soil moistened but not soggy.
They will start germinating in around 10 – 14 days. Once the weather becomes warm enough, transplant them in the garden spaced around 12 inches apart or in individual containers.
They are not heavy feeders and adding too much fertilizer can make them floppy. Just add compost to the soil every spring to encourage abundant flowers and healthy growth.
Deadhead these plants by cutting off spent blooms down to where the new buds are growing. They could also profit from a light trim after the initial flowering session has finished. This will help to control their shape and promote another set of blooms.
Following the second bloom in autumn, cut back the stems of these perennials to around one inch above the soil for overwintering. When temperatures warm up in the spring, new growth will reappear.
Baby’s Breath Flowers Common Problems
These plants face a few problems from pests and diseases. Pests known for attacking these plants include aphids, Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, slugs, including rabbits. Signs of pest invasions appear as holes in the foliage or discolored foliage.
Pest infestations can be controlled in several ways, using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or citrus oil to spray the entire plant. Repeat the treatment two weeks later.
Diseases like fungal infections and root rot usually affect these plants and are largely induced by over-watering. Remember, water demands for these plants are negligible since they can tolerate dry soil except in hot weather.
To help these plants flower better and for a longer time, follow the pruning instructions above to help initiate a second bloom and cut down the stems to around one inch above the soil to prepare for overwintering before the first frost. The plant will return every spring and flower every year.
How often should you water Baby’s Breath flowers?
New plants should be watered thoroughly once weekly to encourage good root development deep into the soil. Soil should stay damp about 1 inch below the topsoil. Early morning watering is best as this gives the leaves plenty of time to dry.
However, established plants rarely have to be watered unless they go through an extended drought. Potted plants however need regular watering as they tend to dry out faster than garden plants.
How long does Baby’s Breath flowers last?
Cut flowers can stay fresh for 5 – 10 days. Perennials will return every year, while annuals tend to self-seed and return the next year as new plants.
How do you keep a Baby’s Breath flowers alive?
These plants usually need very minimal maintenance. Plant them in an area that gets plenty of light and make sure the plants have good drainage, and they’ll essentially care for themselves.
Can I grow Baby’s Breath flowers indoors?
These plants can grow well indoors provided they get enough light, have well-drained soil, and are watered properly without water-logging.