About Annual Baby's Breath: This dainty flower has become well-known for its role in the florists’ industry as a filler in bouquets. Originally it grew as a wildflower across much of Europe and Asia, and was introduced to the States in the late 19th century as a popular addition to flower gardens. The genus name Gypsophila means “lover of chalk,” referring to the type of light, alkaline soil that this plant prefers.
Annual Baby's Breath Germination: Direct sow in spring after the soil has warmed to about 70 degrees F. Press the seed into the soil’s surface, since it requires light to sprout; keep the soil moist until it germinates, which usually occurs in 10-15 days. To start indoors, sow the seed in flats 4-6 weeks before the last frost; keep the soil lightly moist until germination, and transplant the seedlings outdoors as soon as the weather allows. This plant grows well in rich, light soils; for continuous bloom, plant a new crop every 3-4 weeks.
Growing Annual Baby's Breath Seeds: This plant grows quickly and can tolerate some drought, though it grows best with regular watering as it develops and begins to bloom. This plant will begin to bloom in about 4 weeks from seed, for a duration of about 6 weeks. It will self-seed readily , though cutting the foliage down to ground level after blooming will prevent this. This plant attracts bees and butterflies, and resists deer.
Harvesting Annual Baby's Breath: For fresh flowers, cut long stems of flowers that have just opened and place them in water immediately; strip the leaves that will fall below the water. These flowers also dry well.
Saving Annual Baby's Breath Seeds: After blooming, each flower will develop a small round seed pod. As soon as the pods dry and contain mature black seed, shake them over a container to remove the seed. The entire plant can also be cut several inches above ground level and hung upside down, to allow the seed to fall as the plant dries.
Detailed Annual Baby's Breath Info: Origin: Eurasia Other Common Names: Annual Baby's Breath, Showy Baby's Breath, Gyp Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Summer Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 8-10 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 23,600 Produces a plant with small, narrow leaves and branching, open clusters of ˝” fragrant white flowers.