Real World Gardener NEW Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath) in Plant of the Week

July 22nd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


NEW Gypsophilla paniculata"Festival Star."

This plant is in the same family as Carnations and is also known as chalk plant and soap root. 

Some (baby’s breath) of the species have edible roots, and the plants and roots are also grown for and used as a medical ingredient. 


Baby's breath.

Weird names aside the plant is very decorative and is used as a cut flower to give a delicate look in arrangements and bouquets. 

I'm talking with Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. 

The scientific name of Baby’s breath – ‘Gypsophila’ – comes from the words ‘gypsos’ and ‘philos’, meaning ‘gypsum’ and ‘loving’ respectively in Greek.

Festival Star is a compact but sturdy baby's breath that is covered with dense sprays of small white flowers from late late Summer.


Gypsophila Festival Star

These herbaceous perennial plants bear tall, airy panicles covered with hundreds of tiny double white flowers, often blushed with pink. 

They form a dense mound growing 30 - 45 cm tall and 45 - to 60 cm wide and is great on the sunny, well-drained border. 

Cut back the faded flower stems before they set seed as plants have a tendency to lightly self-sow.

Baby’s breath is difficult to transplant because it has a deep tap root, so plant it where it won’t be disturbed.

What could be more gorgeous than a combination of Gypsophila and red roses in a vase?


In the garden you could combine it with balloon flowers, dwarf lilies and low growing sedum for a great floral combination.



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