One of the main attractions of gypsophila is that it is such a versatile plant. This applies in a couple of ways; primarily, the plant can be used in a number of ways. It is often featured in floral bouquets as a filler plant and is also incredibly popular in borders and rock gardens. The delicate flowers are the perfect complement for larger, more extravagant blooms; what a contrast! But when it comes to planting gypsophila roots, there is a certain knack to getting it right, especially if you want your plants to thrive. Provided that you soak the roots before planting and make sure that you plant at the right time of year (in spring – after the last frost), you shouldn’t have too many problems. In this guide, we will be giving you simple step-by-step instructions on how to plant gypsophila root, even if you have never cared for this plant before.
What Is Gypsophila Root?
Gypsophila is commonly referred to as baby’s breath and is a hugely popular plant in several countries around the world. There is both an annual and a perennial plant with delicate white flowers that love a sunny position and thrive excellently in well-drained soil. What’s great about baby’s breath is that it will do well in a huge range of growing conditions. Most interesting, this plant is very tolerant of drought so is perfect in drier areas and during the summer months where the clouds of pretty, white blooms will still thrive. One of the main reasons that so many people are attracted to gypsophila is that it is one of the most versatile plants that you can grow in your garden. It’s very commonly used in flower arranging but also makes a wonderful addition to a rockery.
The flowers will come through throughout summer and into early autumn. While there are different varieties, the most common colours are white and pink.
How To Plant Gypsophila Root
Planting gypsophila root is a relatively simple task for both new and experienced gardeners. But where most people go wrong is not soaking the roots before planting, provided you do this, and plant in the right location, you should see those delicate flowers thrive.
What You Need
- Container for soaking
- Shovel to clear soil
- Hand trowel
Step 1 – Pick Your Spot
First up, you will need to find an appropriate spot for your gypsophila. These plants prefer a position in full sun, but they will do well in a partially shaded position if this is all that is available. These plants also like to be in a position out of the wind as this can cause the leaves to brown. You can plant these plants in both containers and directly into the ground.
Step 2 – Soak the Root
It’s important to keep in mind that baby’s breath won’t like sitting in wet or damp soil once it is in the ground. However, it will do exceptionally well if the roots are soaked prior to planting. You might think of this as giving it a bit of a head start.
You will need to soak the roots in fresh, clean water for around 3-6 hours before you plant them. While they are soaking, you can make other necessary preparations.
Step 3 – Prepare the Soil
If you are planting in the ground, then you will first need to clear the area of any rocks or sod and ensure that the soil is light and has plenty of nutrients and organic matter. Start by digging down to around a depth of 10-15cm using a hand trowel. The same applies when planting in a container. In any case, you should add fertiliser at this point.
Step 4 – Plant
When the 3-6 hours of soaking time has elapsed, it’s time to plant the gypsophila in your chosen spot. Generally speaking, you will need to give each root at least 25-30cm of space and always ensure that the shoots are facing upwards.
The top of the root, where new growth emerges should be placed no higher than 2.5cm below the soil line and the crown should not be visible once covered over.
Step 5 – Water
Once you have planted your gypsophila roots, you will need to water them. Since these plants do not do well in very wet soil, you’ll do more harm than good by adding too much water. The ideal amount is enough to wet the soil without it becoming waterlogged. If the area you have planted the baby’s breath receives regular rainfall, then you probably won’t need to water them very often at all. However, if it doesn’t then we would suggest only watering once a week.
Why Won’t My Gypsophila Root Take?
There could be several reasons why your Gypsophila (commonly known as baby’s breath) roots aren’t taking:
- Soil Moisture: Gypsophila prefers well-draining soil and doesn’t like to sit in wet conditions. Overwatering or planting in soil that retains too much moisture will kill off the plant.
- Seasonal Timing: The time of year when you plant or propagate can also impact root development. Ensure you’re planting out in the early spring after the last frost so the plant can become established.
- Disease or Pests: Check for any signs of diseases or pests that might be affecting the plant’s ability to establish roots. Pythium species and R. solani are particularly destructive during the rooting of cuttings.
Gypsophila root, more commonly known as baby’s breath, is a hugely versatile flowering plant that is well-loved by gardeners the world over. Planting the roots is not difficult and healthy, blooming plants can be achieved even by a novice. However, it’s essential to ensure that you soak the roots before planting as this will give them a boost and improve their chances of doing well.
Garden Doctor Tips
“When planting, ensure you leave at least 25cm space around the root!”
“It is a good idea to sift the soil in the area you are planting to remove any large stones and rocks!”
“To breathe life back into the root before planting, a soaking of 390 minutes will give it a good head start!”
“Do not overwater – Gypsophila does not like wet feet, waterlogged ground will hinder the plants’ growth!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Gypsophila easy to grow?
Yes, Gypsophila is easy to grow. The most important thing in growing any plant is providing the right conditions and giving it plenty of sunlight, water, fertiliser, or compost tea (a mixture of water and organic matter), air circulation and good drainage.
Does Gypsophila come back every year?
Perennial Gypsophila varieties will come back each year. However, if you leave the root in the ground over the winter, it may not come back as vigorously as if it had been dug up and replanted.
Is Gypsophila and baby’s breath the same?
Baby’s breath is the common name for Gypsophila paniculata. It is a white flower that blooms in late spring and early summer. It can be grown as a perennial in zones 4-9.
Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.