Gypsophila is a family of plants known commonly as baby’s breath. The abundance of delicate little flowers makes it a popular border or low hedge in the garden. You can grow baby’s breath as an annual or a perennial, depending on the variety chosen. Care is fairly easy, but a little Gypsophila pruning will help your plants grow healthier and bloom more.
Do I Need to Cut Back Baby’s Breath?
You don’t technically need to trim or prune your baby’s breath plants, but it is recommended for a few reasons. One is that, by deadheading, you will keep your plants looking neat and tidy. This can be done for both perennials and annuals.
Another good reason to cut back baby’s breath is to encourage another round of flowers. Heavier cut backs after the growing season will keep plants trimmed and neat and will encourage new growth later in perennial varieties.
How to Prune Baby’s Breath
The best time for trimming baby’s breath is after they bloom. Most of these plants bloom in the spring and summer. They will benefit from deadheading as the flowers fade, as well as a complete cut back to allow them to bloom again.
Baby’s breath plants have terminal flower sprays and secondary sprays that grow to the sides. The terminal flowers will die first. Start deadheading those when about half of those blooms have faded. Prune the terminal sprays at the point just above where secondary sprays emerge. Next, when they’re ready, you’ll do the same for the secondary sprays.
You should see a new flush of flowers in summer or even in early fall if you do this pruning. Once the second blooming is finished, you can cut the plants way back. Trim all the stems down to about an inch (2.5 cm.) above the ground. If your variety is perennial, you should see healthy new growth in the spring.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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