Flower spotlight: baby’s breath

Flower spotlight: baby’s breath

Baby’s breath is a long-time staple in the floral industry. Its delicate white flowers can add fullness to a bouquet or create contrast for brightly colored flowers. The delicate stems and small flowers spread easily to fill any gaps in an arrangement, and they can help add some softness to bold, dramatic flowers.


Baby’s breath also adds an element of purity and innocence to any bouquet, and it’s especially common for wedding bouquets and new baby bouquets. Tiny sprigs also appear in boutonnieres and corsages for both weddings and formal events. 


While it’s most commonly used as filler in bouquets, it can also make a statement on its own as a simple boutonniere or loose bouquet tied with a complementary ribbon. While the iconic baby’s breath is white, some varieties produce faint pink or yellow blooms. Baby’s breath can also be tinted or airbrushed to fit other color palettes.  


The flower is part of the Gypsophila family. While soil high in gypsum is too thick and heavy for many flowers to grow, flowers in the Gypsophila family thrive in such soil. While most people are familiar with baby’s breath in floral bouquets, it’s also grown in gardens as a beautiful backdrop. The plant grows one to two feet tall, depending on the species, and grows best in the eastern United States.


Baby’s breath can be used to symbolize innocence, purity, everlasting love, and the Holy Spirit in Christianity. There was a time in the floral industry when a few sprigs of baby’s breath were tucked into nearly every bouquet. It’s not used as frequently now, but it still has an important role in creating a foundation for other flowers and bringing some nostalgia and innocence to any arrangement. 

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