Creeping Gypsophile, Creeping Baby's Breath

By: C. Colston Burrell
Creeping gypsophile is also known as creeping baby's breath.

The best known Gypsophila is baby's breath (G. Paniculata). Although baby's breath, with its thin, multibranching stems and sprays of tiny flowers, looks wonderful at the back of the rock garden or in front of a large boulder, the top choice gypsophile for a rock garden would have to be one of the creeping varieties; the best known is G. repens.

Description of creeping gypsophile: Creeping gypsophile is a low-growing, prostrate, or trailing, perennial with narrow gray-green leaves that grow no more than 10 inches high and usually much less. It is covered with airy sprays of tiny white to pale pink flowers from early to midsummer. Ease of care: Easy.


Growing creeping gypsophile: The name "gypsophile" means "lover of gypsum," a reference that G. repens grows in alkaline soils in the wild. It is not quite as specific in its needs in culture, but acid soils should certainly be avoided. Creeping gypsophile prefers full sun and a well-drained location.

Propagating creeping gypsophile: By cuttings or seed.

Uses for creeping gypsophile: Creeping gypsophile is a particularly adaptable rock garden plant and makes a fine ground cover.

Creeping gypsophile related varieties: The pink-flowered version of creeping gypsophile (G. repens Rosea) is possibly more attractive and better behaved than the species. Rosy Veil, although generally listed as a variety of G. repens, is most likely the result of a cross between G. repens and baby's breath. It grows taller (up to 18 inches) and bears pink to white fully double flowers.

Scientific name of creeping gypsophile: Gypsophila repens

Want more information? Visit the following articles:

  • Rock Garden Plants: Learn which flowers and plans work best in rock gardens.
  • Gardening: Want gardening basics – start here with our guide to gardening.
  • Rock Gardens: We answer all your questions about rock gardens.