Tucked away between larger, more colorful blooms, the soft floral clouds of the baby’s breath flowers add a delicate and gentle touch to any floral arrangement. For years, florists have used sprigs of baby’s breath to add a gentle and delicate volume to bridal and baby shower bouquets. The baby’s breath is used by florists as a filler flower. But it has its own simple and delicate beauty. Rich in symbolism and personal significance, the flower has a strong association with love, purity, and innocence. This adds depth of meaning to floral gifts and arrangements to close family and friends. Nowadays, the baby’s breath is used as a standalone flower in wreaths, vases, and decorative pieces to foreground its simple beauty and complex meaning.
Baby’s Breath Information
Baby’s breath or, less commonly, babe’s breath is a species of well-known ornamental flowering plant of the Gypsophila genus. The name Gypsophila is derived from two Greek words ‘gypsos’ meaning ‘gypsum’ and ‘philios’ meaning ‘loving’. This is a reference to the baby’s breath love of soil rich in gypsum, a mineral that makes the soil thick and heavy for other plants to thrive in. The baby’s breath thrives in well-drained mineral-rich soil under relatively dry and sunny conditions. The most common and popular species of ornamental baby’s breath is the Gypsophila paniculata.
Native to Central and Eastern Europe, baby’s breath is now also found across North America and other parts of the world. It is a perennial flower that thrives in dry alkaline soils rich in gypsum and calcium minerals and bright sunlight. There are also annual varieties of baby’s breath that are grown commercially for their ornamental flowers. Some varieties of baby’s breath can grow as tall as 1.2 meters in height while some other varieties can grow anywhere between 30-50 centimeters in width. It is not only a viable commercial flowering plant but also, a popular garden plant in Europe.
In early summer, gardens are brought to life as clouds of delicate and lacy baby’s breath flowers bloom until the onset of autumn or fall season. Although the tiny white flowers of the baby’s breath are the most well-known and commonly sold, the baby’s breath also comes in shades of pink, purple and yellow. The flowers are a popular choice for wedding bouquets and baby shower gifts as they are symbols of eternal love, purity, and innocence.
Baby’s Breath Flowers: Meaning and Symbolism
The small and simple baby’s breath flower has a range of complex meanings. Most people associate the flower with weddings and baby showers as a symbol of everlasting love and innocence. These meanings are deeply rooted in the soft and delicate appearance of the common white flowers of the baby’s breath. They are traditionally used in bridal bouquets and are gifted to new mothers during baby shower ceremonies. But the tiny delicate baby’s breath flowers hold far deeper meanings and significance.
Everlasting and Eternal Love
Baby’s breath is a popular symbol of everlasting and eternal love. That is why it is used in bridal bouquets and wedding floral arrangements. The flower is symbolic of the love and purity of emotion that people share. It is a beautiful reminder to cherish and show affection to the ones you love and hold them close. Baby’s breath is also symbolic of a past love that is now lost, but a love that continues to be cherished and held in the heart.
Purity and Innocence
As its name suggests, the baby’s breath flower has a close connection with newborn babies and infants. Traditionally, new mothers were gifted sprigs of baby’s breath in floral arrangements and bouquets. As a symbol of innocence and purity reflected in the pure white of the delicate baby’s breath blooms, the flowers are associated with children’s spiritual innocence and purity. They are also a symbol of the honesty, kindness, and genuineness shared between people who love and trust each other.
Holy Spirit in the Christian Tradition
In Christian tradition, baby’s breath flowers are used in floral arrangements in chapels and churches on the altars to represent the Holy Spirit. The flower symbolizes the grace and power of the blessed Holy Spirit often represented in the form of a pure white dove.
Self-Discipline and Freedom from Corruption
Baby’s breath is also symbolic of the ability of people to inculcate a sense of self-discipline and purity of consciousness and morality. It represents people’s abilities to commit themselves to ideas and actions that are bigger and more important than themselves. It is reflective of the power of prayer and commitment and the ability of people to resist falling prey to temptation and evil. The flower is a reminder of the importance of a good conscience and morality to be free from the evils of corruption and wrongdoing.
The baby’s breath flower also represents the ideas of loyalty and devotion. Fidelity in person and spirit is an important aspect of love and faith. The gentle and delicate purity of the baby’s breath is symbolic of this fidelity and faithfulness among people.
Baby’s Breath Colors and Meaning
While white is the most well-known and popular color, the baby’s breath flower comes in a diverse array of colors. Florists also dye the flowers in different hues to create colorful bouquets and floral baskets. But naturally, baby’s breath flowers have a variety of shades ranging from white and yellow to pink and purple. Each color is mild and beautiful with its own symbolic meaning. Depending on the occasion and the person the flowers are presented to, baby’s breath flowers are arranged into beautiful bouquets and can even be the focus of a floral arrangement. Each color symbolizes some unique qualities and ideas.
White: White baby’s breath is the most widely sold color of the flower. Earlier, it was commonly used by florists to fill in bouquets, flower baskets, and vases. The white baby’s breath flower stands for innocence, spirituality, and unity. This represents the overall meaning of the baby’s breath in general. White baby’s breath flowers are a must in wedding ceremonies, bridal bouquets, and baby shower gifts.
Yellow: Yellow represents light, happiness, and cheer. Yellow baby’s breath flowers symbolize joy and friendships. They make the perfect offering for close friends and family members. Yellow baby’s breath flowers are sure to brighten up and be the highlight of your floral arrangements. Their bright yellow color complements a variety of blooms perfectly.
Orange: Orange baby’s breath also symbolizes happiness, joy, and optimism. These flowers are ideal for presenting to near and dear ones on personal occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations of personal achievements.
Red: The color red is an iconic symbol of love, passion, and romance. Red baby’s breath flowers are symbols of the heart and of undying eternal love and affection. They represent the love and passion shared between married couples and partners. They are also symbolic of a past love that continues to be remembered and cherished in the heart. They are perfect gifts to express your love to your partner or spouse.
Pink: Pink baby’s breath flowers are gentle expressions of love and delicate affection. They are popularly gifted to new parents to celebrate the birth of a newborn baby. They are especially presented to parents of baby girls. The baby pink blooms of the baby’s breath also stand for young love and gentle affection. They make for a lovely gift to express your gentle emotions and affection for a new love or close family and friends that you hold dear.
Purple: Purple is the color of nobility. Purple baby’s breath flowers symbolize royalty, nobility, and beauty. These striking delicate blooms are sure to make any floral arrangement stand out admirably. They can be gifted to persons you look up to, admire and draw inspiration from. As a color of beauty and nobility, they send a beautiful message of admiration and respect to the person who receives them.
Blue: Blue baby’s breath flowers symbolize trust, honesty, and respect. These tiny and delicate blue blooms are often presented to the parents of newborn baby boys. They can also be gifted to people who you trust and respect. They symbolize honest, open relationships built on a foundation of trust, respect, and faith. Blue baby’s breath can also be presented to honor people in your lives who show these traits.
The different hues and colors of the baby’s breath symbolize a wide range of qualities and characteristics. Their symbolism is not limited to eternal love and innocence alone. It goes beyond these simple and beautiful qualities to embody faith, loyalty, trust, honesty, respect, beauty, affection, joy, and happiness. This makes the baby’s breath a versatile flower that can be presented to family, friends, and close relatives on a wide variety of occasions. These days, florists also use artificial dyes and colors to create a beautiful variety of bright and colorful baby’s breath flowers. Colorful baby’s breath flowers make floral gifts and bouquets more vibrant and beautiful.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Baby’s Breath Flower
There are many baby’s breath flower meanings that represent love, emotion, and affection. The flower symbolizes complex and diverse traits, characteristics, and ideas. But apart from its simple beauty and complex meanings, there are some very interesting facts and characteristics of the baby’s breath.
Despite being a popular garden ornamental plant, the species is actually considered to be invasive in some parts of the world! It is a sturdy and commercially viable flowering plant that does not require too much care. In fact, these bright and vibrant tiny blooms belong to the family of carnations. It grows well in mineral-rich alkaline soil with little water and fertilizer. The plant thrives in dry, well-drained soil, is drought-resistant, and rarely suffers from disease and insects! This makes it perfect for growing in gardens and in pots on balconies and terraces where the baby’s breath can enjoy good exposure to bright warm sunlight.
As an ornamental flower, it is long-lasting and easy to dry and preserve. The dried blooms and sprigs can then be used in a wide variety of fresh and permanent floral arrangements and natural festive decorative pieces for the home.
New research on the baby’s breath plant shows that some varieties have roots that are edible and have medicinal properties. These roots are believed to contain compounds that enhance the medicinal and fighting properties of leukemia medications. As a herbal medicine, the baby’s breath roots are not widely used. But the edible roots may be eaten after baking them to reduce the saponins that are toxic and make them bitter to taste.
Best time to gift someone Baby’s Breath flowers
As a symbol of pure everlasting love and innocence, the baby’s breath flower is an ideal gift to give during weddings and baby showers. They are an important addition to bridal bouquets and wedding décor to represent the eternal love and affection between the couple and their families. They also represent the innocent of newborn infants and are gifted to new parents on the occasion of their baby showers.
These simple, beautiful, and delicate flowers are a perfect addition to floral gifts to people who have the qualities and traits that the baby’s breath symbolizes. Weddings and baby showers are considered to be the best occasions to gift someone baby’s breath flowers. These simple and elegant flowers can also be presented to people throughout the year as an expression of love, emotion, and affection.
Baby’s breath flowers are a beautiful and gentle reminder to love and show affection to your close friends and family. They are an expression of love, trust, purity, and innocence and convey the important message of being cherished and held in high regard. There is no doubt that the small, delicate and simple baby’s breath holds a significant message of the importance of genuine love and pure affection.