Baby’s breath: A beautiful but invasive plant species


Baby’s breath is a plant species that is often used as a decorative flower in weddings, bouquets, and other floral arrangements. It is a delicate and charming flower that complements other flowers and can add a touch of elegance to any display. However, as much as it is loved and admired, Baby’s Breath is also a problematic plant species due to its invasive nature.

Description of Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family and has over 150 species. It is an annual or perennial herbaceous plant with small, delicate white or pink flowers. The leaves are small and narrow, and the stems are thin and branching. Baby’s Breath can grow up to 3 feet in height, and its flowers usually bloom from April to September. Some of the most common types of Baby’s Breath include the Gypsophila repens, Gypsophila muralis, and Gypsophila paniculata.

Origin and History

Baby’s Breath plants are believed to have originated from Europe, Asia, and Africa. They were first introduced to the United States in the 1800s and have since then become widely popular as a decorative flower. Baby’s Breath has various significance in different cultures around the world. In Christianity, Baby’s Breath symbolizes purity and innocence, and it is often used during baptisms and weddings. In Japan, Baby’s Breath is associated with everlasting love and is given as a gift on special occasions.

The Problem with Baby’s Breath: Invasive Species

While Baby’s Breath is beloved by many, it is also a problematic plant species due to its invasive nature. Baby’s Breath spreads rapidly and uncontrollably, especially in areas where it is not native. Once it takes root, it can outcompete and displace other native plant species, reducing biodiversity and overall ecosystem health. The invasive nature of Baby’s Breath causes it to be classified as a noxious weed in many states and countries.

Controlling and Removing Baby’s Breath

Prevention is the best way to control Baby’s Breath. If you’re planning on using it in your garden or as a decorative plant, make sure to take preventive measures such as planting it in a controlled environment or avoiding planting it altogether. If you already have Baby’s Breath in your garden, alternative methods of control include physical removal, herbicide use, and solarization. It is important to remember that invasive plant species should not be disposed of with other yard waste as this can lead to further spread.


While Baby’s Breath is a beautiful flower that adds to the aesthetics of many floral displays, it is important to remember that it is also an invasive plant species that can have negative impacts on ecosystems. Taking preventive measures and being proactive in controlling and removing Baby’s Breath can help prevent further spread and protect the health and diversity of our natural environments.