Baby’s Breath: A Darling of Floral Arrangements, But Is It Poisonous?


Baby’s Breath, also known as Gypsophila, is a delicate and beautiful flowering plant that has been cherished by horticulturists and florists for centuries. Its small blossoms and delicate foliage make it a popular choice as a filler in floral arrangements, wedding bouquets, and other decorative displays.

However, despite its charming appearance, Baby’s Breath can pose health risks to humans and animals alike. In this article, we will take a closer look at the properties of Baby’s Breath and explore its poisonous potential.

Characteristics of Baby’s Breath

Baby’s Breath is a genus of around 100 species of flowering plants, native to both Europe and Asia. With its fine stems and numerous small white or pink blooms, it is a popular addition to various garden landscapes and commercial floriculture.

There are several common varieties of Baby’s Breath, including the Gypsophila paniculata, the most widely cultivated cultivar, as well as the Gypsophila repens and the Gypsophila elegans, which are less common but equally attractive.

Poisonous Properties of Baby’s Breath

Despite being a popular option in floral arrangements, Baby’s Breath is toxic to both humans and animals. The plant contains saponins, chemicals found commonly in many plant species that can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea in humans.

The saponins present in Baby’s Breath can also be poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses, causing similar symptoms as those in humans. Ingesting large amounts of the plant can cause severe symptoms like muscle tremors, seizures, and respiratory distress, even leading to death in some cases.

Precautions to Take When Handling Baby’s Breath

Florists and consumers should handle Baby’s Breath with care to avoid contact with skin or eyes, ingestion, or inhalation. Wearing gloves and a mask during handling, washing hands thoroughly after contact, and storing the plant out of reach from children and pets are just a few precautions to consider.

Pet owners and livestock handlers should also be aware of the potential danger of Baby’s Breath and keep animals away from the plant. Horse owners, in particular, should avoid using Baby’s Breath as bedding material for their horses, as the saponins present can be poisonous when ingested.


In conclusion, while Baby’s Breath is a beautiful and charming addition to floral arrangements, its toxicity to humans and animals should not be overlooked. Florists, consumers, and animal owners should take steps to ensure they handle and store the plant with caution to prevent accidental poisoning.