The Q&A Archives: Bristol Fairy's Life Span

Question: Several months ago I bought a pot of Bristol Fairy. It bloomed fine all summer, but now the flowers are dying. I'm writing to ask if Bristol Fairy will come back next year, or if it has spent its life span and has now ascended to that great garden in the sky!

Answer: Bristol Fairy, Gypsophila paniculata, is sometimes called 'Baby's Breath'. If the first blossoms are cut from the plant, it will produce more flowers later in the summer. If you didn't cut the flowers back, you'll only get one flush of bloom. Since you live in a mild winter area, your plant should winter-over and produce new stems and flowers next year. Cut the plant back to soil level when you harvest the flowers for dried arrangements. Or, leave it as is and wait until frost kills the tops back. Then remove the debris from the garden and place 3-4 inches of mulch over the roots to protect them over the winter months.

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