Page 6 - Super Floral > January 2016 Issue
P. 6

cut flower


              Available in many varieties, the reign of America’s
                            favorite accent flower continues.

‘Beauty Bride’                            care and handling                        buying tips

Danziger - “Dan” Flower Farm              See “general cut flower care” at         n For maximum vase life, purchase
                                 In addition to      Gypsophila when about one-third to
  BOTANICAL NAME                          those steps, Gypsophila requires the     one-half of the florets are open.
  Gypsophila                              following specific care procedures.      n Check bunches for brown, shriv-
  (jip-SOF-il-uh)                                                                  eled and dried-out blooms as well
  COMMON NAME                             CLEAN STEMS Bacterial contamination      as signs of wilt/water stress.
  Baby’s breath                           of the flower-food solution, which
                                          plugs stem ends, occurs rapidly with     fun facts
 species types                            these flowers, so change the solution
                                          and wash the containers every other      FAMILY TREE Gypsophila is a mem-
  Two species of Gypsophila are           day. To help slow this contamina-        ber of the Caryophyllaceae family.
  cultivated as cut flowers: the annual   tion, place Gypsophila stems into        Close cut flower relatives include
  G. elegans and the perennial G. pa-     a bleach solution (about 20 drops,       Dianthus (carnations, sweet Wil-
  niculata, which is the species most     or 1⁄4 teaspoon, per quart of water)     liams) and Saponaria (soapwort).
  widely grown as a cut flower.           for several minutes between the
                                          hydration solution treatment and the     HOME SWEET HOME Gypsophila is in-
 special hues                             fresh-flower food solution.              digenous to the region from Eastern
                                                                                   Europe to Central Asia, particularly
  Most varieties of Gypsophila that       A NOTE OF CAUTION Gypsophila can         eastern Turkey and northern Iran.
  are cultivated as cut flowers are       easily contract Botrytis (gray mold), a
  white; however, some pale pink and      fungal disease, during cold storage      WHAT’S IN A NAME The genus name
  rose-colored varieties are available.   if the blooms are wet and/or if the hu-  Gypsophila is from the Greek gyp-
  Some white varieties can turn pink      midity level in the cooler is too high.  sos (gypsum) and philos (loving), in
  if temperatures fall below 50 F for     Never store containers of Gypsophila     reference to this flower’s preference
  an extended period during growing.      in plastic bags for extended periods     for soils high in calcium (lime). The
  These flowers also can be stem          of time, and avoid packing bunches       species name paniculata refers to
  dyed, dip dyed or spray dyed, to        too tightly in storage containers.       the blooms occurring in panicles
  increase the color choices.                                                      (branching clusters).
                                          SHAKE IT UP To enhance the opening
 availability                             of the tiny blooms, rapidly “shake”      MEDICINAL PROPERTIES Saponins in
                                          the stems of the bunches up and          the plants’ roots are frequently used
  Gypsophila is available year-round      down in a container of warm flow-        as an ingredient in expectorants
  from both domestic and international    er-food solution. Buds will pop open     and spermicides; however, that
  growers. It is most often grown as      like miniature popcorn.                  same substance can cause asth-
  a field crop, but in some areas, it is                                           matic or dermatological reactions
  grown in greenhouses.                   ethylene sensitivity                     in some people, so be careful when
                                                                                   handling Gypsophila. Use latex
14 / january 2016     Gypsophila is extremely sensitive to     gloves, if needed.
                                          ethylene and will display symptoms
                                          of wilt when exposed to the gas.         HANGING IN THERE Gypsophila can be
                                          Check with your suppliers to ensure      used as a dried flower. It can be air
                                          an ethylene inhibitor is administered    dried by hanging it upside down,
                                          at the farm or during shipping. Keep     or it can be preserved in a glycerin/
                                          these flowers away from fruits and       water mixture.
                                          vegetables, automobile exhaust,
                                          cigarette smoke and other sources        TANGLED MESS Gypsophila stems
                                          of ethylene. You can seal buckets of     become entwined easily and can
                                          Gypsophila in plastic bags to limit      be damaged if not separated
                                          exposure to ethylene, but be sure to     carefully. To untangle stems, hold
                                          check the moisture level inside the      them upside down, and gently
                                          bags frequently to prevent fungal        shake them up and down to loos-
                                          diseases on the blooms.                  en and separate.

                                          Super Floral has created this page for the education of
                                          store-level employees. To download a reprintable PDF,
                                          go to and select “Current Issue.”
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