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Gypsophila aretioides

1st May 2016

A small cushion forming species from the mountains of Iran and the Caucasus. Makes a hard mound of tiny rosettes producing small white flowers in spring.
Many of these alpine cushions have exacting requirements in cultivation and I don't really have the time or the patience to fiddle-faddle around them on a daily basis. They like some moisture at the root but they don't like to be wet, and they don't like to get wet around the collar.
So I had an idea that they might adapt well to hydroponic culture with moisture at depth but well ventilated and fairly dry at the surface. Well, I was wrong, it died.
I think I needed a much taller pot. The ones I use are about 12cm tall and I think I needed something closer to 24cm, the roots were too wet. The problem with a taller pot is keeping it from falling over and persuading a small plant to root far enough down to reach water in the first place. Gypsophila aretioides may be a plant for a more conventional system though I have one other trick I would like to try before I give up entirely.