Bacopa (Sutera cordata) is an annual plant that blooms from spring to fall. Originating from the rainier parts of South Africa, Bacopa is not in the genus Bacopa at all, but in the genus Sutera. Commonly referred to as Sutera, it has small, white, blue, or pink five-petaled flowers, and green foliage. Hardy in USDA zones 9-11, this plant likes full sun to some partial shade. Bacopa can grow 3 to 12 inches tall, 10 to 36 inches wide, and cascade up to 4 feet long. Gardeners love to use Bacopa for groundcover, as a container spiller, and to attract butterflies.
Plant Bacopa in late spring after the threat of frost has passed. Choose a location that will get full sun with some afternoon shade. When planted in the garden, space plants 10-12 inches apart. Container Sutera can be planted closer together. Prior to planting, amend soil with compost or organic matter. Make sure the soil is well drained. Water well after planting.
This fairly low-maintenance plant requires regular watering for continuous blooming. When drought-stressed, Bacopa flowers and buds will drop off. The soil should be kept moist, at least an inch below the surface. It is best to water evenly and avoid overwatering. During hot spells, daily water may be needed. Applying a layer of mulch around the plants will help to conserve water in the soil. Do not allow the plant to sit in standing water as this can lead to root rot.
Routine fertilizing will keep your Bacopa blooming all season long. Use a water-soluble 10-10-10 fertilizer and follow package instructions. Fertilize every 2-3 weeks for landscape plants. Container plants will need to be fertilized every 1-2 weeks.
Bacopa plants are considered self-cleaning, which means deadheading is not necessary. If you like, you can remove spent flowers to speed up blooming. Typically, this would be done on younger plants. It is a good idea to occasionally trim back the plant 5-6 inches to clean it up and promote new growth. This can help promote good air circulation, healthy stems, and healthy roots.
Caring For Bacopa in Pots
Bacopa can grow 3 to 12 inches tall, 10 to 36 inches wide, and cascade up to 4 feet long. Choose a location that will get full to partial sun and is protected from windy conditions. Plant in a large container with drainage holes and use a high quality, well-draining potting soil. This plant will quickly stop blooming if allowed to dry out. It is best to water regularly as soon as the soil dries up. Saturate the soil well each time you water. Fertilize container Bacopa every 1-2 weeks.
Winter Care for Bacopa
Typically grown as an annual in USDA zones 9-11, Bacopa is enjoyed during the warm flowering season. This plant will die off with the first frost. Container-grown Sutera can be brought indoors to overwinter. If given enough light, they can continue to bloom all winter long.