Still a relatively new player to the plant game, Bacopa has made a name for itself with its floriferous nature. Funnily enough, its name is actually misleading. Bacopa is not in the genus Bacopa at all, but in the genus Sutera. Naming confusion aside, you would be hard-pressed to find a plant with such pure white flowers for all your container planting needs.
As you plan your spring and summer containers with the tried-and-true formula of "filler, thriller, and spiller," look to bacopa as a natural fit for the spiller category. Most commonly seen in its white flowered form, this plant can bloom almost nonstop through the entire growing season. The clean white flowers cover the plant and act as a beautiful backdrop while the small green leaves are roughly heart-shaped and have a slightly serrated edge. Together, the white blooms and green foliage mix easily in almost any plant combination.
Bacopa Care Must-Knows
Bacopa is a versatile plant that can be used as a vigorous groundcover or as a trailer in containers, hanging baskets, and shady-spot window boxes. As soon as the weather warms up, these plants grow quickly and become covered in buds and blooms. One major plus to the rapid growth is that they bury their dead, so there is no need to deadhead old spent blooms. Feed bacopa regularly in order to keep up with its rapid growth. Yellowing foliage and the slowing of flower growth are signs that your bacopa plant is starting to get hungry. It may take a few weeks for these plants to get back into gear—but once they do, you won't even notice that they took a break.
Keep these plants evenly moist and maintain a steady watering schedule. If bacopa dries out even for just a day or two, the plants stop blooming. Once they're watered again, they cautiously begin to set buds, but this process can take 2-3 weeks to get back to their bloomy self.
When bacopa first came to market, there was only one variety—simple white blooms. As gardeners fell in love with this plant, breeders began to expand the offerings. Now flower colors in blue, pink, and lavender are available. On top of the added color selections, there are also options for single or double blooms in several of the colors along with a few varieties that offer gold and green variegated foliage.
More Varieties of Bacopa
Plant Bacopa With:
Talk about foolproof: Annual begonia is as easy as it gets. It does well in a variety of conditions, but to keep it luxuriant, give it light shade; rich, well-drained soil; and ample water. It also loves plenty of fertilizer, so be generous. Plant annual begonias in spring after all danger of frost has passed. No need to deadhead this flower unless you want to since it's "self-cleaning!"
Geraniums have been a gardener's favorite for well over a century. The old-fashioned standard for beds, borders, and containers, geranium is still one of the most popular plants today. Traditional bedding types love hot weather and hold up well to dry conditions; many offer colorful foliage. Regal, also called Martha Washington, geraniums are more delicate-looking and do better in the cool conditions of spring and fall. Though most geraniums are grown as annuals, they are perennials in Zones 10-11. Bring them indoors to overwinter, if you like, then replant outdoors in spring. They can bloom indoors all year long if they get enough light.
Petunias are fail-proof favorites for gardeners everywhere. They are vigorous growers and prolific bloomers from mid spring through late fall. Color choices are nearly limitless, with some sporting beautiful veining and intriguing colors. Many varieties are sweetly fragrant (sniff blooms in the garden center before purchasing to be sure). Some also tout themselves as "weatherproof," which means that the flowers don't close up when water is splashed on them. Wave petunias have made this plant even more popular. Reaching up to four feet long, Waves are great as a groundcover or when cascading from window boxes and pots. All petunias do best and grow more bushy and full if you pinch or cut them back by one- to two-thirds in midsummer. Shown above: Merlin Blue Morn petunia