Bacopa & Low Light Conditions

Overview

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) is a running herb that spreads rapidly in very moist, damp areas. It is often found growing in bogs or along bodies of water, especially along the coast. This tropical plant features round, succulent leaves and small white flowers tinged with pink or blue. Frequently called the "water-hyssop," the herb is also known for its medicinal uses, according to the University of Hawaii's website.

Light Conditions

Bacopa does not grow well in low-light conditions. The herb will grow slowly and become "leggy," which means the stems will grow longer, with more space appearing between the leaves. With full sun, however, the plant becomes stocky and bushy in appearance, according to the University of Hawaii. Full sun (at least six hours per day) is ideal for this plant as long as the soil is kept continually moist.

Significance

Bacopa is often used as an aquarium or pond plant. It can grow on the water, forming a mat, or it can grow in the ground. Bacopa is also used as a trailing container plant. This versatile herb is used in India to improve memory and is believed to have antioxidant properties, according to the University of Hawaii.

Climate

This tender herb is a warm-climate plant. Freezing temperatures will quickly kill it. For this reason, it can only be cultivated outdoors in United States Department of Agriculture hardiness growing zones 9 or warmer.

Culture

Plant your bacopa in moist soil. This plant will grow in clay, loamy or sandy soil. It will also grow in water, including brackish water. Fertilize once a month with a water-soluble fertilizer at half-strength, and cut them back regularly. These plants are fast-growing and can overtake nearby, desirable plants.

Appearance

Bacopa monnieri has bright green, thick, ovate leaves. The flowers, which bloom in the spring, are small--about a half-inch across--and usually creamy-white in color. The plant can grow up to a foot tall, but usually averages less than this, with a maximum spread of 4 feet.

Keywords: Bacopa monnieri care, growing bacopa plants, low light conditions

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.