With small, rounded heart-shaped leaves lining sprawling or drooping stems, bacopa (Sutera spp.) bears many small bell-shaped flowers from spring to fall. These flowers are often white, but hybrids derived from the many species native to southern Africa yield blossoms that are pink, mauve or lavender. Bacopa grows and blooms best in evenly moist fertile soils when temperatures linger between 60 and 80 degrees F. It is perennial in mild climate regions with frost-free winters; frost kills the plant elsewhere.
The wiry stems and small-sized leaves and flowers gives bacopa a fine-textured appearance. It grows well and looks charming spilling over the edges of hanging baskets filled with other trailing annual flowers like petunias, alyssum or million bells. Bacopa can also be grown by itself in a hanging basket to create an elegant, dripping fountain-like specimen lined with white, pink or lavender flowers depending on garden variety grown.
Similar to hanging basket use, bacopa gently cascades over the edges of window boxes, lending a charming feel and fine-texture. Since it grows less than 6 to 8 inches tall, but with stems up to 30 inches long, plant bacopa at the front of the window box planter so it isn't shaded or over-crowded by larger and taller annual plants.
If you seek a low, sprawling flowering plant to soften the edges of a large patio container or to carpet the soil surface in a container housing a taller specimen plant, consider a bacopa. Trim back stems as needed to maintain a more formal-edged look, or allow it to freely flop over container edges for a more lush, rustic display.
Allow bacopa to sprawl its stems across the ground in the foreground of a garden border. It remains low and does not compete with taller, clump-forming annual and perennial plants and helps cover bare soil areas between them. If you garden in a climate that is not overly hot and humid in the summer and lacks winter frosts, bacopa will become a mounded, sprawling sub-shrub that remains evergreen. It may grow upwards of 24 to 30-inches tall and stems spreading 4 to 5 feet. Trim back plants in early spring to rejuvenate if desired. Use it in a rock garden or to control erosion on a gentle hillside.