Bacopa is a genus of tropical and sub-tropical plants classified as semi-aquatic, seeing as they are capable of living in running or stagnant water as well as dry land. The foliage is thick, fleshy and rounded with snowflake shaped flowers of white or pale blue. They can handle being potted or placed in open soil, but do require some preparation and care to ensure they bloom to their fullest.
Bacopa plants require full sunlight, which is defined as direct sunlight for 6 hours each day. This can vary dependent on where the bacopa is being raised. Tropical and sub-tropical zones near the equator, and zone 9 and 10 on the USDA hardiness range, they tend to receive greater amounts of ultraviolet light in a given length of time than areas further from the equator, even if both are defined as direct sunlight. To that end, zones 6, 7, and 8 on the USDA hardiness range must provide eight to 10 hours of direct sunlight for the same amount of light energy to be imparted on the plant. They tend to need an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a low not going beneath 60 for more than a few hours, as they can be damaged by cold very easily.
The bacopa must stay moist at all times, as they are used to high humidity. Watering extensively once every other day rather than lightly watering every day as it best simulates what they’re used to when growing naturally. A good way to make sure the degree of watering is appropriate is to use a wood dowel and insert it about eight inches into the soil beside the plant. The entire length of the dowel should be saturated with soil clinging to it when retracted, just like a toothpick being inserted in a cake to see if it’s done.
Soil and Fertilizer
Despite the high water needs, bacopa thrive in soil that drains well. To that end, the soil it’s planted in should include one-third or one-fourth sand and the rest should be composed of plain soil and loam. The fertilization needs of the bacopa are simple. A regular generalized NPK liquid fertilizer used once every two weeks is sufficient. Slow-release fish meal worked into the soil will see to the bacopa’s acidity needs for an entire year.
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