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Bacopa is a South American plant that blooms continuously from May to October. A cultivated version appeared in 1993. Another name for the flower is sutter. Caring for and growing bacopa is not fraught with great difficulties, since this ground cover plant is not quite whimsical.
What does bacopa look like
It is a creeping herb, the length of the shoots of which does not exceed 60 cm. The stems are drooping, flexible, thin and long, densely covered with small flowers. They grow rapidly on the soil surface, forming a dense carpet. The height of the perennial does not exceed 15 cm.
Leaves are miniature, oblong, ovate or broadly oval in shape. Their edges are covered with small notches, the color of the leaf plate is pale green. Leaves grow in pairs, densely cover the shoot.
The flowering of the plant is long, abundant from May to October.
Flowers are small, formed in the axils of the leaves. Corolla of regular shape, consists of 5 petals, fused at the base. The diameter of the flower does not exceed 2 cm. In its center there are short yellow stamens. Depending on the variety of bacopa, the color of the buds can be white, pink, red, blue, lilac. After flowering, in place of the buds, small, dry, flattened capsules are formed, filled with a huge amount of dusty seeds.
Types of bacopa
There are about 60 species in the genus Bacopa. On their basis, breeders develop new varieties. They are distinguished by a brighter and more varied color of the buds. There is Bacopa with buds of blue, pink and white flowers at the same time.
The disadvantage of such plant varieties is that after pollination, after several flowering, they turn white.
Giant Snowflake is a large plant with meter long shoots. Suitable for hanging pots. Blooms profusely for several months. The care of the variety is simple.
In relation to the size of the shrub, the flowers of the plant are quite small
Bluetopia is a perennial with short (up to 30 cm) shoots and lavender-colored buds. The leaves are small, olive, flowering is lush, long-lasting.
Bluetooth grows well and looks in flowerpots, boxes, balcony pots
Olympic Gold is a herbaceous perennial plant whose leaves are cast in gold. The length of the shoots does not exceed 60 cm, the flowers are small, white, densely cover the branches.
Olympic Blue is distinguished by its unpretentiousness, resistant to diseases
Snowstorm Blue is a large perennial, whose shoots grow up to 100 cm. Leaves are medium-sized, dark green. Flowers are bluish-lilac with a bright yellow core, densely cover the entire surface of the shoots.
Snowstorm Blue - a hybrid variety of ampelous bacopa
Scopia Double Blue is a type of ampelous bacopa with short stems up to 40 cm. The flowers are pinkish-lilac in color, the leaves are dark green.
Due to its compact size, this Bacopa looks great in hanging pots and planters
How to grow and care for bacopa at home
Bacopa is a moisture-loving plant that needs frequent watering. The rest of the plant is unpretentious, and beginner growers can also properly grow bacopa.
When to plant bacopa at home
Bacopa is sown in March in containers or flower pots. They are filled with slightly acidic, loose, fertile soil.
Seed material is ground with sand and scattered on the soil surface
Bacopa seeds are grown indoors, not outdoors. In open ground or in balcony pots, grown seedlings are transplanted in early or mid-May, depending on the growing region.
Location and lighting
Planting pots are placed on the windowsills. Bacopa loves good lighting. As soon as it gets hot, the plant can be shaded, but it is not worth putting it into a dark room: the flowering will weaken, the green part of the bush will grow strongly.
Correctly plant Bacopa directly into wet soil or sand. Then, every 2-3 days, the seeds are moistened with a spray bottle, the same applies to grown plants. In winter, watering the bacopa must be abandoned.
Temperature and humidity
Bacopa tolerates sudden temperature changes well. It can be grown on the balcony from early spring to late autumn. In winter, the plant is removed to a warm, wind-protected room. During this period, all biological processes are inhibited.
Regular watering (at least 3 times a week) will provide the moisture necessary for bacopa. On especially hot days, the flower is additionally sprayed from a spray bottle.
Bacopa is fed in spring and summer. For these purposes, organic and complex mineral fertilizers are alternately used. Liquid fertilizers are also needed for flowering crops. They can be added every 10 days.
As soon as the bush begins to bloom sparsely, the stems are cut and the shoots are pinched. Excessively long lashes are shortened, aligned in length. The tops of young shoots are pinched, stimulating the growth of new branches and abundant flowering.
Bacopa care: growing conditions in the garden
Bacopa can be grown from seeds. The main thing is to properly sow bacopa in cups or containers in March. The grown seedlings are rooted in the open field in early May.
When to sow
For planting bacopa in a personal plot, its seeds are first germinated. The process begins in the first half of March. In the southern regions, seeds can be immediately laid in open ground at the end of March, when the soil has already warmed up.
In the central regions and in the north, hardened seedlings are rooted in the garden at the end of May, as soon as the threat of frost has passed.
Seedlings are pre-hardened: taken out for an hour on the street
Gradually, the hardening time is increased until the plants can stay in the fresh air for days.
Where to plant
Bacopa is planted in open, well-lit areas, sheltered from the wind.
Exposure to direct sunlight must not be allowed, the light must be diffused
Slight shading is acceptable, but you cannot completely cover the bakopa from the sun. In a temperate climate, the culture is not grown as a perennial, it is dug up for the winter, it is important to take this moment into account before planting. You can learn more about the process of growing bacopa in the video:
Bacopa loves moisture. The soil under the plant should always be well shed, its short-term flooding is allowed.
Important! For irrigation, use soft, settled water.
After watering, the soil is loosened, Bacopa grows on light, well-drained soils.
Without fertilization, the crop is severely depleted during the flowering period. Top dressing is applied in the spring and in the first half of summer. It is better to use fertilizers in liquid form: a solution of mullein or bird droppings. Liquid complex mineral fertilizers are applied 2-3 times per season.
To preserve the splendor of the bush, the ends of the shoots are pinched. Apical cuttings can be used for propagation of the culture. How the process of propagation of bacopa by cuttings occurs will be shown by an experienced florist in the video:
Too long shoots that are knocked out of the total green mass are cut with pruning shears. As soon as the lower shoots become firm, covered with bark, they are shortened by a third.
Important! The procedure is recommended to be carried out in the fall, and in the summer it will stimulate the flowering process.
Features of seasonal care
Bacopa is a perennial plant, but in regions with cold winters, it becomes an annual. The flower is dug up in the fall, transplanted into a flower pot, and transferred to a closed cool room until spring. The air temperature should not rise above + 15 ᵒС. In winter, the flower does not need frequent watering, 1-2 moisture within a month is enough.
In autumn, the faded buds are not removed, they crumble themselves, after which the plant enters a state of dormancy, ready for wintering
During flowering, special attention is paid to watering and feeding. Each plant needs at least 2 liters of water every 2 days. Bacopa responds well to complex mineral supplements. They are used to prepare solutions for irrigation. A month before the buds appear, the plant is fertilized every 10 days.
Bacopa ampelous reproduces in 3 ways: cuttings, layering, seeds. Each of these methods is applicable on the farm and does not require special skills.
Growing from seeds
First of all, the smallest bacopa seeds are mixed with dry sand. This makes them easier to scatter over the soil surface.
How to sow a bacopa flower:
- Mix in equal parts peat, turf soil, river sand and humus.
- The resulting soil mixture is calcined in the oven for 3 hours for disinfection.
- Put the seeds, mixed with sand, on the surface of the leveled, cooled, moistened soil.
- The filled container is covered with cling film, placed in a bright, warm place.
It is important to observe the temperature regime: the thermometer should not fall below + 20 ᵒС. Periodically, the seeds are sprayed from a spray bottle. After 2 weeks, the first shoots will appear.
As soon as 2 real leaves appear on the seedlings, the film is removed
The hatched plants are planted in larger containers. Since that time, the flower is fed with ready-made fertilizers for seedlings, diluting them in water.
As soon as the seedlings get stronger, they are transplanted into pots. A week later, the bacopa is fed again.
To begin with, prepare large boxes, fill them with loose fertile soil. The containers are placed close to the Bacopa bush, its long shoots are laid out on the soil surface in a box, pressed tightly. A new root system will develop at the point of contact between the soil and the plant.
As soon as the root processes develop well, young plants are cut off from the mother bush and transplanted to a new place. Caring for children does not differ from the basic rules.
How to propagate bacopa by cuttings
For these purposes, the apical cuttings of the bacopa are used. They remain in large numbers after the pinching procedure.
Algorithm of actions:
- Cuttings are cut so that 2 pairs of leaves remain on them, the length of the plant is 10 cm.
- A growth or root stimulant is diluted in water.
- The containers are filled with loose fertile soil, cuttings are rooted in it, deepening the stem to the second pair of leaves.
- Plants are watered, covered with foil, placed in a warm, bright place.
- As soon as new leaves appear, the film is removed.
Young plants are looked after as well as seedlings.
Bacopa care in winter
The plant does not tolerate wintering in the open field. The flower must be dug up, transplanted into a flower pot and placed in a bright, cool room. The air temperature in it should not rise above + 15 ᵒС and fall below + 8 ᵒС. The flower is rarely watered.
Diseases and pests
If the growing conditions are not followed, bacopa suffers from fungal diseases: gray rot, mold. Treatment: the crown is thinned out, the plant is treated with a fungicide solution twice with an interval of 14 days.
Whiteflies, spider mites, and aphids are dangerous for bacopa. In the fight against them, acaricidal preparations are used. Processing is carried out in 2 or 3 stages.
Photo of bacopa in landscape design
Bacopa looks good as a ground cover plant. The flower is grown on small lawns or alpine hills.
The dense plant completely covers the soil, leaving no bare areas
Vases with bacopa are used to decorate an artificial pond, fountain, gazebo.
Wooden pots in the form of a bench - an original, fresh solution
Bacopa is also suitable for vertical gardening. It is possible to ennoble with a plant not only verandas, loggias, balconies, but also low vertical buildings.
Plant varieties with large flowers look especially good in vertical compositions.
Photos without master classes from designers will help determine the planting and leaving of the bacopa, its correct placement on the personal plot.
Caring for and growing bacopa is an interesting activity for real flower growers. The culture multiplies well in several ways, takes root easily, blooms quickly. If desired, the flower can be used as a perennial or young bushes can be grown every year.
Valeria Kamysh, 28 years old, Yekaterinburg
I am engaged in landscape design and often choose Bacopa as ampelous plants. I love the flower for its fast growth and lush bloom. In almost a month, several suter bushes can cover a small clearing or flower bed.
Arkady Vasiliev, 42 years old, Odintsovo
At the dacha, the entire veranda is hung with pots and pots with bacopa. There are no problems with its cultivation. In summer, the plant looks very elegant, perfectly decorates open terraces or verandas.
Valentina Nartova, 52 years old, Sochi
My bacopa grows everywhere - in the yard and on the balconies. I expose it in the summer in the sun, fortunately, our climate is ideal for its flowering. In winter I put all the pots on the balcony, wrap them up, all the plants tolerate wintering well, in the spring they only need to be cut off, and they are ready for the new season.