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It is commonly called bacopa, although the scientific name is Sutera cordata, due to the close resemblance between this perennial and the aquatic plants belonging to the genus bacopa; it is a small ground cover perennial, generally with a drooping development, whose stems do not exceed 25-35 cm in length. It produces small, bright green leaves, and small flowers with five petals, with a yellow center, white, lilac or blue, bloom between the leaves throughout the summer. Plant native to southern Africa, there are some varieties, with particularly large flowers or particularly compact development.
Sutera cordata specimens are used in the garden, in rocky gardens or as ground cover in the beds of annuals or perennials; they are often cultivated on the terrace, like hanging plants, in hanging baskets.
The small bacopa plants, despite their delicate appearance, are not difficult to cultivate, they are cultivated as perennials, or more often as annuals; they need a good rich, well-drained, well-worked soil with the addition of a good slow release fertilizer, which guarantees the right level of mineral salts throughout the summer.
They are placed at home or in the open ground, in a very bright place, possibly with a few hours of sunshine a day; plants placed too in the shade tend to produce few flowers, while those left for a long time in a very dry and sunny place tend to lose their buds and to wither quickly.
So if we want a beautiful abundant flowering we position ours Bacopa in a place where it can enjoy a few hours of direct sunlight, and water regularly, intensifying the supply of water in the event of dry periods. In any case we avoid "drowning" our bacops, and water them only if the soil is well dry.
If you water poorly these plants tend to wither quickly, but just as quickly they return turgid after we have well wet them.
They do not need pruning, or to remove small withered flowers, which tend to fall on their own.
They are perennial herbaceous plants, which tend to dry out the aerial part at the onset of cold, and then re-sprout the following spring; generally they tolerate temperatures of some degrees below zero, but it often happens that frosts completely destroy them, especially if the climate is particularly humid. In general, the bacops are left to stay during the winter, and are then replaced from year to year in the event that they unseal; moreover, these are small perennials with a fairly low price, so it is not so expensive to replace them every year.
In hanging baskets
The corded sutera plants lend themselves very well to being cultivated in trays on the terrace, or rather in hanging baskets, letting the thin stems fall gently from the boron of the base, full of small flowers.
The small white flowers, but also the blue-flowered ones, blend well with geraniums and surfinie.
There are several plants that are very suitable for growing in hanging baskets, such as the bidens, with small golden-yellow star-shaped flowers that love the sun; the lobelia, with small lilac-colored flowers, which are well accompanied also by the bacops; the Sanvitalia, tiny sunflowers and abundant vegetation; thorenias, also suitable for areas that are not overly illuminated; the diasce.
Bacopa - Sutera cordata: Practical advice
Unfortunately, the pots in baskets are often not equipped with saucers, or have a tiny one, which contains very little water; in addition to causing problems for the watering of the pots, which are hanging, they tend to scatter water everywhere, during the summer months the lack of a saucer can also cause problems for the plants: when the soil completely dries up it is not always easy to rehydrate it, the presence of a saucer often ensures that at least a little water is slowly reabsorbed by the substrate, moistening it. Often, however, the vases without saucers are simply crossed by the water of the watering, while the soil remains a dry and dry block, where the roots of the plants suffer.
Often the choice of an excellent soil prevents this phenomenon, and allows us to have plants that are always healthy and lush; sometimes though, especially in summer, even the best soil dries up completely, and in particular that contained in the hanging baskets.
For this reason it is advantageous to periodically water the plants by immersion: fill a bucket or a tray with water, and the basket is immersed in it, and let it soak until you notice that all the soil inside of the jar has rehydrated. At this point the pot is left to drain abundantly and put back in its place, with the certainty that the plant has actually received the water it needed.