You may know Bacopa as a beautiful trailing plant for hanging baskets, window boxes and patio pots. However, did you know that it’s also a handy ground cover plant, filling in the gaps in your borders with a sprinkle of delicate flowers and healthy greenery? This is one truly versatile plant, and it has been refined over the last few years to become a frontrunner for focal AND filler use!
Where does Bacopa come from?
Bacopa (also known as Sutera occasionally) originates from South Africa. It is widely grown throughout the country, from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and can often be found casually growing at the road side.
This plant’s native home experiences intense heat and long dry periods, meaning that Bacopa has learned to adapt to very dry, hot conditions. Therefore you won’t have to worry about it in a heatwave, and you can water a little less often than other plants through the summer.
Growing Bacopa as ground cover
To be honest, Bacopa started its life as a rather boring plant. Its durability as a basket plant was soon noticed though. It’s a plant I remember well from my teenage years, as I often grabbed it to use as a filler alongside Bidens and Scaevola. I could only buy white though!
My 15 year old self would be so excited that breeders, in particular Danziger, went on to select lilacs, blues and baby pinks! You can now mix and match your Bacopa shades in any hanging container, or why not blend other plants as ground cover (find a few choices here).
Growing Bacopa in containers
Thanks to Danziger in Israel, we now have a strong generation of Bacopa, and to reflect it’s ability to travel across the ground or down the side of pots, they’ve named or SCOPIA ‘Gulliver™’! The billowing habit makes a perfect focal point for containers, it’s kinda like living confetti!
Try it in a hanging basket and watch its growth progress as the months pass. It will form a beautifully symmetric mound before tumbling over the sides of the basket. You could hang baskets of Bacopa either side of your front door for a really welcoming display of blooms when guests come to visit! In fact, SCOPIA Gulliver™ is so strong it has made Bacopa a FOCAL plant, it no longer needs to be relegated to just being a filler!
Bacopa SCOPIA ‘Gulliver™’ is also ideal as a window box plant. Depending on the size of your box, you could feature an assortment of colours and enjoy watching the flowers come to life. This is a great option for apartments, offices, hotels and public displays.
Finally, try your plants in a larger patio container, pruning after flowering to keep the plant neat and tidy, and to initiate a secondary boost of blooms!
Bacopa SCOPIA Gulliver™ Series
If you’re looking for the perfect Bacopa to add to your garden, why not try Danziger’s collection:
- This variety is especially heat-tolerant. It keeps its cool in the hottest of summers, allowing us to focus more on enjoying our gardens, instead of spending all summer maintaining it! A perfect xeriscaping choice!
- It features early and rich flowering characteristics, providing you with fantastic blooms before your other plants can even think about flowering! That means as an impulse purchase in the garden centre, it performs from the moment it gets home!
- Bacopa SCOPIA Gulliver™ comes in a beautiful range of colours, including white, blue, purple, pink and violet. Mix and match your favourites, or get the entire collection for a classy ombré assortment of Bacopa.
- This collection is ideal for ground cover as well as containers (as I’ve mentioned above!)- so try something new!
Danziger support Patio Plant of the month on the Mr Plant Geek website, see last month’s feature here.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.