Who doesn’t love a container filled with colorful, flowering plants? This is one of my favorite ways to decorate my outdoor spaces, which I change seasonally, creating an entire new look.
When planting flowering annuals/perennials, I like to use a trailing plant. In the past, alyssum and lobelia were the typical standbys for most gardeners, but there is a new kid on the block – Bacopa (Sutera cordata).
Masses of small, 5-petaled flowers cover bacopa in summer and fall on plants that reach 3 – 6 inches high.
Grown as a perennial in zones 9 – 11, bacopa is grown as a annual n in zone 8 gardens and below. Flowering most frequently occurs when temperatures range between 50 – 85 degrees.
Bacopa is a great alternative for alyssum as it isn’t as messy although it isn’t fragrant like alyssum is – it is self-cleaning, meaning that it doesn’t need deadheading. Simply allow it to cascade over the side of your favorite container. Whether you use a single bacopa or fill the entire container with this white-flowering beauty – you can’t go wrong.
White-flowering plants help to show off the brighter colors of the other flowering plants you add to your containers. In addition, the trailing habit of bacopa, adds texture as it grows down the side of pots.
For an interesting effect, plant hanging baskets with bacopa, which resembles baskets of baby’s breath. The uses of bacopa aren’t limited to containers – use it as a small groundcover, leaving enough room for it to spread up to 12 inches. In general, use it as you would alyssum or lobelia.
Bacopa is not a fussy plant – it thrives in full sun, filtered or light shade. The only requirement it has is evenly moist soil. If the soil dries out, flowering will be decreased.
There are several varieties of bacopa, including a purple variety called, ‘Snowstorm Blue’. If variegated foliage is your thing, try ‘Olympic Gold’. The variety ‘Giant Snowflake’ has larger flowers. Grown from seed or cuttings, bacopa is can now be found at most nurseries alongside flowering annuals.
Have you planted your containers yet? Be sure to make a place for the cascading beauty of bacopa!
Want more ideas for best container plants? Check out “The Top 10 New Plants for 2014″.