Bacopa caroliniana

16. Aug 2020
By: George Farmer

History and origins

The classic Bacopa caroliniana has been in the planted aquarium hobby for over 40 years. It is found in the wild in Southern and Eastern USA and Mexico growing in marshes both submersed under water and emersed out of water. Several forms of this species are currently in cultivation and available in the hobby, including smaller-leaved and variegated forms. When the stems are crushed there is a distinctive lemon scent.


Plant Overview

 Bacopa caroliniana is an easy and relatively slow growing stem plant available from Tropica in regular pots, mini pots and 1-2-Grow cups. It does need brighter light to get the best health but CO2 is not essential. Adding Tropica Premium or Specialised Nutrition will improve growth. Under intense light and with low nitrogen levels the leaves can turn a bronze hue. When phosphorous is low it can turn a more pinkish colour. In high light new growth is often an orange colour.


Preparing the plant  

  1. Remove the plant from the pot then split apart the two halves of rock wool
  2. Remove as much of the rock wool as possible.
  3. Split the plant into as many portions as possible.
  4. Plant into your substrate with aquascaping tweezers.

You can plant a mini pot directly into your substrate.


Preparing the plant - 1-2-GROW 

  1. Peel off the lid from the 1-2-Grow cup.
  2. Carefully remove the entire plant from the cup.
  3. Place the plant into a bowl of water and wash off the liquid media.
  4. Divide the pot into as many plants as you can.
  5. Plant into your substrate with aquascaping tweezers.

Where to use the plant

Bacopa caroliniana can grow 60+cm tall so is usually best planted in the aquarium background in groups. It’s unique texture can contrast effectively against finer textured plants, or red plants. Its slow growing nature makes it suitable for long-term layouts where frequent trimming is not required. It can also be grown emersed in temperate or tropical climates, where it can produce attractive blue/purple flowers.


Maintaining the plant 

Maintenance on Bacopa caroliniana is straightforward with healthy and robust plants responding very well to trimming. The plant can be trimmed either from the top or lateral shoots. These cuttings can be discarded of responsibly or propagated by re-planting. It can also form runners from the base of the stems, which can be trimmed and re-planted, or removed. Keep the leaves well fed with a good quality liquid fertiliser and feed the roots with a nutrient-rich substrate for best results.



The classic Bacopa caroliana remains a popular stem plant for good reason with its characteristic texture and ideal use as an attractive background or accent plant. Its slower growing nature makes it ideal for lower maintenance set ups and easy growth, ideal for all levels of planted aquarium hobbyist.