Bacopa Caroliniana Planting Guide | The Aquarium Guide

Bacopa Caroliniana Planting Guide | The Aquarium Guide

A good aquarium is usually complete with good background plants placed appropriately within it. There are good aquarium plants that can make a good addition to your aquarium’s background scene and one of such plants is the Bacopa Caroliniana. The plant remains one of the most popular and easy to get aquarium plant in the hobby. It is easy to care for and will not demand too much from an aquarist like some other aquarium plants do.

It has got a rather slow growth rate and will not require frequent pruning to help keep it low like some other stem plants. With proper lighting provided to the plant it will not require much attention and care from you. If you want best results with the plant it may be in your interest to plant it in small groups within the aquarium.

The plant usually grows underwater but if also given a chance will grow just above the water surface. There is chance for flowering by the plant under water but such flowers are known to rot soon after.

The appearance of Bacopa Caroliniana

The plant has got a characteristic bold leaf structure and will show greenish yellow coloration. Exposure to light usually makes the plant to show a somewhat pinkish to copper-brown coloration. When the growth of the plant is enhanced with iron and other micronutrient dosing, the leaves will appear even bolder and larger. The plant is known to grow at a much faster rate with carbon dioxide injections. This means that it will grow taller in an environment that there is lots of carbon dioxide.

The plant has got a characteristic lemon mint smell when its leaves are crushed. The flowers of the plant usually appear blue in color and mostly grow to like about 50 – 100 cm.

Native range/habitat

This plant originally comes from the United States of America where it is well spread out in the continental US. It also grows naturally in the Asian country of South Korea where it is reported to grow in the wild. The plant is known to prefer growing in marshy areas in the wild where it can be found growing both underwater or above the water surface.


The fact that Bacopa Caroliniana grows submerged makes it a very preferred aquarium plant amongst many aquarists. There are reports that the plant can as well be grown in slightly brackish waters. The main method for growing the plant is usually through cuttings as it is a stem plant. The plant will easily grow in the aquarium as long as basic optimum conditions are observed there.

To grow a new plant you will have to cut the side stem of a mature plant and then proceed with the cutting to plant into the substrate. Another alternative to propagating the plant involves removing the central growth tip that will cause a number of side shoots to occur in a period of just some few weeks. You can then remove the new growing shoots from the main plant and then insert into the substrate. The new plants should be able to develop their own roots and in no time will have established as mature plants.

Here are some vital tips for growing the plant in an aquarium setting successfully:

  • Provide lots of lighting if you want it to grow faster and flower quickly.
  • An indoor aquarium setting may require that you provide 0.5 watts power of light for every liter in the aquarium.
  • In summer, you can grow the plant fully submerged in the aquarium.
  • You need to supply the plant with lots of carbon dioxide for the plant to realize steady and better growth.
  • To control undesired vertical growth of the plant, you can nip the lateral shoot.

Use in aquascaping

It is a good choice for aquascaping owing to its slow growth rate and minimal requirement for it to grow. The plant is one of the rare aquarium stem plants that will not require much attention from the aquarist. It is usually best to plant it in groups to help bring out the decorativeness that is desired.

Just ensure that you provide sufficient lighting to the plant in the aquarium in order for you to achieve great results with it. When given proper lighting the plant is known to grow strong but it will also still grow in low lighting but will remain relatively low and stunted.

Conditions for growth

Bacopa Caroliniana is well adapted for growth either fully submerged in water or partially submerged. The substrate or the soil where the plant is growing should be neutral or even acidic. You can choose a sandy or loam soil to be the growing medium for which they can be grown on.

Even though the plant is a slow grower, its growth can be enhanced with fertilizers and other related micronutrients. It grows well in both soggy soils and well drained soils.

Plant features

  • The plant’s flower will either be blue or blue-violet in color.
  • The foliage color during winter will appear green or light green in color.
  • There plant can grow both fully submerged and above the water but still be able to flower. Flowers that are made under water usually rot lot quicker than those above the water surface.
  • Crushed leaves of the plant have a characteristic lemon minty smell.

Conclusion on Bacopa Caroliniana

Bacopa Caroliniana is an aquatic plant that is native to the United States usually growing in water and wetlands. It is a preferred choice of many aquarists because it usually readily available and also doesn’t demand so much attention once established in the tank. The plant needs to be exposed to lots of lighting for it to achieve steady growth and even flower. Offering the plant micronutrients as well as carbon dioxide can really help to get you a great aquarium plant that will make a great addition to aquarium’s background.

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