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February 2006 Plant-of-the-Month: Bacopa monnieri

Original article by Jeff Rebiffe (Water Hound) and Spencer Rozell, The Fishmonger the official newsletter of the VAHC, February 2006 Vol. 6, Issue 2.
 
By: Jeff Rebiffe (Water Hound), Spencer Rozell, Andrew Roberts (PPulcher)
 
Image
Baccopa monnieri © Jeff Rebiffe (Water Hound)
 
Baccopa monnieri at a glance
 
Image
Baccopa monnieri
© Jeff Rebiffe (Water Hound)
Range: Pan Tropic
Height: 25-50 cm (10-20")
Width: 3+ cm (1+")
Light: Moderate to High
Placement: Mid to background
Growth: Slow
Demands: Easy
 
The Plant-of-the-Month, Bacopa monnieri,is a species that is very easy to grow and propagate.
This plant will handle almost all water conditions, tolerating pH from 6.0 to 9.0, soft to very hard water, medium to very high light.
 
Propagation is very easy. Simply pinch or cut off a side shoot or terminal bud and plant in the substrate. The location where you cut will generally sprout two new shoots. This plant definitely looks best when planted in large groups, with each stem about 1" apart. Prune the plants so they terrace upwards from the midground of your tank towards the background. The growth tips (terminal buds) look beautiful when viewed from above in a group. If allowed to grow very tall so that it protrudes from the water, this plant will develop a beautiful light purple flower.
 
Additional Notes
by Andrew Roberts (PPulcher)
 
Although we like to use scientific names to reduce the confusion between species, Bacopa monnieri might be familiar to some as water hyssop, lemon bacopa or herb-of-grace. This plant can be grown emmersed in wet soil and is useful in very damp areas of the garden or as a marginal bog plant. Grown this way in good sun, it forms low dense mats of perhaps 5cm (2") tall. This plant is also used as a medicinal herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.

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