Bacopa caroliniana (giant red bacopa, lemon bacopa, water hyssop)
Size: 20 - 30 cm in height; 3 - 4 cm in width
Position and Usage: Midground to background placement
Growth rate: Slow to moderate
Lighting: 2/5 – 5/5
Water Conditions: 15 - 28° C
CO2: Not required
Propagation: Cuttings; runners
Bacopa caroliniana is a popular species among hobbyists that is perfect for beginners due to its undemanding nature. Native to the southeastern United States, this variety can be found growing both submersed and emersed in marshes. Although foliage is usually yellow-green in colour, intense lighting may prompt coppery or pink growth if phosphate is limited. Regular iron and micronutrient dosing will produce more vibrancy, and both macronutrient and CO2 supplementation will encourage faster growth as well as larger, thicker foliage. Leaves, when crushed, will give off a distinctive lemon-mint smell!
Taller than many of its relatives, B. caroliniana has long and solid stems that may grow up to 30 cm in height. This plant can be clustered as a vertical background feature in Dutch style tanks; if you are looking for a bushier effect, regular pruning will prompt thick, branching growth. Trim top or lateral shoots, which can be replanted to propagate. Runners can also be cut and replanted. The lower portions of B. caroliniana may degrade over time; should this occur, you may uproot it, remove the unhealthy portions, and replant.