Floating Heart

By: C. Colston Burrell
Floating heart creates a carpet of foliage and flowers on water's surface.

Floating-heart forms a veritable floating carpet of foliage and flowers on the surface of the water only, contrasting nicely with other water plants. It also makes a nice substitute for water lilies in small pools and tubs where water lilies would look out of place.

Description of floating heart: The bright yellow flowers of the floating-heart appear quite early in spring and continue through summer. The rounded, heart-shaped leaves, green mottled maroon, look much like water lily leaves but on a smaller scale, measuring only about 3 inches across. The plant produces a great many offsets, which in turn root and produce further offsets. Ease of care  of floating hearts: Easy.


Growing floating heart: Floating-heart is an accommodating plant and thrives in sun or partial shade. Cover its crown with 4 to 12 inches of water. Don't hesitate to prune it back if it threatens to take over the pool. In colder zones, make sure to sink its pot to the bottom of the pool, as its roots should not be allowed to freeze.

Propagating floating heart: By division.

Uses for floating heart: This plant can be considered a "ground cover" for water gardens, used to set off larger plants marvelously.

Related species of floating heart: Water snowflake (Nymphoides indica) is larger, with 8-inch leaves. It bears attractive white scented flowers with fuzzy petals and yellow centers. Yellow snowflake (N. geminata) is similar, but its yellow flowers are even more highly fringed. Neither are as hardy as the floating-heart: They are best grown in USDA zone 7 or above.

Scientific name of floating heart: Nymphoides peltata


Want more information on gardening and great plants you can grow? Try:

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