How to Plant Floating Heart in a Pond (Care & Grow Guide)

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how to plant floating heart in a pond

The Floating Heart Plant (Nymphoides peltata) is an aquatic flowering plant that, due to its appearance, is often mistaken for the water lily.

This perennial plant features submerged roots and floating heart-shaped leaves typically 2 - 4 inches in diameter but have been known to get bigger in the right conditions. During the bloom season, the Floating Heart plant will grow bright white or yellow flowers on long stalks.

The plant absorbs nutrients from the water through its submerged root system, helping to keep your pond water clean and clear.

It’s important to keep your Floating Heart plants in check, as they can quickly form large colonies that blanket the surface of your pond. This can choke out any other pond plants you might have and diminish the aesthetic value and water quality of your pond.

White Snowflake (Nymphoides) Surface Pond Plant

White Snowflake (Nymphoides) Surface Pond Plant

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Floating Heart (Nymphoides Peltata) Quick Look

Scientific Name

Nymphoides Peltata

Common Names

Fringed water lily, nymphoides, yellow floating heart, floating heart, water-fringe, and entire marshwort

Plant Type

Floating pond plant

Light Requirements

Full to partial sun

Hardiness Zones

USDA Zone 5 - 10


Early May through September

Grow Up To

The plant can grow to 3+ feet while the flowers will typically grow 3 to 6 inches

Flower Color


How to Plant Floating Heart in a Pond

For best results, plant Floating Heart runners in a sandy/soil mix substrate, preferably in a pot, and submerge into your pond up to two feet. You can plant directly in loamy soil in your pond, but this species can quickly take over your pond by spreading via rhizomes which will make it difficult to control.

Floating Heart Care Guide

Floating Heart is easy to care for and requires very little maintenance aside from pruning the leaves and flowers that turn yellow or brown. Be sure to remove all the trimmed parts completely from the water to minimize any excess organic material in your pond.

Tip: If you're having trouble keeping your floating heart alive, ensure your pond's pH levels are neutral to alkaline, as they don't thrive well in acidic water.

How you overwinter the Floating Heart plant will depend on its location in your pond:

  • Plants in planting containers or plant shelves should be trimmed down to 1-2 inches and lowered into deeper water
  • Plants submerged more than a few feet can be left as-is
White Snowflake (Nymphoides) Surface Pond Plant

White Snowflake (Nymphoides) Surface Pond Plant

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Floating Heart Care Card

Download our free printable care card for the Floating Heart plant! Click the care card below and save the PDF file to your computer. You can easily print off the 3x5 care card or access it right from your phone. Get all the important information you need to keep your Floating Heart plants healthy and happy!

Plus, we provide a blank card for you to print and fill out yourself. Print it as many times as you like to create cards for all your plants!

Floating Heart Care Card

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Floating Heart Plant FAQs

Is floating heart edible?

The interior stem of the floating heart plant is edible, while the leaves and flower buds can be cooked as a potherb.

How do you control yellow floating heart?

In small backyard ponds, you can control floating heart plants through manual means - physically removing parts of the plant via cutting tools and hand pulling to keep it in check. Larger ponds may need chemical intervention to control a rapidly growing floating heart population.

How do you grow nymphoides?

The best way to grow nymphoides is by planting the seeds or plantlets in pots with a few inches of soil or gravel and placing 4 - 12” in the water. This will help control the plant and make it easier to maintain as it grows.