Water Snowflake Care – Learn About Snowflake Water Plants

Image by 9Chai

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Also known as little floating heart, water snowflake (Nymphoides spp.) is a charming little floating plant with delicate snowflake-like flowers that bloom in summer. If you have an ornamental garden pond, there are a lot of very good reasons for growing snowflake lilies. Read on to learn more about snowflake water lily.

Water Snowflake Information

Despite its name and the obvious resemblance, snowflake water lily isn’t actually related to the water lily. Its growth habits are similar, however, and snowflake water lily, like the water lily, floats on the surface of the water with its roots connected to the soil below.

Snowflake water plants are hardy growers, sending out runners that quickly spread over the water’s surface. The plants can be extremely helpful if you fight recurring algae in your pond, as snowflake water lily provides shade that minimizes algae growth.

Because snowflake water lily is a rambunctious grower, it is considered to be an invasive species in some states. Ensure the plant isn’t a problem in your area before planting snowflake water plants in your pond. Folks at your local Cooperative Extension office can provide specific information.

Water Snowflake Care

Growing snowflake lilies isn’t difficult in the mild temperatures of USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. If you live in a cooler climate, you can float the plants in pots and bring them indoors.

Plant snowflake water lily where the plant is exposed to full sunlight, as blooming will be limited in partial shade and the plant may not survive in full shade. The water depth should be at least 3 inches and no deeper than 18 to 20 inches.

Snowflake water plants generally require no fertilizer because they take ample nutrients from pond water. However, if you choose to grow snowflake water lily in a container, provide a fertilizer made specifically for water plants every month or so during the growing season.

Thin snowflake water plants occasionally if they become overcrowded, and remove dead leaves as they appear. Feel free to share the plant, which roots easily.

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