Read our guide to Hydrocleys nymphoides for everything you’ll ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “water poppy.”
The wonderful water poppy is a perennial floating plant that could be an excellent addition to your backyard garden and an especially great choice if you want to build a waterscape in your garden. The genus Hydrocleys of perennial aquatic plants consists of five species.
The water poppy, also known as Hydrocleys nymphoides, is one of these species and the plant is incredibly low-maintenance. So, if you are looking into getting an aquatic plant for your pond, look no further, as this plant is one that suits amateur gardeners as well as more experienced ones.
Given that it doesn’t have too many requirements, your level of experience in gardening won’t stop you from planting water poppies in your garden. Not to mention that once you see its yellow flowers in full bloom during summer, you will instantly fall in love with this emergent aquatic perennial.
The beauty of the water poppy will undoubtedly turn heads, and everyone who walks into your garden will be instantly enchanted by these showy pastel yellow flowers which serenely float on the water surface. But from time to time, the water poppy flower will rise above the surface.
This way, you have the chance of getting a better look at it as it majestically rises slightly above the water. If you do not have a very spacious front or backyard, you could create a slightly small pond to fit the space you have so that you can plant and grow the water poppy.
Next to it, you could arrange a seating area or a bench where you could stay during warm summer evenings and enjoy the aesthetic around you, with the water poppy providing a beautiful surface cover to the pond or water garden.
Who wouldn’t want these stunningly beautiful aquatic flowers in their gardens? So, if you are thinking about planting water poppy, learning its requirements and ensuring a thriving growth is essential.
Keep reading to learn all there is to know about the water poppy, its features and its needs.
About Water Poppy
- Hydrocleys nymphoides or commonly known in the gardening world as the water poppy belongs to the plant family Alismataceae. This plant family consists of 85-95 species of water plants and it is distributed in many regions of the Northern Hemisphere that have a temperate climate.
- Water Poppies are native to Central and South America, and grow natively in countries from South America including Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad and Puerto Rico, but are considered naturalized plants in Australia, New Zealand, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, South Africa, and other regions that have tropical climate and the right growth conditions for these plants.
- The water poppy or Hydrocleys nymphoides is an aquatic perennial that emerges and floats on the water surface, at times rising slightly above it. It’s ideal habitats consist of lake margins, slow-moving, stagnant water of ponds, farm dams, and streams. These locations are ideal for the water poppy because this plant thrives in areas where water is less than two metres deep.
- These aquatic plants can be an excellent surface cover, with their shiny dark green leaves resembling a heart covering the entire water surface, whether a pond, lake or water garden.
- The water poppy can grow as much as 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) tall and can be 1 to 5 feet wide (30-150 cm). The plant’s stems have a 3-foot (90 cm) length.
- Although the water poppy blossoms don’t live more than one day, the flowers can blossom in succession throughout the entire summer season. So, your garden will never be without the water poppy collection during summertime.
- Given it is an aquatic perennial, the water poppy only thrives in warm and humid environments, isn’t cold-resistant and grows best in temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-28 degrees Celsius).
- The water poppy’s flowers can only bloom if the water reaches a temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Preferably the water condition should be shallow (6 inches or 15 cm), but it can survive in deeper conditions as well (12-15 inches or 30-38 cm).
- The water poppy is not a toxic plant. However, due to its rapid growth rate and stem structure resembling a web, the water poppy has the ability to choke streams and, in some extreme cases, it may cause flooding. In addition, it can eliminate native flora. For this reason, certain councils keep an eye on water poppy growth, especially wild ones, to prevent the issues mentioned above.
- There are no serious problems when it comes to insects or common diseases.
Water Poppies Features: An Overview
- The name of the species, nymphoides, references the fact that the water poppy is similar to the water lily of the Nymphaea genus.
- The water poppy stands out thanks to its distinctive features. The plant’s appearance is unique: the bloomed tri-petal flower is featured in a soft yellow shade with a purple or reddish-brown centre. The water poppy’s floating heart-shaped leaves are shiny, bright green, and their glossy texture is truly hard to miss.
- The beautiful paster yellow flowers with a redd-brown colour in the centre bloom in the summer, and have a long blooming period throughout summer, from June until August.
- Water poppies can be ornamental plants, thanks to their stunning flowers and shiny bright green leaves.
- Water poppies are often used by florists and floral designers to create unique and mesmerizing flower arrangements.
- Stolons or runners are the water poppy’s stems which grow below the water surface. These can break off, or they can extend and grow outward in order to establish more colonies.
- Water poppies have many small seeds featured in a horseshoe-like shape.
- The plant’s roots arise from the joint of the cylindrical stem.
Growing Water Poppies
Now that you have learned a few important things about the stunning water poppy, it is recommended to learn how to grow it so that healthy growth is ensured.
First and foremost, it is important to learn from the beginning that water poppies can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm). This way, you can make sure you have the available space for growing Hydrocleys nymphoides.
This being said, if you decide to grow this wonderful aquatic perennial in your garden, you must make sure you have sufficient available space with direct sunlight, or at least partial shade. For water poppies to grow healthy, it is vital for them to be in warm weather as these plants are not cold-resistant. However, in some cases, they can tolerate temperate climates. Indoor overwintering in shallow tubs is recommended if you live in such an area.
Water poppies can be grown in any type of garden, provided you have a pond with a shallow bottom. So, it isn’t necessary to build a water garden.
- Live Aquarium Plants : Hydrocleys Nymphoides (3"-5" length)
- Difficulty - Easy | Light High | Growth - Easy.
- 3 DAYS LIVE GUARANTEED: In a very rare case our live plant dead on arrive or within 3 days. Please send us the photo within 3 days. Live Guaranteed will be voided after 3 days of delivery. We honor our guaranteed.
- Provide a natural habitat in your aquarium tank for your pets and invertebrates.
- Safe for your aquarium pets.
- IMPORTANT: DO NOT ORDER IF ITS TOO HOT!! Please note that during times of extreme weather, live plants will suffer due to extreme temperatures. During winter, do not order live plants when temperatures are expected to go below 20F at the lowest point during the day. During summer, avoid ordering plants when temperatures are above 100F. Additionally, these plants will get damaged if your region experiences strong cold winds.
- You get one Water Poppies plant bareroot. These are grown plants, ready to reproduce. They can float but do best when planted in aquatic soil.
- They serve as natural biofilters to your pond, helping clear the water naturally
- Grown pesticide free by Aqualeaf Aquatics TM
- ✅ BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS! Water Poppy is well loved for its adorable blooms! In the summer months, it produces light yellow flowers with an adorable reddish brown center that is 2 inches across! These stunning blooms only last a day, but are bloomed in succession creating a flush of blooms!
- ✅ WILDLIFE HAVEN! Water Poppy is an oasis for all kinds of wildlife! It is a favorite of several species of bees so it is a great choice if you are looking to aid in the conservation of the hardworking insects! Additionally it creates a shade and safe haven for fish to protect themselves from birds and other predators! The wildlife in your pond will love this plant as much as you will!
- ✅ WATER-LILY LOOK ALIKE! Water Poppy is cousins to water lilies! Lily Likes provide all the benefits of a water lily; such as a natural source of filtration for your water, improving water clarity, quality, and health the safe, eco-friendly way!
- ✅ NATURAL FLOATING REFUGE! Throws vital, life-saving shade for fish and other pond life! Floating leaves provide protection from predators and improve water clarity by limiting direct sunlight.
- ✅ 100% QUALITY GUARANTEED! Our plants are grown & shipped by skilled, trusted aquatic plant experts! Your plant is guaranteed to arrive alive & healthy!
Last update on 2023-04-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Planting Water Poppies
Planting water poppies require the gardener to follow a few simple instructions. In order for the plant to thrive, it must be planted in poorly-drained rich soil, such as clay, loam or sand.
You can either plant it alongside pond margins, in which case the plant will grow outward with its floating stems, or in shallow freshwater. It is best to plant water poppy around 6 inches (15 cm) below the water surface. This being said, it is essential to mention that Hydrocleys nymphoides can survive well even in depths that reach 16 inches (40 cm).
The recommended soil pH is between 6.5 and 7.5, which classifies as neutral. But acid and alkaline soil pH can also be used to plant water poppies in your water garden, rain garden or pond. Once planted, the plant is quite low-maintenance.
Watering Water Poppies
Given the water poppy is an aquatic plant, there is no doubt that this perennial is extremely water-loving. Hydrocleys nymphoides are planted in water, but they will still need lots of watering during the summer, and moderate during the spring. It almost goes without saying, but it is crucial to mention that water poppies have high water requirements.
Propagating Water Poppies
If you wish to propagate your water poppies, you can do so either by seed or by dividing. The latter option is much simpler, and it requires you to divide the plant’s floating stems that have developed rooted plantlets. Seeds can be rather challenging to harvest, although not impossible.
What you need to know if you want to propagate by seeds is that it is required to sow the seeds in shallow pans and plant them in sandy soil, and submerge the container in water at about 1-2 inches (3 – 5 cm).
Water Poppies Can Be Invasive
Water poppies are not considered toxic but they can be somewhat harmful as they can grow quite rapidly in web-like stem structures. This makes water poppies incredibly invasive, as they can choke streams. As a result, flooding and native flora elimination can occur.
Not to mention that water poppies form thick mats, which pose a drowning risk to small animals and can decrease dissolved oxygen concentrations necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms.
For this reason, in certain areas, water poppy growth and cultivation is regulated and it must be kept under control in order to decrease the risk and hazard of unattended stem structures and make sure flora and fauna are protected. For this reason, water poppies must be frequently cut back and have their excess leaves removed.
The water poppy is undoubtedly an excellent plant. Not only is this aquatic perennial stunning, but it is also easy to care for, given how low-maintenance it is. Regardless of your experience with gardening, you will be able to plant and grow it easily, provided you follow the instructions and meet the plant’s basic needs, such as choosing the suitable soil and ensuring it has full sun exposure.
Therefore, if you want to include a pond in your garden or create a water garden, the water poppy is an excellent addition.
An essential and noteworthy mention would be to monitor the growth at all times and, if necessary, thin and make sure it doesn’t get too overcrowded. So, caring for water poppy isn’t too difficult. If you make sure its basic needs are met and the right conditions are ensured at all times, your water poppies will be thriving.
If you have started your journey with planting and growing water poppies in your garden, let us know how the experience has been for you.