The Limnanthemum or better the Nymphoides peltata is an aquatic plant appreciated for its rich flowering and the high oxygenating capacity of the waters.
General characteristics of the Limnanthemum – Nymphoides peltata
The Nymphoides genus includes many species (about 20) of perennial and annual aquatic plants, of the Menyanthaceae family, native to Asia, Europe and North America.
The Limnanthemum has a fleshy stoloniferous root in the shape of a small bunch of bananas, from which dense tufts of leaves branch off similar to those of water lilies and Ficaria.
The leaves, with 10-15 leaves per tuft, about 10 cm broad, are rounded-heart-shaped with a glossy upper leaf plate, green in color with yellowish veins and a reddish underside. Some leaves are submerged, while others, supported by a long cylindrical petiole, float gracefully on the surface of the water.
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The flowers carried by long reddish-green stems that far above the leaves, have 5 canary yellow petals with slightly wavy edges. The center of the flower is golden yellow.
The fruit it is a capsule that contains many flattened seeds.
Limnanthum plants bloom in summer, from June to August.
Cultivation of Limnanthemum – Nymphoides
The Limnantemo loves very bright positions, but not the direct rays of the sun, especially in the hottest months of the year. Direct exposure to sunlight could cause serious burns to the leaves and death of the plant. It prefers temperatures close to 18-20 ° C; it does not withstand the cold therefore it is often cultivated as an annual, or as a perennial only if in winter it is transferred to tubs and sheltered in a temperate greenhouse or at home.
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The rhizomes are placed in places in a rich and sandy soil, taking care to bury all the roots, leaving the upper part emerging from the ground, and covering it with medium-sized sand.
It grows well in warm, calm, nutrient-rich, high pH waters.
To favor the development of plants and the production of abundant blooms, a specific fertilizer for aquatic plants should be administered periodically. In spring, insert a fertilizer for green and flowering plants in the form of tablets rich in nitrates, phosphates and even micronutrients among the rhizomes.
Limnanthemum: cultivation in pots
It is a plant suitable to be grown also in the artificial tubs of the garden or on the terraces of your home, in large watertight containers such as tubs or minipond.
A rich, peaty and sandy soil should be stratified on the bottom of the pot.
It is covered with non-calcareous water, preferably rain water which must be replaced every 15-20 days and more frequently in the summer months to ensure adequate oxygenation of the rhizomes.
Alternatively, the Limnanthum plants can be implanted in the container directly with their basket to take them out easily when it is necessary to change the culture water.
In regions with a very hot summer climate, plants can also be grown in partially shaded areas and can be left outdoors without any problem in the winter months, while in areas with severe winters, Nymphoides peltata plants should be sheltered in a temperate greenhouse or at home. To promote growth and stimulate flower production, slow release granular products can be used every 3-4 months, to be buried at the base of the plants.
Multiplication of the Limnanthemum – Nymphoides peltata
To get new plants you can use the seeds or make cuttings of twigs or even the division of the tufts in spring.
The seeds are buried at a depth of 3 cm in a substrate composed of a mixture of peat, soil and water kept at a temperature of about 20 ° C. The sprouts will appear after 40-60 days.
Propagation by division of rhizomes
New specimens identical to the original plant can be easily obtained by dividing the rhizomes or tubers that are at least 3 years old.
- In late spring / summer, between June-July autumn, the plant is extracted from the ground or from the water;
- a large and fleshy rhizome is chosen and divided with a well-sharpened and disinfected knife, into several portions bearing at least 2 well-developed secondary roots.
- the portions of rhizome are rooted in a vase containing water and a little slow-release granular fertilizer enriched with potassium (K);
- in the following spring, the new plants are then buried on the bottom of a pond or on the edges, letting the leaves emerge from the surface of the water.
Propagation by division of the tufts
Between June-July it is also possible to divide the most vigorous tufts into several plants with at least one well-developed root; the new plants thus produced must be immediately planted. Most of these plants have a great vigor and in small to medium ponds they should be planted in pots to control their growth, cutting the roots regularly and dividing them every two or three years. The new plants thus obtained will bloom from the second year of life.
Propagation by cuttings
Another very fast propagation method is to replant the portions obtained from pruning in the substrate.
Planting or planting
The plants are planted at a depth of 0-20 cm between the rhizome and the surface of the water. In a natural pond or in an artificial tank they are planted directly in the silt of the bottom or immersed in water in practical perforated baskets specific for aquatic plants filled with acid soil, rich in humus. To cover a large enough area you need at least 5 plants per square meter spaced at 45 cm. Generally a small number of plants is opted for since each of them gives life to new plants by emitting numerous stolons.
The Limnanthemum can be grown in the same aquaterrarium, tub, mini pond or artificial pond with a dwarf water lily or associated with other aquatic or marshy plants with a bushy habit such as: Calla palustris, Baldellia, etc.
Limnanthemum cannot be pruned but only needs to be cleaned of dry leaves.
Parasites and diseases of the Limnanthemum – Nymphoides peltata
It is a very rustic plant that is generally not attacked by animal parasites or fungal diseases.
Cures and treatments
It does not require special maintenance care and does not require phytosanitary treatments.
Varieties of Nymphoides
Among the most well-known varieties of Nymphoides aquatica we note: the
A species native to tropical Asia commonly known as white snow flake. It has floating leaves corded with purple edges. It produces delicate flowers with white petals with fringed margins supported by thin cylindrical stems. The stems of this variety are edible and are used as a vegetable in the countries of origin.
She is a little girl from India. It has briefly petiolate heart-shaped leaves, of a bright green color. During the flowering period it produces starry flowers with lobed, white and hairy petals that last only one day. It is an aquatic plant ideal for embellishing mini ponds and small tubs. The rhizomes can be planted in special baskets or pots at a depth of 40 cm. In cold climate areas it should be sheltered in a greenhouse.
It is an aquatic plant native to America. it has variegated green leaves and in summer it produces particular starry flowers with yellow and hairy petals. It can be easily propagated by dividing the stolons and is ideal for growing in pots and phytodepuration.
The Limnanthum plants due to their ground cover are widely used as and ornamental in aquariums, vases, ponds and small lakes with shallow waters.
Nymphoides peltata, or Limnanthemum, is the most widespread species in nature and is also present in Italy.