The evolution of phenotypic plasticity of plant traits may be constrained by costs and limits. However, the precise constraints are still unclear for many traits under different ecological contexts. In a glasshouse experiment, we grew ramets of 12 genotypes of a clonal plant Hydrocotyle vulgaris under the control (full light and no flood), shade and flood conditions and tested the potential costs and limits of plasticity in 13 morphological and physiological traits in response to light availability and flood variation. In particular, we used multiple regression and correlation analyses to evaluate potential plasticity costs, developmental instability costs and developmental range limits of each trait. We detected significant costs of plasticity in specific petiole length and specific leaf area in response to shade under the full light condition and developmental range limits in specific internode length and intercellular CO2 concentration in response to light availability variation. However, we did not observe significant costs or limits of plasticity in any of the 13 traits in response to flood variation. Our results suggest that the evolution of phenotypic plasticity in plant traits can be constrained by costs and limits, but such constraints may be infrequent and differ under different environmental contexts. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.