Fall Hours

9:00am-6:00pm Daily

5050 SE Stark • 503-231-5050

9000 SE Division • 503-788-9000

Retail only - no online sales

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Portland Nursery

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The primary ingredient in any recipe for a healthy pond is the addition of lots of pond plants. Plants work for you to provide an environment of healthy water: they add shade, remove excess nutrients and toxins, and add oxygen to refresh the water.

Spring Pond Care

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Spring is also the time to begin fertilizing your pond plants. A good rule of thumb is to wait until the plants begin to show signs of growth. We are located in USDA Zone 8 and typically begin fertilizing marginal plants in March and waterlilies in April. Be sure to use a time release fertilizer specifically designed for aquatic plants. In preparation for the upcoming season, check your plants to see if any of them need to be divided or transplanted. The best time to divide or transplant aquatic plants is when they begin active growth. This gives plants the opportunity to rapidly develop new roots and thrive.


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Water Hyacinth

Featured Water Plants

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Download brief data sheets about the water plants we carry.


Plants for Shady Ponds

A varied selection of plants has impact not only on the beauty of a pond but also on the water quality. There are four basic types of pond plants. For an attractive, well-balanced pond, we recommend using a mixture of all four types. These recommendations are for shady ponds with at least three hours of direct sunlight each day. While some of these plants may grow with even less sunlight, they may not flower.

Floating Plants

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Water Lettuce (Frog not included)

These plants float freely on the water surface and reduce algae by competing for nutrients, shading the water to cool it and lowering the light penetration. Most floaters are tropical and those should be removed from the pond and composted prior to the onset of winter.

  • Azolla Miniature: Water Fern
  • Hydrocharis morus-ranae: Frogbit
  • Lemma minor: Duckweed
  • Pistia stratoides: Water Lettuce*

Submerged Water Plants (Oxygenators)

This group of plants grows beneath the surface of the water where most or all of their foliage remains. The term “oxygenators” is used because they release oxygen into the water during the day. The primary function of these plants is to remove excess nutrients from the pond, thereby reducing the growth of algae. They also provide spawning areas and protective cover for fish. Most of these plants are grassy in form and are sold in tied bunches.

  • Ceratophyllum demersum: Hornwort
  • Marsilea mutica: Water Clover
  • Myriophyllum aquatica: Parrot’s Feather*
  • Vallisneria americana: Tape Grass

Deep Water Aquatics

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These plants root on the bottom of the pond and send floating leaves up to the surface. Everyone’s favorite pond plant, the Waterlily, is in this group.

  • Hydrocleys commersoni: Water Poppy*
  • Marsilea mutica: Water Clover
  • Nymphaea sp.: & hybrids
  • Hardy Water Lilies (selected varieties)
    • Red: Attraction, Chas. de Meurville, Gloriosa, James Brydon, Lucida
    • Pink: Fabiola, Masaniello, Rose Laydekeri
    • White: Gladstone, Hal Miller, Hermine
    • Yellow: Charlene Strawn, Chromatella, Helvola, Joey Tomocik, Texas Dawn
    • Changeable: Chrysantha, Commanche, Graziella
  • Nymphaea sp.: & hybrids
  • Tropical Water Lilies (selected varieties)*
  • Nymphoides crenata: Yellow-fringed Snowflake

Shallow Water Bog Plants

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Marsh Marigold

These plants grow in shallow water or saturated soil around the perimeter of ponds or along the banks of streams. They frame the water feature, soften the transition between land and water, and provide an attractive backdrop to small ponds.

  • Acorus sp.: Sweet Flag
  • Calla palustris: Bog Arum
  • Caltha palustris sp.: Marsh Marigold
  • Colocasia sp.: Taro*
  • Cyperus sp: Papyrus*
  • Echinodorus sp.: Radican Sword
  • Equisetum sp.: Horsetail Rush
  • Houttyunia sp.: Houttuynia
  • Iris fulva: Red Iris
  • Iris louisiana: Louisiana Iris
  • Iris versicolor: Versicolor Blue Iris
  • Juncus sp.: Rush
  • Lobelia sp.: Lobelia
  • Marsilea quadrifolia: Upright Water Clover
  • Menyanthes trifoliata: Bog Bean
  • Nasturtium officinale: Water Cress
  • Orontium aquaticum: Golden Club
  • Peltandra virginica: Spoonflower
  • Sagittaria sp.: Arrowhead
  • Saururus sp.: Lizard’s Tail
  • Scirpus albescens: Variegated Bullrush
  • Scirpus zebrinus: Zebra Rush
  • Thalia sp.: Hardy Water Canna
  • Typha latifolia variegata: Variegated Cattail

*Tropical or semi-tropical plants