The Best Plants for Around a Swimming Pool

Part of the appeal of a swimming pool are the plants around it as they add to the atmosphere of fun, relaxation and getting away from it all. What types of plants are the best to grow?

Before You Buy

Ask yourself these questions to help you decide what types of plants you need to plant around your swimming pool:

  • Is the style of your existing garden formal or informal? You may want your pool landscaping to blend in with what’s there already, but you may want to bring in an additional ambiance of, say, the tropics or an English summer garden.
  • What colors do you prefer? Color refers to flowers and foliage and also includes textures and shapes.
  • How much do you want to spend? Set a budget and stick to it. Remember, though, that a garden is an ongoing project so you can add new plants when you can afford to do so.

plants around the pool


Draw out a basic plan of your pool garden design, showing what types of plants you want to grow where. For example, you may want an assortment of shrubs, a bed of flowering annuals and perennials, and a few container plants.

Prepare the soil by digging it over and adding compost or organic fertilizers; these should be available from your local plant center.

Types of plants

The types of plants to choose depend on the style of your pool garden and the climate zone in which you live.

  • Indigenous plants. These plants thrive in their environment and also encourage birds and insects to visit the garden, adding to the natural atmosphere.
  • Shrubs. Interesting flowering and evergreen shrubs of various sizes and shapes add to the overall look of your pool area and are low maintenance. If children use your pool, avoid shrubs with thorns or poisonous leaves.
  • Trees. Although they look lovely, be selective in what trees you plant around your pool. Locate them well away from the pool (at least 8 feet), choose trees with shallow and non-invasive root systems, and those that don’t shed leaves, flowers, or other debris.
  • Annuals. Colorful annuals are ideal for beds, hanging baskets, and containers.
  • Perennials. Low maintenance, particularly if they’re native varieties, perennials come in a choice of colors, sizes, and textures. They reseed or sprout on their own.


Enjoy planting around your swimming pool, and then relax and soak in the beauty of your creation.