How to Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools

If you have a garden bed close to your swimming pool, you may wish to make the pool seem more natural by growing plants nearby. Whether or not this is practical will depend on the location of your pool, fencing, etc. but for those who would like a garden close to the pool, here are some suggestions.


  1. Image titled Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools Step 1
    Choose plants that won't shed plant matter into the pool. It's hard enough cleaning a pool regularly without increasing the chances of filter clogging and messy pool water thanks to plants. When selecting plants, choose ones that:
    • Are evergreen; and
    • Will not drop leaves, flowers, needles, seeds or bark into the pool; and
    • Will not release thorns, prickles or other painful things that might be trodden on around the pool area.
  2. Image titled Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools Step 2
    Choose plants that are heat resistant. The body of water in your pool will serve as large heat reflective surface that can scorch plants in close vicinity. This means that the plants you choose must be able to withstand hotter temperatures and sun glare.
  3. Image titled Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools Step 3
    Consider using ways to contain plants. One ideal solution for pool plants is to use containers which can be shifted around at will. Choose containers that can cope with the watery and chlorinated environment; some container materials will deteriorate faster than others under the combined force of heat, sun, water and chlorine. Alternatively, make use of such features as trellis, pillars or railings that are next to or surrounding the pool to grow plants on. Climbers and creepers are good for such supports and can be regularly trimmed to keep them under control.
  4. Image titled Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools Step 4
    Try using fragrant plants. It can be very pleasant to swim and smell sweet fragrance from plants near the pool area. Bear in mind the possibility of attracting bees and other insects not wanted near the pool are though.
    • Flowers that release their fragrance at night during the summer months can make an excellent choice for those who enjoy evening swims after the sun's heat has started to wane.
    • Lavender makes a perfect choice for a poolside fragrant plant––smells great, tolerates heat and has a variety of colors and sizes.
  5. Image titled Choose Plants to Grow Around Swimming Pools Step 5
    Grow lawn to the edge of the pool. A nice pathway of lawn around the whole pool can be a great way to add some greenery without having any issues with dropping foliage or seeds. It will need regularly mowing maintenance though, and regular fertilizing.


  • Ferns, palms and large leaved bushes can make an ideal poolside garden environment.
  • Try bonsai in pots. Set up a bench, table or rockery and display different sorts of bonsai in pretty containers to the side of the pool.
  • Evergreen camellias can be nice next to a pool. However, they do tend to drop their flowers, so keep them a fair distance away from the pool's edge.
  • If growing trees, choose small, compact ones that won't send roots looking for water under your pool or drop branches, leaves and the like.
  • If you have flowering plants poolside, a regular sweep up of their dropped blooms is recommended.
  • A small succulent or cacti garden near the pool can be nice for warmer climate zones. Just make sure that the cacti aren't likely to present a hazard to anyone walking or running around the pool––to prevent the possibility of a prickly fall, place a guard rail or perspex fence in front of cacti displays.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants
  • Supports for climbers, creepers, etc.
  • Containers

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens