Best Plants & Landscaping For Your Swimming Pool Area | Thursday Pools

Landscaping & Pool Plants 101

Your backyard swimming pool oasis is an extension of your home and a reflection of your personality. You want your outdoor living area to be an attractive, inviting, restful place that’s comfortable and provides a backdrop for staycations, and fun and elegant outdoor entertaining. Choosing the right plants to surround your inground pool can add dimension, drama, natural shade, privacy, and beauty to your swimming pool area. 

There are three qualities you should look for in potential pool plants for your swimming pool area:

  1. Mess-free. Choose plants that don’t shed a lot of leaves or create floating debris that can end up in your pool. 
  2. Sun-loving. Choose plants that do best with lots of light, as most of your pool area probably gets full sun for much of the day. 
  3. Hassle-free. Choose plants that are as low-maintenance as your pool is, so you have as much time as possible to enjoy your beautiful fiberglass pool

Let’s dig into some great choices for pool plants to enhance your swimming pool area. 

Insect-Repelling Plants

Nothing can ruin a poolside party like uninvited, pesky insect guests. Plants that have natural mosquito-repelling properties are excellent choices for adding to the enjoyment of your outdoor living space. Geraniums, lavender, basil and marigolds are annuals that are known for their mosquito-repelling properties.


pool plantsRecommended: Citronella.

Citronella is a perennial small shrub, so you can plant it in the ground. Year after year, your citronella plant will return with a fresh, lemony scent that keeps bugs from crashing your pool parties! 


Ornamental grasses pool plants

Ornamental grasses are an excellent choice for your backyard oasis. They add height, texture and variety to a garden bed. Use ornamental grasses toward the back of your beds, as most varieties will grow fairly tall. Because ornamental grasses are perennials, they’ll come back year after year with very little attention from you, and they’re even pretty when they’re snow-covered in winter. 

Recommended: Dwarf Zebra Maiden Grass.

This variety of ornamental grass grows to around five feet tall. The variegated leaves provide a sunny splash of color to any poolside patio.


pool plantsTall planters and hanging baskets 

You can easily add dimension to your outdoor living space by elevating some of your annuals. Consider tall, footed planters around your patio, and/or hanging baskets on your perimeter fence or pergola. 

Recommended: A mix of colors, textures and heights.

Fill your planters with a nice mix of colors and bloom sizes with at least one trailing ivy and one tall, spiky plant for maximum contrast and impact. Be sure to add a few mosquito-repelling annuals so you have both form AND function!


Succulents pool plants

Succulents and cacti come in a great variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Because they hold on to moisture, they require very little watering and are quite low-maintenance. However, if you choose cacti, make sure you’re choosing plants without spiny tips or thorns, as barefooted swimmers may accidentally bump into them. 

Recommended: Ornamental cabbages and sedum.

These succulents will thrive in the hot sun all summer long, but will also provide color well into fall.



Shrubbery can add low-maintenance, high-impact beauty and privacy to your outdoor living space. If you have a chain link or shadow-box fence around your pool, lining your fence with a hedge lends much-needed privacy to your yard. 

pool plantsRecommended: Emerald Green Arborvitae.

Arborvitae are an excellent choice, as they’ll quickly grow as tall as 8-12 feet, require little maintenance, and don’t create debris or drop leaves. Plus, they’ll be bright green all year-round, so if you live in a colder climate, you’ll always have a pop of color in your yard. 



A few strategically placed trees in your backyard swimming area can create shade and add beauty. Palm trees are an obvious choice to add a tropical feel to your pool area, if your climate supports them. Smaller fruit trees are also wonderful for providing shade with the added benefit of producing some delicious fruit you can enjoy poolside! 

pool plantsRecommended: Pindo palms.

Pindo palms are the only cold-hardy feathered leaf palm tree. They can thrive in  temperatures as cold as 5℉, so they’re a great way to bring a tropical feel to swimming pools in the Midwest and eastern states. 


Gather ideas.

We hope you found value in this post. Enhancing your outdoor living area with no-mess, sun-loving, low-maintenance plants will certainly add elegance and beauty to your already gorgeous inground fiberglass pool design. Bookmark webpages, download eBooks and make an idea board until you are ready to start planning your planting around your pool.


Groundbreaking innovations 

We are the creators of the beach entry fiberglass pool, and our innovations, commitment to quality and beautiful designs set us apart. View our exclusive designs for the Grace Beach Entry and the Sandal Beach Entry (Patent US 10,358,837 and 10,472,839). You might also want to get on the waitlist for the Sunken Living Area Fiberglass Pool!


Get a free estimate on a new fiberglass pool today. With Thursday Pools, your weekend starts early!