Poolside Gardening: How to Start a Garden with Pool Plants
· DIY · Gardening · How-To

Poolside Gardening: How to Start a Garden with Pool Plants

Poolside gardens add beauty to the backyard and give you a place to go for relief when you need a break. However, growing a garden takes time, patience, and commitment.


First, there’s all the research required to pick out plants that will thrive poolside or last through hot summers. Then, you need to care for your plants, attending to soil composition, sunlight, and water. While it may not be easy, putting this time and effort into cultivating a garden can be very rewarding. Some studies have shown that it can help improve your mental well-being.


If you have a pool in your backyard, you may worry about pool water harming your plants. But you don’t need to give up on a gardening dream. Many plants do well around pools. And adding some poolside plants to your outdoor space will make it look even better. Start bringing your poolside garden to life with the following tips.


Finding Garden Inspiration


Garden filled with different types of plants, a cobblestone walkway, and a lattice fence


Gardens can vary widely in aesthetics. Instead of starting from scratch, you may find it helpful to decide on a particular gardening style. You might try to make your backyard look like a jungle with lush foliage, or give it a desert or woodland look. No matter which style you prefer, the plants you choose can play a large part in bringing the look together. For example, coastal plants like palm trees, sea oats, and beach saltbush can help bring a beach backyard to life.


If you have a smaller space to work with, you might find inspiration from raised gardens, herb gardens, or container gardens. Look up inspiration online or visit local gardens. You can even find inspiration in other poolside gardens. You never know what ideas you’ll love once you take them home!


Choosing What to Plant


Not every plant will work in every backyard. Before planting, check factors like wind exposure and salinity. These can affect plant growth. You should also test the pH of your soil to determine nutrient availability.


Additionally, make sure the plants you grow aren’t invasive species or they could disrupt your local ecosystem. How? They could damage other plants by changing soil fertility as well as water flow and retention. Research which plants are native to your area or consult local landscapers. Once you’ve taken these steps, you will be able to decide on plants that can thrive in your backyard. 


What to Consider for Poolside Gardening


Person with face obscured by large sunhat gardening in backyard


The poolside can make for an ideal environment for growing plants. Here, your garden can get splashed with the water it needs.


Water compositions with low chlorine levels may actually benefit the plants by killing certain types of pests that prey on plant life. But if too much chlorine leeches into the soil, it can be toxic to the plants.


One way to counter this is by using well-drained compost in your garden so the water can flow through. You might also consider earthworms for soil conservation. They are among the most productive organisms for your plants. As they digest plant matter, they release essential nutrients into the soil. Their tunnel networks also create air channels to help water flow through.


Lastly, you can also ensure that the chlorine concentration in your pool water is below 100 ppm. These precautions will ensure that your poolside garden remains lush.


Pool Plants to Use In Your New Garden


Plants on slatted wooden deck around pool with ledge


In addition to being splashed with water, poolside gardens will likely see a lot of sun. After all, we all love our time getting some sun on the pool ledge. When choosing what to plant, select species that can handle plenty of sun and water.


It’s best to also consider how plants may drop debris into your pool. For this reason, large leaves are preferable as they are easier to clean up. Deciduous plants with small, spiky leaves that shed every fall might clog up your filters, so it’s best to avoid them.


Some lovely broad-leaf plants you can try include Agave, Aloe, small Palms, and Sago Palms. You can also opt for tropical flowers like Birds of Paradise or desert plants like Cacti and Succulents. These can add vibrant color to your pool area.


Pool plants can offer more than just beauty. Citronella and Basil, for instance, are plants that repel mosquitos and other insects. Hedges like Privet or Boxwood can grow high, giving you greater privacy. As long as the plants you choose thrive in a poolside environment, they will enhance your yard.


Plotting out a Schedule


Two people at workstation with books, plants, and garden tools with a sunroom behind them


When you’re getting started, it can take some time to achieve the garden of your dreams. If you prepare your garden well and give your plants time to grow though, you will eventually have a beautiful addition to your yard. So once you’ve got your vision down, it’s time to get to work.


Plot out a timetable for which tasks need to be done first. Factor in your manpower — are you doing things independently, with your household, or with a team? See how you can break down tasks into manageable sections and prioritize what needs to be done first. When you gradually pace out your to-do list, it will be easier to get it done.


Enjoy Your Poolside Garden


Pools can be a meaningful space in your home where you unwind and spend quality time with friends and family. Preparing for your poolside garden well can yield longevity and beauty for your plants—and it can enhance your pool experience at home.


Gardening is just one way you can enhance your outdoor space. Get more inspiration for designing the outdoors when you signup for our email newsletter. Join today for expert advice and more outdoor design tips.


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