What To Plant Around Saltwater Pools (Plant These 11 Things!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Saltwater pools are all the rage these days, and part of the reason for it deals with the way that they work with plants. Having a little plant life breathes an eco-friendly freshness into your spa area. Of course, you will have to pick the right plants. Saltwater pools tend to salinate the area around them, so it’s important to know what type of plants work well around them.

Saltwater pools have a wide range of plants that work well with them, including palm trees, prickly pear cacti, daylilies, sumac, yucca, and oleander. If you want to add the most saltwater-compatible plants available, then you buy portulaca plants or lantana plants.

Knowing how to outfit your pool with the right plant life may seem like it’s a minor detail, but it can make all the difference in the world. It’s time to jump in!

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The Best Plants For Saltwater Pool Areas

A little bit of greenery will make all the difference between a drab pool and a Hollywood-style pool. These picks below tend to be the most popular…

Palm Trees

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It’s true. Palms tend to do well in sandy, salty areas. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so common in oceanic zones, right? If you live in a warmer part of the United States, this is a classic pick. I mean, who doesn’t love palms? They provide shade, might offer up some coconuts, and also look like they belong in a retrowave music video.

Lantana Plants

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Lantanas are beautiful flowering shrubs that have tiny bunching floral arrangements. They add a great touch of color to your home. The bigger perk, of course, is that they also serve a function. That function is that they attract hummingbirds around your pool. If that doesn’t scream “tropical paradise,” we don’t know what does.

Portulaca Plants

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Portulaca is truly a showstopper plant if we’ve ever seen one. This beautiful ground cover plant is known for creeping along edges and for having a wide variety of flowers associated with it. Most of the flowers involved have pink, yellow, or orange blooms—much like the ones pictured above. Adding a burst of color without too much maintenance is what these plants are amazing for.


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Sumac comes in a wide range of different varieties, many of which have beautiful red flowers during different parts of the year. Sumacs can be found in both the North and South portions of our country, which means that this might be a more “winter-friendly” option to consider. And a bonus, birds and butterflies adore sumacs!


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Oleander is one of the more popular flowers to find in gardens across America. Heck, it’s been a favorite since the 1950s. This bushy flowering plant is ideal for most climate zones and is celebrated for being hardy. We just want to point out that oleander is deadly if eaten. So if you have young kids or chew-happy pets, this may not be the one for you.


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Call it yucca or call it spiky shrub, but whatever you do, don’t call this ugly. This gorgeous spiky addition is famous for being able to thrive in dessert conditions. If you are looking for a little Arizona glam, then you can’t go wrong with this option. It works well in warmer climates and will happily soak up all the sun you can give it.

Prickly Pear Cacti

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If you go to your local grocery store, you might have seen prickly pears being sold in the produce section. This is actually pretty popular food in certain parts of the country. People who are into agriculture will be happy to know that you can kill two birds with one stone here. You can grow your own prickly pear cacti and enjoy them by the pool. They work amazingly well with saltwater pools! Who knew?


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Contrary to the name’s suggestions, daylilies aren’t really lilies. However, they still have a very lily-like appearance and a gorgeous scent, too. An elegant touch to any pool setting, daylilies are sure to please. With that said, they can be way more high-maintenance than most of the other plants. In some cases, you might even need professional help to keep them well.


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Bold, bright, and positively beautiful, kalanchoe is the umbrella term for over 120 different flowering succulents native to Africa. Also known as Widows-thrill, this strikingly pretty flower will be sure to add a punch of color. They can work well in both sun and partial shade, depending on the specific type. Regardless of what you choose, you can’t go wrong.


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If you take a look at classical paintings, you might notice a lot of artists painting lilies by bodies of water. This is because that’s where they are most commonly grown in nature. These flowers are a great option for people who like a splash of traditional decor near their saltwater pools. Believe it or not, they tend to tolerate those environments better than daylilies.

English Ivy

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Though most of the picks that we featured on this list have a deeply tropical feel, you don’t have to stick to the tropics or deserts to get your saltwater pool decorated. English ivy is a very British way to outfit your saltwater pool area, and it looks phenomenal. This ivy is exceptionally hardy and surprisingly resistant to salt.

With that said, we do want to warn people about ivy. This is a plant that has a way of getting to be invasive. It can even become a pest if you let it grow too much. Regular weeding and trimming is a must. If you are not up for the challenge of trimming it on the regular, we don’t suggest this one.

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Related Questions

How much salt ends up in soil near saltwater pools?

Honestly, it’s hard to tell, but it’s usually a decent amount. If you want to limit how much salt ends up in the ground near your saltwater pool, you might want to make sure to get a solid pool cover. Reducing the amount of splashing and cannonball dives, too, can help. Areas of high wind are more likely to spread and evaporate salt than areas known for still winds, too.

Are saltwater pools healthier than traditional pools?

Saltwater pools and traditional pools are both perfectly safe to swim in, so in that sense, it’s pretty even. However, most people seem to find that saltwater pools are less harsh on your skin and hair too. Researchers also noted that there is some evidence suggesting that saltwater pools are marginally safer than traditional pools. So if you’re looking to get to the nitty-gritty, then, yes, they are healthier.

What should you look for if you want to get plant near your saltwater pools?

The number one thing you should seek out is resistance to salty soil, simply because salt will eventually spill out. The best plants to put around saltwater pools also tend to be low maintenance, mold-resistant, and unlikely to attract too many wild animals. (Aside from birds. And even then, you might not want too many birds near your pool.)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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