Can You Plant Hostas Around a Pool?

Figuring out what plants to install around a pool can be challenging. For one, you need to choose varieties that don’t create debris in the pool that you will need to clean frequently. However, you also need to choose options that work in your pool’s microclimate and are easy to take care of—which is why many people consider planting hostas.

You can plant hostas around an aboveground pool. These perennials are easy to take care of, provide plenty of shade to the ground near your pool, and look attractive. They also prefer damp environments, so the pool microclimate is perfect for them.

If you’re hoping to learn more about landscaping around your pool, you’re in the right place. I’ll explain how you should care for the hostas you plant around your pool and cover a few other types of plants you can consider growing poolside.

hostas can be planted around an above ground pool

Caring for Hostas

Hostas generally prefer shade and shouldn’t be grown directly in the sun. If you’ve planted taller trees around your pool, you should plant hostas at the foot of these trees. 

However, if you don’t have trees to provide the shade that most hostas like, don’t worry. There are also some varieties available that grow well in the sun, such as:

  • Hosta plantaginea
  • Hosta ‘Fortunei aureomarginata’
  • Hosta ‘Stained Glass’
  • Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’
  • Hosta ‘Sun Power’
  • Hosta ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’

One easy way to determine whether a hosta variety is good for the sun is to consider the color of the leaves and whether the plant flowers. Hostas with red or gold leaves are generally more partial to sunlight than those varieties that produce fragrant flowers.

Once you’ve chosen and planted your hostas, the next step is taking care of them. These plants require moderate water and should not be overwatered. However, if planted under trees, they may benefit from additional watering. This is because the trees compete with them for resources, including water.

How to Prevent Pests in Your Poolside Hostas

The main challenge with planting hostas around your pool is to avoid attracting pests. While you’re unlikely to attract deer, especially if you live in an urban area, you may still have to deal with slugs and snails. 

Pests such as slugs and snails love hostas, and if they are planted near your pool, there’s a risk that these pests will enter your pool, giving you a nasty surprise the next time you use it. Because of this, it’s essential to treat your hostas for pests.

Here are some ways to treat your hostas for slugs and snails:

  • Water in the morning so the ground is dry when pests are most active at night.
  • Get rid of garden debris that may hide pests, such as mulch and leaves. This can also help remove slug/snail eggs before they hatch.
  • Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the plants – the caffeine is poisonous to slugs and snails.
  • Place a cup that is halfway filled with beer near your plants. The pests will be attracted to the beer, climb up the cup, fall into it, and drown.
  • Treat your hostas chemically to kill snails and slugs. One way to do so is to spray them with a mixture of 10 parts water to 1 part ammonia. Make sure to spray on the stems as well. Alternatively, you can use a commercially available product. I recommend Monterey Sluggo from Amazon. It is a pet-safe option that retains its effectiveness after the rain.

How To Plant Hostas Next to a Pool

When planting hostas—or any other plants—near your pool, you should leave a “no-grow” zone right next to it. There are several reasons for this:

  • Planting too close to the pool can restrict access to the pool, especially if you’re refilling the pool or conducting maintenance, which requires large equipment.
  • Depending on the plants you grow, growing them too close to the pool may result in additional pool and plant maintenance.
  • There’s a greater risk of plant debris finding its way into the pool, so you’ll have to clean your pool more frequently.

All plants, including smaller plants like hostas and flowers, should be grown about 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) away from your pool. You can cover the “no-grow” zone with paving stones or tiles.

Another alternative is using gravel, but I don’t recommend this, especially if you prefer being barefoot when making your way to the pool. The gravel can irritate your feet and make them dirty.

Remember that the 2-3 feet (60-90 cm) number is a minimum. Taller trees should be planted at least 5-6 feet (150-180 cm) away from the pool. This reduces the risk of falling leaves making their way into the pool.

Other Plants To Plant Near Your Pool

Hostas are only one option when it comes to landscaping near your pool. Other options you can consider include:

Zebra Grass

Zebra grass is a striking plant that is easy to care for and grows quickly. It doesn’t create too much debris or mess, which is great if you want to keep your pool as low maintenance as possible.

Additionally, they don’t mind overwatering, which is good if you’re worried about water splashing out of your pool and onto your plants.


These stunning flowers are a great way to add color to your poolside. They are available in numerous colors, so you’ll be able to landscape around a theme easily.

They can generally take the heat well, which makes them a great option if you don’t have trees around your pool to provide shade. They’re also tolerant of salt water, making them a great choice if you use salt-chlorine sanitizer in your pool.

Kangaroo Paw

Originally from Australia, this perennial produces striking, colorful flowers. It doesn’t require too much water, making it a low maintenance option, and can easily adapt to various climates, including the microclimate around your pool.

Early summer garden border with Hosta selection looks good around pool

Final Thoughts

Hostas are an excellent option to grow around your pool—they’re low maintenance, provide shade for the ground, look attractive, and handle the microclimate around your pool well. 

However, you should ensure you treat them for slugs and snails, as they attract these pests in droves. Additionally, make sure you plant them a little distance away from your pool to avoid extra pool maintenance and allow for greater access to your pool for cleaning.