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Fall Pool Landscaping Ideas for Your Outdoor Living Space

Fall Pool Landscaping Ideas for Your Outdoor Living Space

Pool landscaping

If you're on the fence about when to install your inground pool, why not consider doing a fall pool installation?

The fall is the perfect time of year to install your inground pool for several reasons. First, weather and ground conditions are generally favorable (not too hot or too cold), and second, you'll have plenty of time to get your pool in the ground before the next swim season comes around.

As a bonus, you won't have to wait until spring to do your landscaping, and you can get your yard back in order relatively quickly.


As fiberglass pool manufacturers and installers with award-winning landscapers on our team, we do plenty of pool landscaping during the fall months while working on turn-key fiberglass pool projects.

So, if you're thinking about having your pool area landscaped by a pro (or if you're looking to DIY your pool landscaping over the coming months), keep reading. In this article, we'll break down some of the dos and don'ts of pool landscaping and name some trees, bulbs, grasses, and perennials that are perfectly suited for planting in the latter half of the year.



Trees to Plant in Fall

There is a long list of trees that can be planted in the fall, but not all of them are good for the pool area.

There are two major things that you'll need to think about when it comes to trees and swimming pools: roots and leaves. You'll want to make sure that the roots of the tree won't spread out too far and damage your pool patio, or even worse, the structure of your inground pool.

On a less dramatic note, you'll probably want to steer clear of trees that shed a lot, unless you have an automatic pool cover or plan on installing one. Fishing leaves out of your pool might not bother you that much, but if you don't clean it up often, the leaves and other debris from surrounding trees can quickly cause pool stains.

With that in mind, here are some of the top trees that can be planted around your pool in the fall:



Evergreen trees for fall landscaping

We like evergreens because the roots aren't aggressive, you can plant them virtually year-round, and they don't shed all of their leaves at any point. Some of the best evergreens to plant around your pool include:


Pine Trees

We don't know about you, but the smell of pine trees is one of our favorite things during the fall and winter months. Using pine trees around your pool or along the perimeter of your yard is also an easy way to add privacy to your outdoor living space. Pine trees can grow quickly, but some pine species can be slow-growing, so make sure to ask about growth speed before you adopt a pine.


Fir Trees

Like pine trees, fir trees can help you increase the privacy of your backyard. They can also be relatively easy to take care of, depending on the species. Firs are commonly used as holiday trees and can be decorated to complement your outdoor holiday accessories if you like to get festive.


Cedar Trees

Cedars are another attractive option for your outdoor living space because they don't shed a ton and they are easy to take care of. One thing to note is that cedar trees are typically very large and don't work well in small backyards with inground pools. However, they make excellent additions to outdoor living spaces with lots of land if you have the room for them.


Cypress Trees

Cypress trees are commonly used along perimeters for privacy and can often be seen in pool landscaping for this reason. The roots of cypresses are also non-invasive, which makes them good for the pool area without risk of damaging the patio or pool structure. Certain species, like Italian cypresses, grow quickly, and they can become very tall over time.


More Trees to Plant in the Fall

You'll have more options for your pool area than just evergreens. If you want a tree that turns colors or blooms in the spring, here are a few of our top choices for your autumn pool landscaping.


Elm Trees

Elm tree fall landscaping ideas

Elm trees shouldn't be planted directly beside the pool, but they can make a beautiful addition to your backyard if they are planted a little further away from the pool area. Elm trees shed their leaves in the fall, and they also have berries (you don't want either falling into your pool). If you decide to plant an elm tree this fall, consider adding an automatic pool cover to your inground pool to simplify maintenance.


Maple Trees

Maple tree for fall landscaping

Maple trees can grow very large with roots expanding 25 feet away from the base of the tree. If you want to add a maple to your backyard, try to keep it further away from the pool area and consider using an automatic pool cover to keep falling leaves out of your pool. On the upside, you'll have access to fresh maple syrup for your pancakes.


Crab Apple Trees

Crab apple tree for pool landscaping in fall

These beautiful trees can add a splash of color to your outdoor living space if you're planting in the fall. Crab apple trees typically have flowers that bloom in the spring, but they also bear fruit and should be kept as far away from the pool as possible.


There are tons of other trees that you can plant in the fall, and we encourage you to explore your options before you choose which trees to plant around your pool. However, no matter which species you decide to introduce to your home, make sure that they don't have aggressive root systems and that they are planted far away from the pool if they have falling fruit or leaves. Last, be sure to consider the size of the tree and its potential for growth before you put it in the ground.



Bulbs to Plant in the Fall

There are a variety of bulbs that you can plant in the fall if you want to decorate your pool area with some vibrant flowers. Here are some of our top choices:



daffodil bulbs to plant around pool

Daffodils come in many different colors and bring a lot of charm to any outdoor living space. They need plenty of sun, so you'll want to plant them in an area that gets at least some sunshine. One drawback is that they can attract bees, like many flowers, which may make some people uncomfortable around the pool area.



Tulips to plant in fall

Tulips are some of the most iconic flowers of all time, and they add a ton of color and beauty to any outdoor space. Like daffodils, tulips need plenty of sunlight wherever you plant them, and you may need to replant them every year since they don't typically survive the winter.



hyacinth bulb to plant in autumn

Hyacinths add a touch of color and character to your flower beds with their colorful petals and unique shape. These bulbs can also bloom multiple years in a row without having to replant every autumn. Note: hyacinths carry a strong scent, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you like the smell.



starflower bulbs to plant in fall

Starflowers have a more delicate appearance and come in a variety of colors like white, lilac, yellow, and pink. They also need plenty of sun but can do well in partially shaded areas like under trees and bushes. Starflowers can last more than one year but may have to be replanted occasionally over time.


Perennials to Plant in the Fall

Perennials can grow year after year, which means less work for you in the long run. These are typically small flowering plants that bloom in the spring and summer, and they are often used to add small pops of color to poolside planters or outdoor flower beds. Here are some of our top picks:


Creeping Jenny

creeping jenny for fall landscaping

Creeping jenny plants grow and spread quickly, making them great fillers for in between flowers and bushes. You may notice your creeping jenny overpowering nearby plants, so you might want to plant them next to taller species. These plants should return every year without needing to replant unless you live in an area that experiences extremely cold winters.



Astilbe plants for fall landscaping

These perennials come in a range of colors and can grow to be quite tall, making them a good addition to your flower beds or poolside planters. Astilbes can also do very well in shaded areas if you're looking for something to plant under your trees or alongside your fence.



pincushion perennial for fall

Pincushion flowers are tall, colorful, and low-maintenance. They can do well planted almost anywhere, including flowerbeds and poolside planters. As a bonus, they can bring more butterflies into your outdoor living space and add a touch of magic to your pool area.


English Lavender

english lavender perennials fall landscape

English Lavender can bring a pleasant and calming fragrance to your backyard, and the flowers can be used for a range of herbal remedies or aromatherapy practices. However, they require plenty of sun to thrive, and they might need to be replanted if the winter gets below zero degrees.


Grasses to Plant in the Fall

If you want to sow grass seed, autumn is the perfect time for many species, including ornamental grasses. Some of our top picks for ornamental grasses to plant in the autumn include:


Zebra Grass

zebra grass for fall landscaping

Zebra grass can liven up your landscaping with interesting textures and patterns. It can also help you fill up gaps in planters and along pathways. As a bonus, zebra grass can grow several years in a row without needing to be replanted. However, it will need plenty of sunshine and water to thrive, so make sure to keep it out of heavily shaded areas.


Blue Fescue Grass

blue fescue grass for fall

Planting blue fescue is an easy way to bring cool tones to your outdoor living space and poolside planters. It's important to note that this evergreen grass doesn't do very well in extremely hot climates, and it needs plenty of sun to thrive.


Purple Fountain Grass

purple fountain grass for autumn

Purple fountain grass brings a pop of color and texture to any flower bed or planter. This type of fountain grass also needs plenty of sun and doesn't do as well in shaded areas or under trees. Fountain grasses, in general, do best in full sunlight, but keep in mind that some species can be invasive.


These are just a handful of suggestions for your fall pool landscaping project, so be sure to do more research and speak with experts at your local nursery before you begin planting. If you're wondering what the best plants are for your pool area regardless of the season, check out our article below to discover our top picks:

The Best and Worst Plants to Use in Pool Landscaping


Haven't decided when you want to install your swimming pool? Here are some resources to help you out:

Should I Install My Pool in Fall, Winter, or Spring?

Why You Should Wait to Get a Pool Until Your New Home Is Built

Pool Construction: Comparing Concrete, Vinyl Liner, and Fiberglass Installations




At River Pools, we manufacture world-class fiberglass pools for customers across North America.  If you're interested in getting a fiberglass pool for your home, you can browse our pool models, try out our pool pricing calculator, or request custom pricing from our team using the button below.