Plants For A Natural Swimming Pool | All There Is To Aquatic Plants For Your Natural Pool

Being a swimming enthusiast means you’d love to explore more options that guarantee you a good swim. Natural swimming pools are one such option. However, a natural poor won’t be so ‘natural’ if you don’t add some aquatic plants to complete its vibe. Here’s what you need to know about plants for your natural swimming pool.

Being a fan of nature, you’d absolutely love to have a natural swimming pool in your backyard. However, having a natural swimming pool on your property isn’t as easy as it sounds. A natural swimming pool is incomplete without appropriate aquatic plants in its regeneration zone.

Choosing the right aquatic plants for your natural swimming pool can be an arduous task, especially if you have little or no knowledge about these greens. But, don’t you worry, you’d be a natural swimming pool expert by the end of this guide and will definitely know which plants to add to your natural swimming pond.

What is a Natural Swimming Pool?

A natural pool, sometimes known as a swimming pond, is a swimming pool that is naturally filtered and cleansed by water plants and a unique biological filtration system. Natural pools can be in whatever form, size, or style you like, and they can be built to blend in with your environment. Thus, they will give a natural vibe to your swimming pool, and your natural swimming pool will definitely be the envy of all your visitors.

Close up of flowers on a pickerel weed (pontederia cordata) plant

Why Are Aquatic Plants Necessary In A Natural Swimming Pool?

In addition to giving your swimming pool a close-to-nature touch, aquatic plants are absolutely necessary as they keep your natural swimming pond clean and its water filtered at all times.

Aquatic plants live in the regeneration zones, where they perform hydro-botanical filtration and take in nutrients from the water, preventing algae growth. The swimming zone and regeneration zones are divided by low submerged barriers, providing plenty of space to enjoy clear, sanitary, living water without the use of chemicals. Yes, you read that right; natural pools don’t rely on harmful chemicals to disinfect and filter the water, unlike traditional swimming pools.
A well-constructed hydraulic system below the surface is hard at work below the surface cycling the water through biological and mineral filters, ensuring it is sanitary and fit for swimming all year round.

The plants in the regeneration area provide a natural flora filter for water that flows in and out of plant life. They may be utilized with a specific pump or skimmer system installed in the swimming area. The water is continuously in motion to prevent undesirable bacteria from growing.

Natural filter materials may be put in the pool itself in warmer regions, and hydroponic plants help in the filtration system – and look perfectly splendid!

Benefits Of Having A Natural Swimming Pool In Your Backyard

Suppose you aren’t convinced of having a natural swimming pool in your backyard yet. In that case, you will definitely be after reading about the benefits of natural swimming ponds. Here are some of the advantages of having a natural swimming pond installed on your property.

  • They make your backyard (or any other part of your property) look aesthetically pleasing.
  • There’s no need to add harmful chemicals for cleansing a natural swimming pool.
  • It uses plants and a pump to keep the water clean.
  • They can be customized and beautified according to your requirements.
  • As the name suggests – natural swimming pools are very eco-friendly.
  • The maintenance costs are much lesser than those involved in a traditional swimming pool. The most you’d have to do is pick up leaves from the surface of the water.
  • It doesn’t use any electricity, unlike regular swimming pools.
  • It has all the benefits (and more) of a regular swimming pool.

Some Tips For Natural Swimming Pool Owners

Having a natural swimming pool on your property isn’t the end of your job; in fact, you’re just getting started. Here are some tips that you might find helpful when maintaining your natural swimming pond.

  • You need to clean the bottom of your pool every now and then.
  • You need to maintain a sufficient water level.
  • Your aquatic plants need trimming every now and then.
  • It would help if you installed a water filter at the bottom of your natural swimming pool, preventing algae growth.
  • You need to place your skimmer in a strategic location.
  • Make sure your natural swimming pools are as far away from big trees as possible; this is because having a tree near your pool will ask for an increase in your maintenance efforts.

Building a Natural Swimming Pool The Right Way

If you’re not a fan of pool liners because they might limit the natural look of your pool, it would be best if you use rocks to line the edges and build a hole to prevent soil erosion.

If you’re building a natural pool with two regions, a regeneration zone and a water zone, it will help if you line the plant side with gravel. Another thing that you can do is plant all your aquatic plants one foot away from the borders of your natural swimming pool. This proves pretty useful in cleaning the water as it flows through the edges and through plant roots.

The Science Behind Adding Aquatic Plants To Your Swimming Pool

Before planting any aquatic plants in your natural swimming pool, it would be best if you know the science behind adding aquatic plants to your natural swimming pools.

Natural swimming pools are nothing like regular ponds that you might find in the forest. They have unique growing conditions, and the aquatic plants you plant should be compatible with these conditions. We have listed some of the unique growing conditions found in natural swimming pools below.

  • A natural swimming pool uses a filter grit instead of traditional soil to grow plants.
  • Unlike natural pond water, the water in natural swimming pools does not have sufficient nutrients. This helps in algae growth control.
  • At the bottom of your natural swimming pool, you’ll find a filtration system below the gravel. This inhibits plant growth and algae control.

Aquatic Plants That Can Be Used In A Natural Swimming Pool

Unlike traditional swimming pools, plants are the life and backbone of natural swimming pools. The most popular aquatic plants for your swimming pool include water lilies and perennial grasses. However, some reeds like swamp hibiscus, pond sedge, and cattails are also common.

In addition to being a natural water cleaner, the aquatic plants in your swimming pools also serve as home and breeding grounds for many creatures. The regeneration zone in your swimming pond also serves as a habitat for microorganisms like zooplankton and water fleas that help clean your pool.

There are a plethora of options when it comes to choosing the right plants for your natural swimming pools to provide oxygen and filtration. These plants can be classified into four main types.

  • Floating plants
  • Marginal plants
  • Emergent plants
  • Submerged plants

Floating Plants

As the name suggests – floating plants float on the surface of your natural swimming pool. They are not attached to the bottom of your swimming pond and have roots spread across the regeneration zone to help these plants get their share of essential nutrients.

However, floating plants may grow out of control and clog your skimmers if you leave them as it is and do not contain them. Also, floating plants are incredibly location-specific – one floating plant may not be able to survive in another location if it does not get its desired sunlight and water flow.

Water lilies are an example of floating plants.

Marginal Plants

Marginal plants grow around the ‘margins’ of your swimming pool. Marginal plants are very generous and share their nutrients with other plants as well. They require saturated soil to grow, and their roots and crown should remain wet at all times to ensure that these plants thrive in your natural swimming pool.
They are great filterers of natural pool water as they absorb all the pollutants to give you clean swimming water. They are also a friend of wildlife and are homes to many animals like newts, frogs, and salamanders.

Emergent Plants

Emergent plants can usually be found across the borders of natural swimming pools and are rooted plants. Emergent plants stand up firm and erect to add that forest-like vibe to your natural swimming pools. They are also home to many creatures like butterflies, dragonflies, and toads.

Grasses and rushes are a great option if you’re considering adding emergent plants to your natural swimming pool.

Submerged Plants

Submerged plants grow inside pots that are kept on the floor of your natural swimming pool. Most of the submerged plants remain below the surface of the water, but some parts may rise above the surface of the water. They also provide breeding grounds for frogs and other aquatic creatures.

Some Of The Aquatic Plants That You Can Grow In Your Natural Swimming Pool

When shifting your aquatic plant for an aquatic basket to the filter beds of your natural swimming pool, it’s best if you wash off its roots before planting it. This helps the plant in adjusting to the limited growing conditions of your natural swimming pool.

Also, you must always plant mature plants in the regeneration zone of your natural swimming pool. This is because mature plants won’t die off adjusting to the growing conditions of your artificial pond.

Some plants that can be a great addition to your natural swimming pool are:

  • Galingale
  • Flag Iris
  • Water Mint
  • Mixed oxygenators
  • White water lilies
  • Hop Sedge
  • Bulrushes
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Marsh Marigold
  • Banded Horsetail
  • Pondweed
  • Duckweed
  • Pickerel Weed
  • Hornwort
  • Water Lettuce
  • Lotus
  • Frogbit
  • Water Primrose
  • Cattails
  • Golden Sword
  • Botswana Wonder

If you want to add a plant to the swimming side of your natural swimming pool, it would be best to fill the outsides with azaleas and maple. You can also use water lilies and sedges in the water zone of your pool.

Concluding Thoughts

All in all, natural swimming pools are a great way to add a natural vibe to the backyard of your home. Natural swimming pools are free from harmful chemicals, are eco-friendly, and add to the beautification of your humble abode.

Aquatic plants bring the ‘natural’ in ‘natural swimming pools.’ These aquatic plants prove very handy when it comes to cleaning and filtering the water of your pool. Aquatic plants also provide shelter and breeding grounds to many creatures. For these reasons and more, furnishing your natural swimming pool with suitable plants is absolutely a must.
By now, you might have an idea as to what plants you are planning on adding to your swimming pool. Happy planting!


How much does it cost to build a natural swimming pool?

In general, depending on size and layout, natural pools can cost anywhere between $10,000 and $70,000. A natural pool has the benefit of saving a lot of money in the long run. At the same time, it may cost more money beforehand, as maintenance expenses are incredibly cheap.

Do natural swimming pools attract mosquitoes?

Regrettably, a little body of water is an ideal spot for mosquitos to feed and reproduce together like a pond or natural swimming pool. Floating plants like water lilies are the perfect place for egg-laying mosquitoes.

Can a natural swimming pool be heated?

Yes, you can heat a natural swimming pool every now and then using almost any conventional swimming pool heaters or solar heating system.

How do I keep algae out of my natural pool?

People have been using UV light to destroy algae for a long time now. These people make use of devices that can cast an ultraviolet light and direct it towards the algae growth to remove it. Luckily, these devices are now available for natural swimming pools and will help you keep algae out of your natural pool. Large UV lamps can be for higher water volumes.