The Best Plants to Enjoy by The Water

Living color garden center-Florida-Plants to Enjoy by The Water-seaside grape plant

Get creative with more than just palm trees in your poolside garden. These tropical plants are perfect for the sunny, salty environment of a boat or pool deck—just in time for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show!

What Makes a Good Coastal Plant?

The diverse locations of our gardens in Southern Florida require us to select plants creatively. This is what makes designing your coastal landscape all the more fun! When looking for plants to feature in your waterfront garden, you’ll want to look for the following traits:

  • Salt tolerance
  • Heat tolerance
  • Sun-loving 
  • Equipped to thrive in challenging weather conditions
  • Adaptable to sandy soil 
Living color garden center-Florida-Plants to Enjoy by The Water-seaside grape

Sea Grape 

Sea grapes are an excellent choice for coastal gardens since they are salt and wind-tolerant. This tropical tree produces fruit similar to grapes and thrives well alongside beachfront properties. In the beginning, the tree needs to be trained, but after that, it only needs watering and occasional pruning to keep its shape and stay looking gorgeous in your backyard.

Blanket Flower 

Featuring an eye-catching color pattern, the blanket flower is a visual treat for any pool or waterfront display. Blanket flowers are sun-loving, drought-tolerant, salty soil-loving plants that resemble the shape of daisy flowers. You can make garden deck beds look beautiful by theming your garden with this delightful flower, also known as Gaillardia.

Living color garden center-Florida-Plants to Enjoy by The Water-seaside grape


Daylilies are ideal for planting in coastal locations due to their salt tolerance and ability to thrive during droughts and floods. These perennial plants are extremely versatile and great for beach and pool deck locations. With a plentiful array of colors and patterns, you can’t go wrong with a daylily-themed flower bed in your waterfront or poolside garden!

Seaside Goldenrod

It’s all in the name—this seaside-loving plant is as good as gold. As one of the members of the Asteraceae family, the seaside goldenrod has waxy, fleshy leaves that are easy to spot. This flowering plant is right at home when planted along waterfront gardens or poolside due to its versatility and salt tolerance.

Living color garden center-Florida-Plants to Enjoy by The Water-lantana


The lantana shrub acts more like a tropical vine because it is fast-growing and salt-tolerant! This brightly colored, dainty plant is suitable for both hanging planters and groundcover along your pool deck garden beds. When planted on a trellis alongside your pool, it is a real attention-grabber!

Japanese Pittosporum 

Grow it in full sun or partial shade—it will thrive either way. Japanese pittosporum is extremely heat and salt-tolerant, making it a popular coastal garden favorite for pool front locations. A striking contrast between pittosporum’s glossy leaves and its bold stems makes it an attractive plant. Based on the cultivar, the leaves may be green, yellow, violet, silvery-gray, or variegated. Regardless of what color you select, your garden will be a showpiece when planting Japanese pittosporum.

Living color garden center-Florida-Plants to Enjoy by The Water-prickly pear cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly pears prefer dry, warm weather, just like any other cactus. They also love salty soil, and you know what that means—they may just be the next plant to feature in this season’s coastal landscape design or poolside garden bed! In addition to its drought and salt tolerance, the prickly pear has few pest and disease problems and grows even in the sandiest of soils. Need we say more? 

Blue Grama Grass

Who doesn’t love some ornamental grass in their garden? You can use this ornamental grass in your coastal garden to provide an attractive appearance while still being practical! It is extremely easy to care for, thriving in full-sun environments and well-drained soils. For another salt-tolerant variety of ornamental grass to include in your tropical waterfront garden, consider Little Bluestem. 

Are you curious about Fort Lauderdale poolside and waterfront plants? Coastal landscape design inspiration can be found at Living Color Garden Center. Stop by to visit us!

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