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How Do I Protect My Pool Deck from Potted Plants?

The use of potted plants is an excellent way to bring some color and natural charm to your pool deck. You, possibly enjoy a bit of gardening too! Beautiful as they look, potted plants can stain & ruin your deck. So how do you protect your pool deck from potted plants?

To best protect your pool deck from potted plants, minimize the contact between the pot and the deck, avoid the flow of muddy water on the deck and ensure the deck is well sealed.

Planters will stain and damage any type of decking, be it wood, concrete or natural stone pavers. For adequate drainage, water needs to drain out from the bottom of the planter. This water, obviously, has soil in it. 

The wet soil has both natural & artificial chemicals in the form of fertilizers & pesticides. Soil rich in minerals such as iron, potassium and phosphorus will stain the deck. Wooden decks that remain wet for long durations can also rot and be the target of pests like ants & termites.

Protect Pool Deck from Potted Plants

With the correct technique you can have lovely green potted plants and a blemish free deck too! So in this post I am going to explain how you can keep planters on your deck without ruining it. 

Do Plant Pots Ruin the Decking?

Yes, plant pots can ruin a deck due to 

  • Stains
  • Rot & Abrasion
  • Water Seepage 
  • Mold & Mildew Growth
  • Lurking Critters

Potted plants need to be watered. All the water that you put in the pot will not be used up by the plant. Most of it will filter down and keep all the soil moist to sustain the plant. But the excess must flow out from the bottom.

As any gardener knows, blocking the water drainage is counter productive. It is one sure way to kill your potted plant. To protect your pool deck from potted plants, you need to contain, control or divert the water drainage.

There are fortunately a number of options available and some of them look quite pretty too.

What Do You Put Under Outdoor Pots?

If you want to protect your pool deck from the potted plants, you must try to keep them off the deck as far as possible. Here are 4 beautiful ways you can do just that.

#1 – Hang your Potted Plants

This is a wonderful option if your pots are not too big or heavy. The advantages of hanging the potted plants are

  1. There will be no stains as the bottom of the pot is not in touch with the deck
  2. Unless you overwater the plants, the excess moisture will evaporate without dripping on to the deck
  3. Even if some water was to spill on the deck it can be cleaned easily with a garden hose or a wet mop
  4. You can have a unique vertical garden
  5. Easy maintenance as the plants will be at eye level
Check out Hanging Planters for Outdoor Plants

#2 – Place Potted Plants on Shelves or Stands

The idea is similar to hanging the potted plants but it has a few more advantages.

  1. A sturdy shelf or stand can handle even heavier pots
  2. The shelf or stand can have a water collection tray
  3. The shelf or stand can be on wheels for easy movement
  4. A lot easier than hanging

#3 - Use Pots with Drainage Holes & Saucer

Instead of using an ordinary pot for your plant use a special pot that has drainage holes at the bottom and sits on a matching saucer. When you water your plant, any excess water will drain out through the holes and collect in the saucer below. The deck will be protected.

However, you must make sure that the saucer is not porous. A porous saucer will always be moist at the rim in contact with the deck and this will lead to circular stain marks and rotting. 

You must also ensure that the water that collects in the saucer is emptied out periodically. Actually, you need not water the plant if there is still some water in the saucer. A see-through saucer can be very helpful.

Check out Outdoor Plant Pots with Drainage Holes and Saucers

#4 - Use Pot Feet or Pot Risers

The idea is to elevate the plant pot a few inches above the deck. When the bottom of the pot is not in direct contact with the deck there is room for airflow. Moistness & humidity will get cleared by the sun's warmth and constant flow of air.

This will greatly reduce the possibility of growth of moss, mold, mildew, etc. under the potted plant. This is a relatively simple solution. You can just place the pots on pavers or bricks. If you think this is not very elegant, and I couldn't agree more, why not,

Check out Outdoor Plant Pot Feet and Pot Risers

Rearrange Potted Plants Often

A simple and easy way to protect your pool deck from potted plants is to rearrange their placement often. Even if you have the pots placed directly on the deck frequent rearrangement will 

  1. Not give enough time for the stains to penetrate the decking
  2. Reduce abrasion of the same spot on the deck
  3. Give you a chance to air out and clean the deck from time to time
  4. Exposes your plants to changes in sunlight direction and this stimulates better growth
  5. Let you move sensitive plants indoors during harsh winter conditions 

Seal to Protect Pool Deck from Potted Plants

The pool deck can get damaged from potted plants mainly because water drainage from the pots will be absorbed by the decking. All decking material, wood, concrete or natural stone pavers are porous. The porosity may vary from material to material but pool decks  need to be sealed and waterproofed.

The best sealer for each type of decking material is


Thompson's Waterseal Clear Water-Based Waterproofer Wood Protector even exceeds Industry Standard ASTM D-4446 for Waterproofing Wood. It is exceptionally good at

  • Preventing Water Damage
  • Maintaining Wood’s Natural Color
  • Resisting Mildew and UV Damage


Foundation Armor SX5000 Water Based Silane Siloxane Penetrating Concrete Sealer is a water-based Department of Transportation approved Silane-Siloxane penetrating concrete sealer.

It penetrates deep into the substrate where it chemically reacts to form a hydrophobic barrier within the pores. This reduces the absorption of water by up to 95%. It protects concrete, from within, without changing the look or feel of the surface. 


Miracle Sealants 511QT6 511 Impregnator Sealer will last 1-3 years on a natural stone pool deck. The actual life depends on the texture, foot traffic and even the strength of the power wash.

Thank you very much for reading the post. I do hope you found it informative and helpful.

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