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Plants For Around Pools

February 8, 2022 Jill Raver
Filed in: Landscaping Guides
plants for around pools - palm trees

 

 

We love our backyard pools. They cool us down in summer and provide loads of outdoor fun for our families. Pools are a tropical oasis right in our own backyard. Poolside landscaping helps to transform your pool area into a gorgeous tropical paradise. Let’s discuss the best plants for around pools, my favorite tropical landscape ideas, and tips for planting and growing plants around your pool.

 

 

 

 

Best Plants for Around a Pool

Citrus Trees

If you live in a subtropical region (growing zones 8, 9, 10, 11) like Florida, California, or even the warmer regions of Georgia and South Carolina you can grow citrus trees in the ground. The rest of us can grow them in containers and move them inside during winter months. I love these trees for a wonderfully tropical and colorful look. Citrus flowers are fabulously fragrant and the fruit is beautiful and delicious. They are easy to grow and drought tolerant, but love humidity. Citrus trees stay small, only growing to about 15 feet and even smaller when grown in containers. Do keep in mind that many of these plants do have some thorns if you have curious kiddos or pets.


Blood Orange Tree

blood orange tree. plants for around pools

Growing Zones 9-1


Eureka Lemon Plant

Growing Zones 9-11


Key Lime Tree

Growing Zones 9-11


Owari Satsuma Mandarin Orange Tree

Owari Satsuma Madarin Orange Tree

Growing Zones 8-11 


Meyer Lemon Tree

Growing Zones 8-11


Variegated Eureka Lemon

Growing Zones 9-11

 

Ornamental Grasses

I really can’t get enough of ornamental grasses. These plants are just the best. They are incredibly easy to care for, drought, heat, and salt tolerant, and they add so much unique texture. Many grasses are cold tolerant too. While most grasses are perennials, they hold onto those plumes and foliage throughout the winter adding interest and not causing any debris. You can easily trim them back when they brown out or hold off until spring right before they emerge from dormancy. 

blue dune lyme grass

Blue Dune Lyme Grass

Growing Zones 4-9


Cosmopolitan Maiden Grass (miscanthus)

Growing Zones 5-9


Little Zebra Maiden Grass

Growing Zones 5-9


Pink Muhly Grass

Pink Muhly Grass

Growing Zones 6-9


Porcupine Maiden Grass

Growing Zones 5-9


Shenandoah Switch Grass

Growing Zones 4-9


White Cloud Muhly Grass

Growing Zones 6-10

 

Palm Trees

Palm trees are the quintessential tropical tree. They bring about tropical vacation dream vibes such as to the beach or islands. Palm trees can handle the heat and humidity with ease. And some, like the windmill palm, are even cold hardy. For cooler climates, grow your palm tree in a container and move it indoors or a protected location in winter. They do stay smaller in containers, especially the sago palm, majesty palm, and the Chinese fan palm. Oh, and most palms are extremely salt tolerant so they are great for around saltwater pools!


Chinese Fan Palm

Chinese Fan Palm

Growing Zones 9-11


European Fan Palm

Growing Zones 8-11


Majesty Palm 

Growing Zones 9-11


Pindo Palm

Pindo Palm

Growing Zones 8-11


Robellini Palm

Growing Zones 9-11


Sago Palm 

Growing Zones 8-11


Windmill Palm 

Growing Zones 7-11

 

Tropical Plants

Tropical plants and tropical trees can be grown in the ground in the appropriate growing zones or grown as patio plants in pots. They add the perfect tropical look to your pool landscape! Just remember to protect them in winter if you are in a cooler growing zone and want to enjoy them year after year.


Basjoo Banana Tree

Basjoo Banana Tree

Growing Zones 5-11


Black Magic Elephant Ear

Growing Zones 8-11


Citronella Mosquito Plant

Growing Zones 9-11


Dwarf Cavendish Banana Tree

Growing Zones 8-11


Mandevilla Vines

Mandevilla Vine

Growing Zones 8-11


Red Banana Tree

Growing Zones 7-11


Rojo Banana Plant

Growing Zones 8-11


Hydrangeas

People seem to love planting these pretty plants around pools. Hydrangeas around pools aren’t my favorite because they are deciduous, but they are much more cold hardy than tropical plants. And if you keep them far enough away from your pool or have your pool covered when they drop their leaves, plant away! I’ve never found the flowers to be particularly messy. Of course the dried petals have to drop at some point, but you can avoid this by deadheading your hydrangeas. You’ll have plenty of time to do this before the petals start falling. Pick hydrangea macrophylla varieties for salt water pools. These hydrangeas have been reported to be the most salt tolerant. The list below are all macrophylla hydrangeas.


BloomStruck Hydrangea

BloomStruck Hydrangea

Growing Zones 4-9


Blushing Bride Hydrangea

Growing Zones 4-9


Cityline Paris Bigleaf Hydrangea

Growing Zones 5-9


Endless Summer Hydrangea

Growing Zones 4-9


LA Dreamin Hydrangea

LA Dreamin' Hydrangea

Growing Zones 5-10


Nikko Blue Hydrangea

Growing Zones 6-9


Pistachio Hydrangea

Growing Zones 5-9

 

Tips for Planting and Growing Around a Pool

  • Choose plants that love the sun and can handle the heat.
  • Plants that don’t mind some humidity are ideal especially for humid areas and heated pools that boost the humidity in the air. 
  • Avoid deciduous trees and plants. These plants shed their leaves in fall or winter and can make quite a mess in your pool. 
  • Avoid plants with flowers or fruits that are messy.
  • Don’t plant any trees that will grow so large that they will shade or grow over your pool. This will keep debris away and help avoid any invasive roots that could impact your pool system. 
  • Choose hardy plants that are low maintenance.
  • Don’t worry about a splash or two of chlorinated water on your plants. This doesn’t affect plants. However, salt spray can affect plants if the dosing is continuous. So just keep your plants at a safe distance away from the splishing and splashing, or pick salt tolerant plants like ornamental grasses or palm trees.
  • Give your pool landscape plants plenty of room. Look at the mature width of each plant to determine how far to plant them from your pool.
  • Is your pool area all hardscape? No worries. Container gardening is ideal around pools and on hardscapes. Just about all of the plants on my lists except maybe the large palm trees are great for pots. Just remember to keep them watered. Potted plants will dry out faster than plants that are planted in the ground. Move any cold sensitive plants indoors during the colder months.

Now is the time to prep and pretty up your pool garden! Beautify your tropical pool oasis in time for your summer swims! Happy planting!

 

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