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What to plant around a swimming pool

Reading time: 3:20 –

Whether you’ve just installed your dream pool or are looking to refresh your existing one, transforming your backyard pool area into a space that resembles a 5-star resort is easier than you think! Putting in plants around your pool not only elevates your design, but it also improves the overall pool experience by providing privacy, shade and wind protection. If you’re not a green thumb, don’t worry, we’re here to help with your pool landscaping needs.

When deciding on what to plant around your pool, keep in mind that you need plants that are pool friendly. Look for plants that are reasonably hardy and can survive in an environment where they’re likely to be exposed to wind, salt and chemicals.

And before you make a beeline to your nearest garden centre, consider the sun exposure in your backyard, e.g. do you need plants that thrive in full sun or part shade? Sourcing plants that suit the conditions of your yard is a fail-safe way to achieve garden perfection.

What are some pool friendly plants?

Palm trees

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Nothing says tropical resort like a palm tree! Palms are the perfect addition to a pool area because they don’t drop small leaves (creating a cleaning nightmare!) and their fronds provide much-needed shade from the full afternoon sun. Some medium-sized varieties that are ideal for a pool area are Kentias and Sugarcane palms. Prepare to experience the ultimate stay-cation in your very own backyard!

Agave (Attenuata)

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This variety of Agave is basically indestructible. Almost every climate is capable of growing this succulent, and they’re virtually maintenance free! It can thrive in both full sun and low-light conditions. Even better, it doesn’t shed its leaves. You only need to trim off any withered leaves once in a while to keep it looking neat. Planting Agave Attenuata will add a striking pop of green and won’t require any slaving away in the garden!

Bird of Paradise

bird of paradise tropical garden holiday backyard

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Add some drama with this South African local! It’s a hardy plant that can withstand a variety of weather conditions. You only need to make sure it’s sheltered from strong winds or its leaves can rip. It can also grow to a substantial size, so it’s excellent for providing privacy and filling out space in your backyard. But what makes it an ideal plant for a pool area is its sturdy leaves do not shed and can tolerate some splashing from the pool! We guarantee you’ll never get sick of admiring the beautiful orange and purple flowers while floating in your pool.

Ornamental grasses

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Add layers to your landscaping with ornamental grasses. They’re perfect for creating balance with any trees or large shrubs in your pool area. They generally blend nicely with other plants and grow quickly, so ideal if you want to see fast results.  And of course, they don’t create much mess – which means less time vacuuming and cleaning your pool! Some options to check out are Blue Fescue Grass and New Zealand Flax. Because it turns out if there’s a pool involved, the grass is greener on the other side!

Agapanthus

agapanthus flowers plantings
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Add a touch of blue with Agapanthus’. Another hardy plant to add to the list. It thrives in a wide range of environmental conditions, and is drought resistant – perfect for long hot summers! Again, they don’t make a mess, and the bright green foliage and blue flowers look brilliant lined along your pool fence.

There are endless options when it comes to landscaping your pool area, but the suggestions above are sure-fire winners!

What kind of plants do you want to keep away from the pool?

Think about the clean up

Trees or plants that shed small leaves will be your worst nightmare! They will create endless clean up and can wreak havoc on your water balance and filter. If you’re set on planting trees around your pool, consider deciduous trees. They will drop their leaves in autumn when you can protect your pool with a cover. Evergreens will shed year-round, requiring constant maintenance.

Keep it safe

When planting around your pool, make sure you’re adhering to local council regulations. It’s often a legal requirement to ensure you’ve cleared away climbable objects from your pool fence, including trees. Another thing to consider is the practicality of your plantings. While cactuses can create a fabulous Mexican vibe, they don’t bode well with kids playing around the pool.

Damage

You’ll also want to avoid plants that have the potential to damage your pool surrounds with their root systems. Bamboo, Umbrella Trees and Rubber Trees are some of the species that can cause problems in your underground plumbing and paving – resulting in an unwanted bill!

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on the right pathway to poolside perfection!

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