Best pool landscaping plants to consider – Forbes Advisor

Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

Relaxing by the pool is most enjoyable when the scenery by the pool is perfect. The best plants to put around a swimming pool are those that are low maintenance, do no damage, and can withstand intense exposure to sunlight and radiant heat. In addition, they must fulfill roles such as providing shade, privacy screen, or adding attractive texture, structure and color. What to plant around a swimming pool? Read on for our recommendations.

Pool Landscape Plants

Unlike container gardens on the pool deck, the landscape from the pool deck to the fence is more permanent. It’s the trees, shrubs, and perennials that create privacy, block out strong winds, provide shade, and build the structure of your poolside or backyard oasis. Choose hardy, self-sufficient varieties that match your garden style.

Emerald Green Arborvitae, Thuja Occidentalis ‘Emerald Green’

Getty

This pillar-shaped evergreen produces dense, soft and bright green foliage, perfect for creating a screen of privacy by the pool. It grows three to five feet wide and 20 feet tall. If a bigger screen is needed, consider the larger Green Giant Arborvitae.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 3 to 8
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Rustic banana, Musa Basjoo

Getty

For a tropical look in a temperate zone, look no further than the hardy banana tree. This large, clumping perennial reaches over 12 feet during a growing season, and the top dies for winter dormancy. Gardeners in warm climates may even be rewarded with a harvest of small bananas.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 4 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Japanese Maple, Acer Palmatum

Getty

The erect Japanese maples reach 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide, casting some welcome shade over the sunny pool landscape. The fall color ranges from golden yellow to fiery red.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 5 to 8
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus Syriacus

Getty

With its worry-free maintenance and extended flowering cycle, Rose of Sharon is a top choice for Mediterranean-style pool gardens. This hardy shrubby hibiscus is available in a wide range of bloom colors including white, pink, brown, lavender, and multicolored.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 5 to 9
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions

Angel’s Trumpet, Specie Brugmansia

Getty

Promote a tropical look with the large, bold, dangling flowers and lush foliage of the Angel’s Trumpet. It is an excellent shrub to plant in places saturated with runoff from the pool deck. In temperate areas, this is an excellent potted plant for the poolside.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 10 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Wet to wet ground

Star jasmine, Trachelospermum Jasminoides

Getty

This evergreen climbing plant is loved for its small, star-shaped, yet deeply scented flowers. It grows quickly to cover any supporting structure, such as an arbor, trellis, or pergola, and fills the mid-summer landscape with a sweet, sweet scent.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 8 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Widely adaptable

Limelight hydrangea, hydrangea paniculata

Getty

Hydrangea paniculata cultivars make excellent pool landscaping plants, adding floral color and enhancing privacy. They thrive in full sun, flower in mid to late summer, and tolerate (but do not require) moist soil. Limelight flowers start out chartreuse, mature to a greenish white, and take on pink tones as they dry on the plant.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 3 to 9
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Fountain Grass, Pennisetum Alopecuroides

Getty

Ornamental grasses of all kinds make excellent pool landscaping plants. They add dynamic movement and subtle sound as they sway in the softest breeze. And they hold up well to heat and light reflected around the pool. The bright green foliage and mound shape complements the tree structure and lush foliage of the tropical-style plants.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 4 to 9
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Daylily, Specie Hemerocallis

Getty

The large, colorful flowers and coarse, grassy foliage of daylilies add a tropical feel to temperate landscapes. These easy-to-grow perennials flower in early summer, and some cultivars continue to flower until early fall.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 4 to 9
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Best potted plants for the pool deck

Adding potted plants to the pool deck visually softens the hard edges and stark appearance of concrete. Pool plants add color, texture, and structure that binds the pool to the landscape beyond. Annual flowers and foliage, tender tropical plants, and hardy perennials can all be included in container gardens by the pool. Choose plants that require less watering or install drip irrigation to reduce maintenance.

Tropical hibiscus, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis

Getty

Large, bright blooms all season long, glossy dark green foliage, and an iconic tropical look make this one of the most popular plants by the pool. Although hibiscus plants drop flower petals every day, many pool owners are willing to overlook minor cleaning details.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 9 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Sagoutier, Cycas Revoluta

Getty

This shrub palm with stiff needle-shaped foliage looks great in Japanese and Mediterranean-style gardens. It thrives in containers and is easy to maintain. In areas where it is hardy, don’t be afraid to plant it in the landscape.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 8 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Well drained soil

Bird of paradise, Strelitzia

Getty

Large gray-green leaves and a unique exotic orange and blue flower make this one of the most recognizable plants in the world. For tropical gardens, it is a must-have plant. This plant is low maintenance and it’s easy to overwinter indoors for those who live in cooler climates.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 10 to 12
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Mediterranean palm, Chamaerops Humilis

Getty

In containers or in the ground, this easy-to-grow palm makes a pool accent plant or a striking landscape specimen. It looks great with Mediterranean or Southwestern style gardens and requires little care beyond watering and annual pruning of the fronds.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 8 to 11
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Tolerates poor soils

Adam’s Needle, Yucca Filamentosa

Getty

This nearly stemless evergreen shrub forms a stiff tuft of thorny foliage with curly filaments along the margins. Some cultivars have golden variegated leaves. In early summer, a spike of flowers rises several feet above the foliage with a large, cream-white, bell-shaped cluster of flowers.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 5 to 10
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Well drained soil

Smooth prickly pear, Opuntia Ellisiana

Getty

The round, smooth lobes of this cactus give it the appearance of a sculpture. It’s a great choice for poolside containers and landscapes. Like other desert cacti, the smooth prickly pear has little water requirement. It produces an abundance of large yellow flowers in midsummer.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 4 to 9
  • Sun exposure: Full sun
  • Soil requirements: Well drained soil

Million bells, Calibrachoa

Getty

Millions of bells have a mound and spillover habit that makes them perfect for container plantings. They love the sun and look great on their own or in a mixed container garden with different textures and colors. These petunia lookalikes produce masses of colorful flowers throughout the growing season and tolerate even a light frost.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): Annual
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Geranium, Pelargonium X Hortorum

Getty

While the classic dark red zonal geranium is the first that comes to mind, these tender perennials are also available in white, pink, lavender, and other colors. They are well suited for container gardening and look great around the pool. For best results, plant them where they will be protected from the hottest afternoon sun.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): 10 to 11, treated as an annual elsewhere
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Moist and well-drained soil

Sweet Potato Vine, Ipomea Batatas

Getty

The ornamental cultivars of the edible sweet potato produce magnificent, climbing foliage. The lush chartreuse, brown or variegated foliage stretches over the edges of the containers and can be erected to climb on plant supports for a topiary effect.

  • USDA Growth Zone (s): Annual
  • Sun exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil requirements: Well drained soil


Source link

Terri S. Tomasini