The Fine Art of Choosing Poolside Plants

Having a swimming area on your property is a major boon during hot summer months, especially if your poolside also sports beautiful adjacent foliage for much-needed shade and natural look. But greenery can cost you more than it is worth if not selected carefully: with certain plant types, you are in for blocked filters and tons of dry leaves floating around the pool, which can completely ruin your fun, up pool maintenance costs and force you to spend more time cleaning the leafy mess than enjoying a refreshing dip. That is why choosing the right poolside plants is extremely important for both your pleasure and family budget – and here are some practical tips on how to select the best low-maintenance greenery for your private swimming area.

Poolside plant basics: Dos and don’ts

If you are concerned that chlorinated water may harm your poolside foliage in case of accidental splashes, rest easy: most plants will suffer no damage through contact with pool water and can even be watered with it without a problem. Debris, however, is a force to be reckoned with: to prevent leaves getting into the water, plant low-growth shrubbery at least 6-8 feet away from the pool edge. Also, avoid deciduous trees or else you will spend autumn months straining foliage out of the pool.

Pool garden types: To pot or not to pot

Since pools are normally located in areas of bright sun and their use entails quite a bit of splashing, you should avoid plant species that require extremely dry air or a cool shade to thrive. You can add foliage to your poolside either by planting flora directly into the ground or by using potted plants. Whatever plant species you opt for, remember that large leafy litter is easier to pick up than obnoxious tiny leaves that can easily get anywhere, including the water filter.

  • Dig in: Planting around the pool

For a low-maintenance garden and a tropical poolside look, pick small palms, cycads, or cacti species. Succulent plants such as aloe, yucca and agave love both sun and water and they will not be bothered by extreme heats. Other low-litter poolside plants include cascalote, ironwood, red gum and mastic tree, fruitless olive and Mediterranean fan palm, while low-profile shrubs that can thrive by a pool include Indian mallow, buddleia, mountain laurel, dalea and Arizona rosewood.

  • Potted beauty: Plants for poolside containers

For hassle-free maintenance and appealing look, use large containers or pots to accommodate your poolside garden. In addition to allowing you to relocate the garden if necessary, planters decked with saucers provide relatively good plant protection from heat rising from the tiles and increased light reflection from the water. Plants that love to dwell in poolside pots are desert broom, creeping jenny, lantana, blue euphorbia, germander, penstemon, verbena and tufted evening primrose.

Poolside plant maintenance: Be a good garden keeper

Compared to standard garden plants, poolside foliage needs a little bit more care to survive and stay healthy and lush. Poolside shrubbery will require additional irrigation since both the garden beds and the planters in the swimming area tend to dry quickly because of high heat. If used in pots, each specimen should be allowed ample room for optimal air circulation, and you can also use efficient gardening tools to transplant the plants when the pots become too tight for its growing roots.

Do not let your poolside be a drab blend of tiles, water and concrete: by planting shrubs next to the outdoor bathing area, you will increase your property’s value, add visual interest to the backyard and create a lovely ambiance for your family’s summertime poolside lounging sessions.

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