Pools can transform any backyard into a tropical oasis. It can easily become the center of relaxation at your home. However, a plain-looking pool in a bare garden may not be as inviting and relaxing as you want it to be. If you’ve already invested in a pool, make it count and upgrade your landscape with pool-friendly plants.
Designing a pool landscape requires a lot of research. Each pool is different so there are a lot of considerations in choosing the best design. If you’re not sure where to start, you may check this top ideas. Essentially, have a clear image of how you want your pool area to look like. This way, you’ll be able to decide the right design for your pool.
Before you start digging around your pool, take note of the following factors:
- Tolerance. The ideal poolside plants are those that can put with constant exposure to sun and wind. Plants that have large and leathery leaves usually survive better outdoors, especially in pool areas with heavy foot traffic.
It’s also important to consider whether your pool uses chlorinated water or saltwater, which may harm certain plant species.
- Maintenance. A pool area littered with fallen leaves is an absolute eyesore. As a remedy, go for plants that don’t often shed foliage leaves.
- Adaptability. Not all plants can withstand sudden changes in climate conditions, whether natural or artificial. You should also take note of the soil needs of your plants since most backyards tend to have dry or rocky soil.
Considering all those characteristics, here are the best types of plants to use in pool landscaping:
1. Palm Trees
Trees aren’t usually recommended for backyards as they can be a nightmare to clean, but palm trees are an exception. Palm trees are low-maintenance and don’t have big root systems that may invade and destroy your pool area.
Cabbage palm trees (sabal palmetto) are the commonly used palms in gardens and pool areas. This is because they’re wide enough to provide shade and tall enough to induce a feeling of privacy.
2. Banana Trees
Another outdoor favorite, banana trees (musa) are easy to grow and love full sun exposure. Like palm trees, they have soft and fibrous roots so you don’t have to worry about damaged concrete.
Banana trees can grow big and wide, which is perfect if you want a semi-secluded tropical design for your pool area.
3. Birds of Paradise
Birds of paradise (strelizia reginae) is one of the most popular choices for poolside plants. It can quickly grow up to the size of banana trees with leaves that span up to two feet. It’s impossible to miss this plant with its trademark orange bird-shaped flower. Birds of paradise is also sturdy and almost never sheds foliage.
Canna (canna indica) is a flowering plant that thrives on full sunlight. With proper watering, it bears bold-colored flowers in shades of red, yellow, and orange.
The contrast of the bright blooms against the healthy green foliage instantly creates a tropical look. Cannas are also very easy to maintain as they rarely shed leaves.
Hibiscus (hibiscus rosa-sinensis) is the state flower of Hawaii, which already tells you that it’s a flower from paradise. It enjoys the heat during summer and bears flowers in various colors depending on the species.
Hibiscus requires plenty of sunlight so it also needs to be watered regularly. When flowers start to wilt, make sure to remove them immediately to trigger new buds to bloom.
Nowadays, succulents are mostly used as indoor plants but these versatile stunners can also belong in a sunny backyard. Since they store water in their system, they’re well-suited for extreme temperatures and can even withstand moderate rainfall. These beautiful plants boast high endurance and a long lifespan as long as they’re watered and maintained properly.
The best thing about succulents is that they come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. There’s always something that’ll suit whatever theme or design you’re going for. Some of the most commonly used species for outdoor landscapes are campfire plant (crassula capitella), echeverias (crassulacea), and aeonium (aeonium).
7. Angel’s Trumpet
Very few plants can add an elegant twist to tropic-themed spots better than the angel’s trumpet (brugmansia). This plant bears bell-shaped flowers that hang upside-down against large leaves. Not only that, it emits an exotic fragrance when night falls, which can make your poolside experience more relaxing and even romantic.
The angel’s trumpet can go into dormancy during winter so it can regrow in spring.
8. Confederate Jasmine
Many people avoid incorporating vines in their poolside landscape because of their tendency to become unruly, but there are some that are easier to contain.
Confederate jasmine (trachelospermum jasminoides) is usually well-behaved and dependably tough. It’s also almost maintenance-free as it doesn’t require water even during summer. As a nice bonus, this vine produces small star-shaped flowers and a sweet scent during springtime.
9. Zebra Grass
If you’re looking for ground covers, ornamental grasses are the way to go. Zebra grass (miscanthus sinensis zebranus), for instance, require minimum care and effort but has a fast growth rate. Don’t worry, though, because they’re mostly mess-free and easy to maintain. This particular species of silver grass isn’t invasive and blends well with other greeneries, too.
10. Scotch Moss
Scotch moss (sagina sabulata ‘aurea’) is another excellent creeping plant for ground covers. Its compact low stems can be used as a natural lush matting around your pool or on pathways. Scotch moss has a very high tolerance for foot traffic. In fact, it’s better to walk on it regularly for it to remain compact on the ground.
Constant sunlight helps this plant bear starry white flowers that are too small to be felt underfoot. These flowers are also perfectly safe to have in your recreation area as they don’t attract bees or insects.
Choosing and designing with plants is one of the most enjoyable parts of the poolscape. Keep these tips in mind to make your dream outdoor space both aesthetically pleasing and sustainable.