Planting the right flowers and bushes around your pool tends to revolve around vegetation’s aesthetic value. Do they give the area a tropical appeal, vibrant flashes of colors, or make a stunning backdrop against the crystal blue waters? In truth, selecting the best shrubs to grow near the pool also calls for plants that provide shade, as well as those that are tolerant of the occasional splashes from salty or chlorinated water.
When determining the best shrubs to add to your pool design, location is the top priority. Doing this means choosing the best plant for your climate, but it also means knowing where the plant thrives best in relation to the pool.
If you’re using it for shade, choosing a plant that doesn’t deposit a ton of leaves into the water is ideal. If it needs to repel insects, then strategically placing it near areas people frequent works best. No matter what ideas for your pool you have in mind, we have plenty of new ones to get you started.
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
- Century Plant (Agave americana): Hardy Succulents Perfect for Poolside Gardens
- Palm Trees (Arecaceae)
- Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa)
- Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae): Exotic Flowers that Love Sun
- Stonecrop (Sedum)
- Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis): Best Privacy Shrubs to Grow Near the Pool
- Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
- Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
- Day Lily (Hemerocallis): Flowers that Tolerate Salty Sprays
- Japanese Euonymus (Euonymus japonicus)
- Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans): A Beautiful Blanket of Flowers for Privacy
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)
- Geraniums (Pelargonium)
Fantastic Landscaping Tips for Planting around Pools
The first step in the process is to decide what your pool area lacks. You may be happy with grass unless you have chickweed in lawn areas. However, flowering plants and other shrubs add something to the pool area.
If there is a high incidence of mosquitoes in your area, then a plant that repels insects would be at the top of your list. From there, choose from numerous options based on colors, style, and size.
Add a combination of the fastest growing pine tree, shrubs, ferns, annuals, and perennials that complement each other for an oasis you are happy to enjoy any time.
Be mindful of how close to your pool you place these landscaping plants. It can be inconvenient to skim leaves, branches, and flowers from the water often, in addition to regular pool cleaning. Falling plant debris leads to having to get algae out of pool water more frequently and clean your pool filter more often.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Hibiscus is a lovely tropical flower that conjures up images of Hawaiian vacations and island living. As a result, it makes it one of the most commonly planted flowers to enhance the laid back feel of a backyard pool.
In colder climates, growing hibiscus in a container and bringing it indoors during the colder months is also acceptable. These tropical plants love warm, humid climates, though they also require plenty of fresh water while blooming.
Large bright flowers blossom in the summer and require a little shade in from the afternoon sun to protect their petals if it gets too hot. Hibiscus needs at least six hours of sunlight to thrive and prefers a high potassium fertilizer to flourish.
Century Plant (Agave americana): Hardy Succulents Perfect for Poolside Gardens
As shrubs that are low maintenance, the Century Plant makes all the difference in the world when planting it close to pools. This species tolerates the occasional splash of pool water, which is essential to ensuring your choice survives typical poolside activities.
The Century Plant is a succulent that not only tolerates chlorinated spritzes but endures so much more. Agaves attract hummingbirds and other pollinators but deflect common pests like deer.
As seen with many succulents, they are also heat and drought tolerant, making them excellent candidates for a hot and dry microclimate. They are also virtually disease-free and create a stunning addition to any yard with their large fanning leaves.
Palm Trees (Arecaceae)
Some of the best plants to keep around the pool provide a solid blend of curb appeal and function. Nothing captures a tropical landscape design so well as a sprinkling of dwarf palm trees that look stunning along with your swimming pool and are relatively easy to maintain.
There are several different types of palms to choose from when selecting your own, including Palmetto, Queen Palm, and Mediterranean Fan. Another perk for growing palm trees is to provide much-needed shade on hot, sunny days.
Unlike other common trees, they do not drop leaves so quickly, bearing palm fronds instead that are easy to clear away when the time comes. This makes taking care of pool water easier, too. Water the palm trees twice a week for the first six months of their growth or until they become established.
Adam’s Needle (Yucca filamentosa)
Another popular succulent found along outdoor spaces and pools is Adam’s Needle. This robust plant is a succulent that does well throughout most of the warmer states and is seen as far north as zone 5 in the U.S.
White bell-shaped flowers bloom in the middle of summer, lasting until the early fall. It’s perfect for landscapers looking for a species with minimal maintenance as one of the easiest plants to take care of.
Beyond regular watering, a little love and care in the pruning department are all that’s necessary. Remove spent flower heads as they die back, along with any yellowing leaves.
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae): Exotic Flowers that Love Sun
Another plant grown for its aesthetic appeal around pool areas is the Bird of Paradise. This tropical flower is native to South Africa and is noted for its bright, fiery blooms.
These plants grow up to five feet tall and create a lovely exotic feel that is perfect for outdoor pool settings. Bird of Paradise, also called the Crane Flower, loves warmer climates, especially those found in zones 9-11.
They thrive in well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients. While they tolerate dapples of shade, Bird of Paradise blooms best when kept in full sun.
Stonecrop succulents fit in well around most pool areas, filling in bare spots and providing a unique texture to outdoor spaces. Low maintenance and drought tolerant, they spread up to three feet tall and wide.
They can also be kept as a house plant in containers for easy removal during the winter. When planting, place them about two feet apart to give them plenty of room to spread out.
Stonecrop grows best in full to part sun conditions. They love slightly alkaline soil but also fare well in neutral earth. Watering them is an essential part of maintaining their health, but too much moisture in the soil makes them susceptible to issues like root rot.
Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis): Best Privacy Shrubs to Grow Near the Pool
When it comes to your pool deck, one of the greatest luxuries you can have is privacy. In addition to planting shrubs that fulfill requirements of beauty, putting up a few hedges that grow fast and tall to create a natural fence makes a huge difference.
Arborvitae is one of the best species to use as a barrier shrub. These bushes love moist and well-drained soil. Regular pruning is needed to maintain their shape, though they are still reasonably easy to manage in terms of upkeep.
The biggest concern is that they are often prone to spider mite infestations. Having a powerful insecticide on hand solves that problem effortlessly.
Zebra Grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
Ornamental grasses make excellent ground cover plants and fill in large spaces without overwhelming the landscape. One option to add style and charisma to your pool area is Zebra Grass.
This colorful plant gets its name from the horizontal striping on its leaves, which alternate between lime green and yellowish tones. These plants are hardy throughout most states, favoring zones 4-9 in the center of the country.
Zebra grass reaches up to six feet in height and should be spaced evenly apart by approximately two feet. To help them grow full and vibrant foliage, fertilize the plant in spring with organic compost.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Hydrangeas make excellent flowering plants to add around pool areas. They fill up a wide area of space with thick clusters of pink or blue flowers that bloom from summer to fall.
The biggest draw for planting them is that they develop sturdy root systems that remain shallow enough to prevent damage to the surrounding areas.
Flowers that grow around pools often create a whole new set of problems, namely roots that spread too far and deep into the earth. This overgrowth, in turn, may interfere with a water feature or piping.
It may also cause cracks in the concrete and tiles that compile the structure of the pool. Watering hydrangeas deeply encourages more vigorous root growth, but it still only spreads to about six inches deep into the soil.
Day Lily (Hemerocallis): Flowers that Tolerate Salty Sprays
Daylilies are another type of plant that provides beauty while also contributing well to pool areas. Unlike other plants, daylilies are much more tolerant of salt splashes. These perennials for pathways or for other areas of the garden come in a wide variety of colors to suit any backyard scheme you have in mind.
As a result, planting them along the edges of pools, as opposed to less tolerant plants, ensures the plant thrives despite the occasional exposure to chlorinated water or saltwater pools.
When it comes to sunlight requirements, daylilies must absorb at least six hours of sun with a preference for even more. Since too much heat may scorch the petals, exposing them to morning sun is ideal. Their vibrant flowers generate a tropical feel in their surroundings.
Japanese Euonymus (Euonymus japonicus)
Finding an adequate hedge plant extends to many different species, including the Japanese Euonymus. These shrubs make incredible privacy barriers spreading as far as 6 feet wide and up to 8 feet in height.
The evergreen shrub is prized most for its lush green foliage. Euonymus grows best between the 6-9 USDA zones when it receives around 6 hours of sunlight each day.
They tolerate heat well but need regular watering to survive. Twice a week is sufficient until the plant is established, then drop the amount of routine watering to only once a week.
While these are not the fastest growing shrubs, they do grow more quickly than some other species. If you are looking for a living fence to surround your pool area, this is a great solution.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans): A Beautiful Blanket of Flowers for Privacy
Another option to offer both privacy and a unique design to pool landscaping is to add a pergola. This structure looks similar to a trellis with an overhanging roof for plants to grow across.
One of the best plants to grow on a pergola is the Trumpet Vine. These climbing flowers grow incredibly fast and wide, becoming invasive in some areas if not trimmed back regularly.
Many homeowners use them as a privacy screen on their own, since they grow in so thick and have a wide-spreading reach. In early summer, they sprout red, yellow, or orange flowers similar to honeysuckle, which adds splashes of color to the scenery.
Something to consider when planting shrubs around your pool is species that repel pesky insects. Among the most troublesome of summertime pests are mosquitoes, which make nighttime dips a nightmare.
The best way to address this annoyance is by planting natural insect repellents around the pool, especially Lemongrass. Lemongrass contains the ingredient citronella, which is used to make candles and oils that combat mosquitoes.
It also gives off a pleasant lemony scent that is appealing to most gardeners. Place these shrubs in areas where they receive full sun and have a couple of feet worth of room to spread out.
Since having too many insect repellers is never a bad thing, another option to try is the geranium. Geraniums give off a strong scent that most insects cannot stand.
Luckily, they come in a variety of scents most humans love, including floral fragrances, fruity smells, and even chocolate. Geraniums flourish when they receive anywhere between six and eight hours worth of sunlight.
These delicate flowers do not tolerate the cold well, however. If you live in colder climates, consider keeping them as container plants and bringing them in during the winter.
The greatest obstacle to overcome when selecting plants for your pool area is knowing the many functions each shrub has to offer. Once you have that down, choosing the right candidate for your home becomes easier.
If these stunning specimens for pool landscapes gave you plenty of new ideas for your home, then please remember to share your favorite shrubs to grow near the pool with friends and family on Facebook and Pinterest.