Poolside Plants to Use in A Garden
A pool is a great feature in any home and creating a garden around it emphasizes it as an inviting space for swimming, lounging and enjoying the outdoors. Poolside gardens, however, have some specific requirements and you'll need to consider which plants are best for this area.
The first is concern about water splashing on the plants. If you have a chlorinated pool this is not a problem for plants; you could water them with chlorinated pool water with no ill effects. If you have a saltwater pool you might want to consider using plants that are salt resistant that are closest to the water. Also, since plants will get splashed a lot, you should avoid plants that prefer dry conditions.
The second concern is debris. Try to choose plants that are not deciduous (that shed their leaves annually). Also avoid trees and those with spines or cones. In general, you should plant specimens closest to the pool at least 6 to 8 feet from the edge use low growing plants or shrubs.
Because of the amount of water they hold, and the fact they are usually located in full sun, pools create their own microclimate. You should do some research on plants in your geographic area that you want to use around your pool to ensure they can withstand higher humidity levels and direct sunlight.
Leaf litter is always a consideration when choosing plants for your poolside garden. Debris from large leaved plants is easier to deal with than small leaves from other types plants. If you aren't vigilant about cleaning your filters the leaves may become a nuisance over time. Once solution is to plant succulents which look good and produce no litter at all. Plants like aloe and yucca, for example, need very little maintenance and enjoy hot conditions so they can withstand the full sun conditions that are likely to exist around a pool. Small palms and cycads are also a good option. Sago and other types of palms bring a tropical look to a poolside garden and rarely shed their leaves. Planting around pools with cactus species is another good choice as they are hardy, require little maintenance and add a unique look to a pool; don't plant them too close to the pool, however, as their spines can pose a threat if anyone falls or steps on them.
Following are some suggestions for other plants that are good choices for a poolside garden:
• Banana Tree - with its large, broad leaves the banana tree is a fast-growing perennial that gives an instant tropical look to any poolside garden. You'll need to live in a mild climate which is frost-free during the winter. You should also plant them close to a sheltered area, such as a fence or wall, to avoid damage from strong winds.
• Hawaiian Hibiscus - Hawaii's state flower produces beautiful flowers that come in a huge range of colors and types. Hibiscus is, however, a plant that requires relatively large amounts of water, so you need to keep this in mind. In colder climates the best option would be to grow them in a container and put them inside during winter to protect them from cold conditions.
• Bird of Paradise - this elegant plant produces striking flowers and is the epitome of a tropical garden plant. It has leaves similar to the banana plant and grows upright but also needs to be in a sheltered spot to avoid strong winds and will need protection in colder climates.
• Zebra Grass - ornamental grasses are a great poolside garden option; they require little maintenance, grow quickly and blend in easily with other plants. Zebra grass, or porcupine grass as it is sometimes called, has horizontal stripes which give it an exotic look that goes well in a tropical-style garden.
• Egyptian Papyrus - another ornamental grass (sometimes called papyrus sedge or papyrus grass) gives a lush, tropical look to a garden and is easy to grow but likes to be well-watered and often grows in ponds or bogs. It does well in clay soil that retains water and can withstand full sun conditions.
• Kangaroo Paw - this hardy Australian perennial is a slim, graceful looking plan that produces characteristic curled flowers that resemble the marsupial's paws that it is named after. They naturally withstand hot and dry conditions and will give a unique look to your poolside garden.
As the owner of a pool company, Kim Mortley has seen his share of successful pool & landscape designs. Kim’s company Dolphin Pools has been helping homeowners to enjoy the benefits of a well-designed pool for many years.