6 Tips for Adding Plants Around Your Pool

Guest Post by Terry Carter

Freeform Pool with Natural LandscapingLandscaping around a pool adds shade, beauty, and privacy and helps blend the swimming pool with the natural environment. There are many factors to consider when adding plants around a pool to ensure that the pool and surrounding landscape remain clean, easy to maintain, and safe for swimmers.

Keep the following tips in mind when landscaping around your pool.

1. Keep Messy Plants Away From the Pool Area

Plants that constantly shed needles or flowers will cause you more work than enjoyment because you’ll continually have to skim the debris out of the pool. Deciduous trees, fruit-bearing shrubs, and plants like Impatiens that drop a substantial amount of flowers should be avoided or planted as far away from the pool as possible.

2. Avoid Plants with Long Root Systems

If you are landscaping your pool with seedlings or young plants, it is easy to not consider the future size of the plants. However, it is essential to your pool’s well-being that you avoid plants that have long root systems. As the plant grows, the roots, of course, will grow with it and they can cause considerable damage over the years.

Large trees such as oak and elm or invasive plants like bamboo can break through the concrete surrounding the pool or even poke through the structure itself. This will be a hard (and expensive) problem to correct, so it is wise to avoid it from the beginning. A good rule of thumb is to keep trees at least 10 feet from the pool, but it is best to consult with a landscape professional as some trees have larger root systems than others.

3. Plant Thirsty Flower Beds on Borders

Pool Landscape Design with Bordering Flower Beds

Water-loving flowers require the use of organic mulches, such as pine bark or needles, to help retain moisture and nutrients in the soil; however, these materials are lightweight and can easily be picked up by the wind and blown into the pool. To avoid this dilemma, keep thirsty plants in beds along the border of your yard.

To add beauty and texture poolside, use drought-resistant plants like succulents, lantanas and junipers. These plants can be planted in beds closer to the pool and topped with stones or gravel instead of mulch to create a finished look.

4. Utilize Evergreen Plants

Even though your flowering or deciduous trees have to stay away from the pool area, you can still have plant life nearby. Take advantage of evergreen plants, like boxwoods or cypresses. These can be maintained to fit the style of your outdoor space and will not lose their leaves into your pool.

5. Use Potted Plants Close to the Pool

Pool with Potted PlantsPotted plants are an easy way to bring some natural life onto the concrete area surrounding a pool. Planters are available in a wide range of colors, materials, sizes and shapes so it’s easy to find containers that match your pool and landscape design. In addition, potted plants can be moved around to best fit your needs and the time of the year.

To ensure safety, place planters in areas around the pool where they can be seen but do not block your view of swimmers. Also, choose pots and planters that are heavy enough not to be blown over into the pool or knocked down by passersby.

6. Be Careful of Thorns and Bee Magnets

It is best to locate any thorny plants like roses and hollies away from the pool area because swimmers can brush up against their prickly surface or step on fallen thorns when accessing the pool area. Plants that attract bees—which include Larkspur, Delphinium, Queen Anne’s lace, and many types of salvia—should also be kept away from the pool to avoid the risk of swimmers getting stung. This is especially important if you have children or guests with a bee allergy.

About the Author: Terry Carter writes about landscaping for Grandview Landscape and Masonry, a company specializing in gardening and inground pools.

Photos courtesy of Anthony & Sylvan Pools

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