Pool Landscaping: How to Pick Your Plants

by Pool Builders on 07-23-2011 in Articles

Backyard pools are emphasized with beautiful landscaping, including water features, stone structures and wooden decks, but many are missing the soft touch of greenery. There's a fear that surrounds planting trees, bushes and flowers around pools. Between the risk of damage caused by root systems, and the constant chore of cleaning petals and leaves from the pool, many owners opt for a pool-scape dominated by unnatural features, but this doesn't have to be the case. Consider these factors when choosing plants for your backyard, and you'll find that you have many options to add some natural features to your pool with low-risk and low-maintenance.

Invasive Roots

As your trees grow, keep in mind that the larger it grows above grown, the larger it's growing below ground. Trees with very strong and widespread root systems are a risk to your pool structure and plumbing. Stay away from species such as ficus, elm and oak trees.

Shedding Plants

Plants that drop excessive amounts of petals, fruit or leaves should be avoided, simply due to the unnecessary clean-up that you will endure. To avoid this mess, steer clear of flower and fruit-bearing vegetation. Look into evergreen species. These keep their foliage all year.

Chemical Wear

Also keep in mind that you will need hardy plants that can withstand some of the chemical attack from pool water splashed its way. Some hardy flowers are daylilies and sedums.

Needles, Thorns and Stingers

Evergreens are often a nice alternative to deciduous (leaf-shedding) trees around pools, but be mindful of sharp needles. Some trees that have softer needles when you plant them may grow to be a sharp annoyance. The same applies to thorned species, such as rose bushes. One of the greatest annoyances while enjoying your backyard is bees. Some of the most attractive species for our stinging foes include: Wisteria, Queen Anne's Lace, sunflowers, and many violet-coloured flowers. Once again, just try to avoid flower and fruit-bearing plants.


Screening is one of the top reasons that pool owners look for trees around their pool. While having your neighbours peering into your backyard is never pleasant, it is especially irritating while you're enjoying a relaxing swim. Some trees that provide good privacy around a pool are arborvitae (cypress) and yew trees. Consult a landscaper or arborist in your area to ensure that these would be suitable in your yard.

After these relatively simple considerations, you are still left with plenty of options for planting around your pool. Your pool even creates its own humid micro-climate, which often means that you have the opportunity to plants trees, shrubs and flowers, that you might not otherwise have been able to enjoy, like some ornamental grasses. These can give your backyard that tropical feel you and your guests need to relax and enjoy.

Most of all, don't let the task intimidate you. There's lots of help waiting for you, and all of your research will be worthwhile.

Leave a Comment

List YOUR Pool Business