Which Plants to Use for Landscaping Swimming Pools?

When remodelling their houses, what most people do not realize is that the exterior of their homes is as important as the interiors. Mostly because when you walk by or enter the gates of a house, the very first thing that you see is the outdoor area.

Hence, if you are thinking of doing some renovation work, you should include the exteriors section in order to make the whole premises look prim and proper.

One of the key parts of the outdoors of a house that takes up a considerable amount of space is undoubtedly the swimming pool area. No matter how big or small the size of the pool is, it still covers a significant spatial area of the compound.

And this is precisely why you should be setting aside a substantial budget for remodelling it from time to time.

Why is it Important to Remodel Swimming Pool Landscapes?

As mentioned above, the topmost reason for remodelling a swimming pool would be to enhance the beauty of the outdoors area of your house. The second reason would be to make the pool area look more appealing to the eyes and the mind.

No one will ever want to use your pool, especially if the landscape is in ruins. Cleaning the pool itself will not do much to the entire scenery of the space. If there are debris or broken branches in your landscape, it will automatically give off a rustic and dirty vibe to the pool area.

So, if you want to make the pool place look more alluring for regular or even occasional use, an inexpensive way of doing it yourself would be by adding shrubs, ornamentals, trees and other plants. This will automatically beautify the whole area and attract more crowds during parties or festive gatherings.

Which Plants to Avoid?

As per experts, there are some plants that you should avoid while doing your swimming pools landscape. This is to make your pool area as low maintenance as possible so that you do not have to spend hours cleaning it.

Here’s a list of a few of them:


Easily the queen of the gardens, azalea shrubs should be planted far away from swimming pools because their leaves and flowers shed a lot. Sometimes, it sheds even before winter approaches.


Bougainvillea is the type of flower that anyone would want as a landscape for their swimming pool. The vibrant colours of the flowers can really take the place up a notch by making it look more vibrant and classy.

Do note, their paper bracts are always shedding, which will require you to clean plenty of it when it falls around the pool area.


In case you have a Japanese theme going on in your pool, it is only natural for you to be tempted to plant bamboos for the landscape. But, what you did not comprehend yet is the leaf litter that you will have to clean up, every time the wind blows.

Other plants that you should avoid for similar reasons include acacia, bottlebrush, dwarf arborvitae etc.

Which Plants to Use for Landscaping Swimming Pool?

Now that you know which plants to eliminate from the list, let’s dive into the ones which you can use to enrich the look of the pool:


Succulents have been quite popular for decorating outdoor spaces. You can either plant them in your garden, or the pool area to give it a hint of green, or whatever colour the succulents you have chosen are.

You can plant the following succulents near the pool to make it look prettier – Aeonium, Agave attenuate, Aptenia Cordifolia, Cotyledon, Crassula, Dudleya, etc.

Ornamental Grasses

If you are thinking low maintenance, then the very first thing that should cross your mind is planting ornamental grasses near the pool zone. These grasses are extremely low maintenance, plus their striking appearance makes the pool look livelier.

Here are some ornamental grasses that you can opt for while remodelling – Yellow foxtail grass (Alopecurus pratensis ‘Aureus’), Giant reed (Arundo donax), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Blue fescue (Festuca glauca), Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’), Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’), Feather grass (Stipa), Rush (Juncus), Korean grass (Zoysia), Phormium, Zebra grass etc.


If it is privacy that you are looking for, then vines can be a very suitable option for you. It grows extremely fast and can weave through any fences, walls or even pillars. Not just that, but they also give off a wine country vibe to the area.

Examples of vines to incorporate include – Passionflower, Carolina jessamine, Jasmine, Trumpet vine, Lady Banks rose, etc.

Tropical Plants

Why only limit yourself to shrubs and grasses when you can add tropical plants to make your pool area a swimmer’s paradise? It can be your very own retreat at the back of the house.

Some examples of some exotic tropical plants are – Bird of paradise, Hibiscus, Canna, Palms, Papyrus, etc.


If your pool area has enough space, then you can also plant trees to give it an outdoorsy vibe which you would generally get while chilling at a beach. However, it is crucial to select the trees carefully as you have to keep in mind that they will grow with time, and the leaves, fruits or flowers will shred throughout different seasons.

If you are positive that the tree will be taking up a lot of space over time, you may want to place it further away from the pool. However, you can still keep it in sight. That way you will not have to worry about cleaning the tree litter.


At the end of the day, it all comes down to your taste and your convenience. Plants that might work for you, may not work for others. Not everyone has the same amount of time to spare for pool maintenance. However, if it is the maintenance cost and time you want to save, we would suggest you stick to the list given above.

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

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