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The 16 Best Plants To Elevate Your Pool Space To Make It More Enjoyable

Summertime is the perfect time to dip in your pool, but what can you do to make it more enjoyable? Add plants and trees around the pool’s edge. It will make your pool look nicer and provide shade and privacy. Here are some of the best plants and trees around your swimming pool.

1. Palm Tree

The palm tree is one of the best for pool landscaping. Palm trees are tropical trees that can add a lot of character to your pool area. They can grow enormous and provide shade and beauty to your landscaping, so ensure you have enough room for them. They also need a lot of sunlight, so if you don’t have a lot of sunlight in your yard, this might not be the best tree for you. 

Another thing to consider is that palm trees can be messy. They drop many leaves and fruit, so if you’re not OK with that, you should choose another type of tree. 

Palm trees come in wide varieties, so you can find one that will fit perfectly in your pool area.

2. Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

Many people are unaware of the ornamental sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas), an easy-to-grow plant that can add colour and interest to a pool area. This versatile vine grows well in partial shade and can cover up unsightly areas or provide a colourful backdrop for flowers or other plants. 

Sweet potato vines come in various colours, including white, pink, red, and purple, so you can choose the one that best matches your pool area’s décor.

3. Staghorn Fern

Male hands Mounting Staghorn Fern on Board
Male hands Mounting Staghorn Fern on Board

As a tropical plant, the staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum) is an excellent addition to swimming pool landscaping. The fronds of this evergreen grow up to 3 feet long and are covered in hairs that give them a fuzzy appearance.

The plant does well in shady areas, making it an ideal choice for the shaded side of a pool. It can also tolerate moist soil and high humidity, making it a good choice for areas near water features or humid climates. 

Staghorn ferns add visual interest to any landscape with their large, lush leaves and can be used as a standalone specimen or in groups for added impact.

4. Yellow Foxtail Grass

Are you looking to add lush greenery and attractive foliage to your swimming pool area? Consider using yellow foxtail grass. This ornamental grass is a beautiful addition to any landscape, and it grows well in moist, shady areas, making it the perfect choice for pool landscaping. The feathery leaves of the yellow foxtail grass provide a textural contrast to other plants, and the bright yellow flowers add a splash of colour.

5. Zebra Grass

If you are looking for a lush and tropical landscape for your swimming pool, look no further than zebra grass. This beautiful foliage plant is perfect for pool landscaping, as it thrives in moist environments and provides plenty of shade and privacy. 

Zebra grass can create a natural border around your pool or fill empty spaces between other plants. It is also an excellent choice for hedges or privacy screens.

6. Banana Tree

Green banana trees growing at field

Many people are unaware that banana trees can be used in pool landscapes, but these trees have several benefits that can make swimming more enjoyable. For example, banana trees can help improve the soil quality in a pool area. 

The leaves and fruit of banana trees release nutrients into the soil that can help to make it more fertile. In addition, banana trees provide shade from the sun, which can help keep swimmers cool on hot days. 

Banana trees are also beautiful plants that can add visual interest to any pool area. These trees grow tall and have large leaves that create a shady canopy over the pool.

7. Bull Banksia

If you’re looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance poolside plant, look no further than the Bull Banksia (Banksia Victoriana). This Australian native tree grows up to 15 feet tall and has lovely white flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring. 

The Bull Banksia is drought tolerant and does well in sandy or clay soils. It can be used as a shade tree or windbreak near a swimming pool.

8. Japanese Maple

A swimming pool is great for cooling off in the hot summer months. But it’s not just people who enjoy a dip in the pool – many plants do as well. Consider a Japanese maple if you’re looking for trees or shrubs to plant near your swimming pool.

Japanese maples are small trees that grow no more than 20 feet tall. They have beautiful leaves ranging from green to purple to red. They also produce tiny flowers in the springtime.

Japanese maples are drought-tolerant and can thrive in either wet or dry soil. They do best when planted in full sun but can tolerate part of the shade. If you’re looking for beautiful plants to add to your poolside décor, consider planting a few Japanese maples.

9. Crepe Myrtle

Pink and Purple Crepe Myrtles
Pink and Purple Crepe Myrtles

Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) make excellent poolside plants in USDA growing zones 7 through 10. They are drought tolerant, and their colourful flowers add colour to any landscape. Crepe myrtles do best in well-drained soil but can adapt to various soil conditions. They grow up to 30 feet tall, so be sure to plant them where they have room to grow.

10. Star Jasmine

Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a favourite vine of pool owners because it thrives in the humid environment next to a swimming pool and requires little maintenance. 

With their delicate white flowers, the evergreen vines can be trained to grow over trellises or arbours or spread across the ground as a low-growing ground cover. 

Star jasmine does best in moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate some drought. It is not recommended to plant near septic systems, as the roots can damage leach fields.

11. Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass is an excellent plant for a pool. It grows quickly and spreads easily, forming a dense ground cover that helps to keep soil and debris from entering the pool. Fountain Grass also makes an attractive shrub with its long, graceful leaves and spikes of purple flowers.

12. Tropical Hibiscus

A tropical hibiscus is an excellent option if you want a beautiful and exotic plant to add to your swimming pool area. These plants thrive in moist soil and full sun, making them perfect for areas near swimming pools. 

The hibiscus flower comes in various colours, including red, orange, yellow, and white, so you can easily find one that will complement your pool area’s décor. Additionally, hibiscus plants provide a beautiful tropical oasis in any landscape.

13. Bird of Paradise

If you’re looking for an exotic addition to your swimming pool, consider the bird of paradise plant. Native to South Africa, this plant can grow up to 10 feet tall in ideal conditions and features large, tropical-looking leaves and bright orange or yellow flowers. While the bird of paradise thrives in moist, fertile soil, it can also be grown in containers or around the edge of a backyard pool. This plant will add colour and interest to any swimming pool with proper care.

14. Foxtail Agave

Foxtail agave (Agave attenuate) is a striking succulent. It is a great choice for poolside planting, as its sharp spines will deter intruders. Foxtail agave can grow up to 6 feet tall and produces stunning blue-green leaves. This plant thrives in full sun and can tolerate drought conditions.

15. Geranium

The geranium plant is a flowering plant that is often used in landscaping. It can be grown in a pot or on the ground and blooms all summer. The geranium plant is also excellent for a pool deck because it doesn’t mind being wet and has no dangerous thorns.

16. Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses have long been popular additions to both home and commercial landscapes. They provide exciting texture and colour and can be used in various ways to create an attractive landscape. You might not think of using ornamental grasses in your swimming pool. However, ornamental grasses can be a beautiful addition to a pool area, adding interest and colour and providing shade.

Several types of ornamental grasses can be used in a pool area. Some, such as fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), have leaves that ripple in the water, creating a beautiful effect. Others, such as blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens), have blades that turn shades of blue-green in the sun.


Adding plants to your pool is a great way to add some design and colour. Not only do they look great, but they also provide some privacy and can help keep the water cool. There are a variety of pool plants that can be used in a pool setting, so choose the ones that best fit your needs and taste.

If you’re looking for something that will add height to your pool area, consider using tall plants such as palms or bull banksia. These can be placed near the pool’s edge or in other areas where they will be visible.

If you want something to fill more space, try using shorter plants such as ivy or ornamental grasses. These can be planted around the pool’s edge or in other areas where they will spread out.

When choosing plants for your pool, remember how much sunlight they need. 

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What potted plants are good in the pool?

Regarding landscaping around a swimming pool, there are a few things to consider. The plants you choose should be able to handle the heat and humidity, as well as the chlorine in the pool water. They should also be low-maintenance since no one wants to spend their weekend weeding around a pool.

What should you not plant around a pool?

Some plants cause weeds and debris around the pool, so avoid planting them; examples are Acacia, Azalea, Crape Myrtle, Dwarf Arborvitae, Honeysuckle, and Ash Trees.