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Pools & Spas

Swimming Pool Plants

The best plants for growing near a pool

There are several interesting challenges that must be addressed when landscaping around a swimming pool. First, in order to create the look of a beautiful oasis the plants should be colorful and lush. Second, you want to make sure they won't drop leaves or other litter that could find its way into the pool water. No one wants to spend their time skimming and cleaning their pool because the wrong plants were installed.

Desired characteristics of swimming pool plants:

  • Cleanliness - won't drop leaves or seed heads into water
  • Luxuriant - colorful and lush plants will turn your pool into an oasis

For the above reasons, at The Green Scene we select plant varieties that are both litter-free and wonderful to look at.

queen palm

Queen Palm These trees sway gently in the breeze and provide light shade


Papyrus Has long stems and green pom-poms, great background plant

bird of paradise

Bird of Paradise Plant with large, broad leaves and a vivid flower that resembles a bird in flight

Fortnight Lily

Fortnight Lily A full sun perennial up to 24" tall with yellow, blue or white blooms


Hibiscus Classic plant associated with Hawaii - white, pink, red, orange, purple or yellow

Day Lily

Day Lily Perennial with colorful blooms lasting 24 hours, low-maintenance

heavenly bamboo

Heavenly Bamboo Not really a bamboo this non-invasive rusty red plant makes a good background or screen


Apaganthus Resembling a firework, white to dark blue blooms explode from atop a slender 2+ foot stalk

The Green Scene
Chatsworth, CA

Golden Euonymus Has yellow, variegated foliage good for brightening up plantings

A tropical plant palette featuring vividly colored flowers is perfect for enhancing the relaxing, resort-like ambiance of a swimming pool and decking area. However, there are also many plant varieties with interesting foliage that will provide much needed texture and foliage appropriate for other design themes. Additionally, there are many small perennials (plants that don't die after flowering) that can add continuous color without creating a mess. When the flowers die, they stay on the plant until trimmed off, keeping them out of the swimming pool. The goal is to spend more time relaxing by your pool instead of cleaning it.

Contributing Author:

Scott Cohen, contributing writer for Landscaping Network and owner of The Green Scene

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