Poolside plants can transform your outdoor area into a private, tranquil oasis. Yet choosing the right plants can be a challenge as the wrong choices can lead to excessive leaf drops, pool debris and clogged filters, and can be tricky to relocate once planted. In addition, some plants are intolerant to pool chemicals and the increased humidity that can occur around the pool area in warm climates. There’s an art to choosing the perfect plants for poolside landscaping. Black Group Landscape & Construction has outlined the most low-maintenance plants for your poolside paradise.
Golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens) is an instant way to transform your pool’s landscape and vibe completely. It can offer you immediate privacy while imparting a fun, tropical feel to your surroundings. Most are fairly clean plants with minimal to no leaf shedding. Their root systems are generally thin and fibrous, meaning they are typically a trouble-free option by the pool. In addition to looking fabulous when cluster-planted, they seem to grow even better when multiple palms are planted near each other.
Sandankwa viburnum (Viburnum suspensum) is a deep-green, slow-growing hedge that provides a beautiful solid backdrop to any pool setting. Vigorous, hardy and easy to care for, it grows to 2–4m and produces a light pink flower in spring, making a lovely, low-maintenance addition to your poolside. This evergreen shrub prefers sunshine, but can also handle filtered sun or morning sun with evening shade. Prune as necessary to shape it and keep the soil well-drained.
Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is one of the most versatile plants to use poolside. With its shiny, dark-green leaves and fragrant white flowers in spring, it makes a stunning visual and aromatic addition to your poolside settings. It grows to 1–2m tall in or out of pots and will tolerate sun or shade. Relatively low maintenance, you should prune any upward shoots to maintain an even height (once a year, post-blooming) and keep the soil slightly moist at all times (more frequently when blooming).
Foxtail (Agave attenuate) is a low-maintenance, tolerant plant that performs well poolside and adds a unique, bold look to poolside surroundings, especially when paired with other succulents such as low-growing sedums. These extremely drought-resistant plants are easy to care for, tolerate heat well and do not shed leaves. Depending on the variety, foxtails can reach 1.5m in height. They do best in full sun or part shade and prefer sandy or rocky soils, although well-drained soil is acceptable.
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is an easy-to-grow, tough plant that requires minimal effort to keep it looking great. It’s often used to line flower beds and walkways and is a great way to add lower-level dimension to the surrounding greenery. Low-maintenance and drought-resistance, mondo grass grows to 15–30cm. It tolerates a variety of light conditions (even shade!) but partial shade is ideal. If planting in full sun, it will require more frequent watering. Slightly acidic soil is ideal.