Pool Landscaping Plants: Best Options for a Beautiful Backyard Oasis

Create a lush and inviting pool area with the right plants. From tropical palms to colorful blooms, find out which pool landscaping plants will thrive in your backyard.

Mastering the art of pool landscaping requires a keen understanding of pool landscaping plants – the unsung heroes that can transform your poolside into a verdant oasis.

This article offers insights into the selection, arrangement, 14 best pool landscaping plants, and care of these plants, designed to guide you in creating your idyllic backyard retreat. 

Understanding Pool Landscaping

Pool Landscaping

When it comes to Pool landscaping it refers to the art of designing and arranging plants, trees, and other elements around a swimming pool area. The goal is to build an aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor space that complements the pool and enhances its overall beauty.

There are several benefits of pool landscaping:

  1. It can double the value of your property. A well-designed pool area with attractive landscaping can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
  2. It can provide privacy and create a relaxing atmosphere. You can create a natural barrier that blocks out unwanted noise and distractions by strategically placing plants and trees.
  3. Pool landscaping can also help to reduce maintenance costs.

By selecting the right plants and trees, you can create a low-maintenance landscape that requires minimal upkeep.

Beautiful Backyard Oasis

How Plants Contribute to the Overall Aesthetics and Ambiance of a Pool Area

Plants play a crucial role in pool landscaping. They can add color, texture, and depth to the outdoor space, creating a more natural and inviting atmosphere. Here are some ways in which plants can contribute to the overall aesthetics and ambiance of a pool area:

  • Privacy: Trees and shrubs can create a natural barrier that provides privacy and blocks unwanted noise and distractions.
  • Shade: Trees and large plants can provide shade, especially on hot summer days.
  • Color: Flowers and foliage can add color and vibrancy to the pool area. Consider using plants with bright, bold colors to create a striking visual impact.
  • Texture: Different plants have different textures, which can add depth and interest to the landscape. For example, you can use plants with spiky leaves to create a more dramatic look or plants with softer, rounded leaves to create a more relaxing atmosphere.
  • Fragrance: Some plants, such as lavender and jasmine, have a pleasant fragrance that can add to the overall ambiance of the pool area.

Related: Fast Growing Plants for Pool Privacy, Best Potted Plants for Pool Area

Considerations when Selecting Pool Landscaping Plants

Regarding pool landscaping, selecting the right plants is crucial for creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind when choosing pool landscaping plants.

1. Choosing Plants that Can Withstand Pool Conditions (Chlorine, Salt, Splashing, Heat, etc.)

Pools are harsh environments for plants, with exposure to chlorine, salt, splashing, and intense heat. It is important to pick plants that can withstand these conditions. Some well-suited plants for poolside landscaping include agave, boxwood, lavender, and succulents.

2. Regional Climate and Soil Type

Your region’s climate and soil type significantly determine which plants will thrive in your pool area. It is essential to research the plants that are best suited for your region and soil type. For example, if you reside in a hot and dry climate, consider drought-tolerant plants, such as cacti and succulents.

3. Maintenance Requirements

Different plants have different maintenance requirements, and it is important to consider the level of care required before selecting plants for your pool area. Some plants require frequent pruning, while others may need to be fertilized regularly. If you do not have the time or means to maintain high-maintenance plants, choose low-maintenance options.

4. Pool Landscaping Plants Safety Considerations

Safety should be a number one priority when selecting plants for your pool area. It is crucial to avoid plants with thorns or sharp edges that could harm swimmers. Additionally, plants that attract bees should be avoided to prevent potential stings.

Detailed Look at 14 Pool Landscaping Plants

Pool landscaping is an art and science combined – a fine blend of aesthetics and functionality that can transmute your ordinary poolside into an extraordinary backyard oasis. Here are 14 plant species that can help you sculpt the poolside paradise of your dreams.

1. Hibiscus

 The flamboyance of hibiscus unfailingly sets the tropical mood, making it a crowd-favorite for pool landscaping. The palette of Hibiscus, featuring vibrant hues of red, pink, yellow, and orange, paints an irresistible splash of color against the cool blues of your pool. Adaptable as both bushy shrubs and small trees, Hibiscus thrives under the caress of the full sun and well-drained soil.


2. Palm Trees

Symbolizing the epitome of tropical appeal, Palm Trees infuse an air of exotic vacation right in your backyard. Ranging from the quaint charm of fan palms to the grandeur of towering coconut palms, their diversity caters to every taste. Palm Trees enjoy basking in the full sun while rooted in well-drained soil.

Palm Trees

3. Agave 

The Agave, a low-maintenance marvel, introduces an intriguing sculptural element to pool landscaping. Its distinctive profile, spanning small rosettes to large, pointed specimens, makes a striking statement. Agave enjoys the company of the sun and the comfort of well-drained soil.


4. Bird of Paradise 

The Bird of Paradise is a visual spectacle with its lush, tropical foliage and flamboyant, bird-like blossoms. These exotic plants can either nestle as shrubs or stand tall as small trees, reveling in full sun and well-drained soil.

Bird of Paradise

5. Pampas Grass

Offering a dash of rustic charm, Pampas Grass adds texture and kinetic beauty to pool landscaping. Capable of reaching up to 10 feet, these tall, feathery plumes sway gracefully in the breeze, creating a dynamic landscape that thrives under full sun and well-drained soil.

Pampas Grass

6. Ferns

Ferns, a timeless classic, offer verdant beauty and tranquility, especially in shadier pool areas. Their versatility spans small, dense ground covers to impressive tall tree ferns. They flourish under the gentle shade, rooted in moist, well-drained soil.


7. Bamboo

Rapidly-growing Bamboo infuses an Asian-inspired serenity and tropical ambiance into pool landscapes. Its dense growth provides excellent privacy and wind protection. Bamboo prefers a sun-dappled spot and well-drained soil.

8. Olive Trees 

For Mediterranean-inspired pool landscapes, Olive Trees lend a timeless appeal. Their silvery-green canopy, standing up to 30 feet, frames your pool perfectly. These trees crave full sun and well-drained soil.

Olive Trees

9. Succulents 

Succulents, the masters of survival, bring an exotic, sculptural beauty to pool landscapes. Their myriad forms, from petite rosettes to large, pointed shapes, combined with their low-maintenance nature, make them a practical and stylish choice. Succulents enjoy the full sun and well-drained soil.


10. Aloe Vera 

Aloe Vera combines elegance with utility. Beyond its enticing aesthetics, it possesses medicinal properties. Just like its succulent siblings, Aloe Vera relishes the full sun and well-drained soil.

11. Lavender 

Lavender’s mesmerizing aroma and soft pastel blooms add a sensory delight to pool landscaping. Its low maintenance requirements coupled with its love for full sun and well-drained soil make it a popular choice.

12. Lemon Trees 

Lemon Trees, with their glossy, dark green foliage, fragrant white flowers, and alluring fruits, introduce a Mediterranean zest to your backyard. These trees bask in the full sun, rooted in well-drained soil.

Lemon Trees

13. Marigold

Marigold, with its bold and bright blooms, punctuates your pool landscape with lively splashes of color. The sunny disposition of Marigold is reflected in its preference for full sun and well-drained soil.


14. Jasmine 

The sweetly-scented Jasmine injects a romantic allure into your pool landscaping. The charming white blossoms against lush foliage create a stunning contrast. Jasmine flourishes in conditions varying from full sun to partial shade, preferring well-drained soil.

Tips for Arranging Pool Landscaping Plants

Plants play a crucial role in creating an inviting and cohesive atmosphere when it comes to pool landscaping. However, arranging these plants can be daunting, especially if you need help figuring out where to start. Here are a few tips to help you create a beautiful pool landscape using plants.

Strategies for Creating an Inviting and Cohesive Pool Landscape Using Plants

The first step in arranging pool landscaping plants is to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Do you want a tropical paradise or a minimalist look? Once you have a clear idea, you can select plants that fit your theme. Consider the following strategies:

  • Use a mix of evergreen and seasonal plants to create year-round interest.
  • Create a focal point by placing a large plant or tree in a prominent location.
  • Use plants with different textures and shapes to add depth and variety to your landscape.
  • Mix and match plants with different heights to create a layered effect.

Importance of Layering

Layering is a crucial aspect of successful pool landscaping. Layering involves planting taller plants at the back of the pool area and shorter plants at the front. This creates a sense of depth and makes your landscape more attractive. Also, layering can provide privacy and shade, which is essential for a comfortable pool experience.


Balance is another essential factor to consider when arranging pool landscaping plants. Balance involves distributing plants evenly throughout the landscape. For example, if you have a large plant on one side of the pool, you should balance it by placing a similar plant on the other. This creates a sense of harmony and makes your landscape more visually appealing.

Color Coordination

Color coordination is the final puzzle piece when arranging pool landscaping plants. When selecting plants, consider their color and how they complement each other. For example, if you have a blue pool, use plants with green or purple foliage to create a complementary color scheme. Additionally, consider using plants with colorful blooms to add pops of color to your landscape.

In conclusion, arranging pool landscaping plants requires careful planning and consideration. Using the strategies outlined above, you can create a beautiful and cohesive pool landscape to enhance your outdoor space.

Common Mistakes in Pool Landscaping

People need to correct several common mistakes when it comes to pool landscaping. These mistakes can lead to a less-than-ideal pool experience and even be dangerous. This section will identify some of the most common errors in selecting and arranging plants around pools and provide tips on avoiding them.

Identification of Common Errors in Selecting and Arranging Plants Around Pools

Choosing the Wrong Plants

One of the most common mistakes in pool landscaping is choosing the wrong plants. Some plants may look great around a pool but may need to be more suitable. For example, plants with thorns or prickly leaves can be dangerous around a pool, especially if you have children or pets. Similarly, plants with invasive roots can damage the pool structure or plumbing.

Planting Too Close to the Pool

Another common mistake is planting too close to the pool. Plants too close to the pool can create a mess and make maintenance easier. Falling leaves, flowers, and debris can clog the pool filter and create a slippery surface around the pool. In addition, plants that are too close to the pool can attract insects, which can be a nuisance to swimmers.

Overcrowding Plants

Overcrowding plants is another mistake that people make. When plants are too close together, they can compete for nutrients and water, leading to stunted growth and poor health. Overcrowded plants can also create a breeding ground for pests and diseases, which can spread to other plants around the pool.

Tips on How to Avoid These Mistakes

Choose the Right Plants

To avoid choosing the wrong plants, do your research before planting. Look for plants suitable for your climate and soil type, and select non-invasive plants that have soft leaves and are not too tall or wide. Some good options for pool landscaping include agave, succulents, and ornamental grasses.

Plant at a Safe Distance

When planting around the pool, leave enough space between the plants and the pool. A good rule of thumb is to plant at least three feet away from the pool’s edge. This will give you enough space to maintain the plants and keep them from interfering with the pool’s operation.

Avoid Overcrowding

To avoid overcrowding, plan your pool landscaping carefully. Consider the mature size of the plants and space them out accordingly. You can also use containers and raised beds to create a more organized and spacious look around the pool.

In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes can create a beautiful and functional pool area that enhances your outdoor living space.

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About the author

Maria Anderson

I am an arts and design lover. My passion are swimming pools and gardening. Follow me in our family project ThePoolPassion.com where we want to help everyone to make their dream pool become reality.

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