Dreaming of your own private backyard resort with a sparkling pool surrounded by lush landscaping? Choosing the right plants is key to creating a gorgeous and functional poolside oasis. But before that, you need to choose a site for the pool. When making green choices for your pool location and its surroundings, it's about much more than just looks.
The plants you select can have a big impact on maintenance, safety, privacy, and even your overall enjoyment of your backyard paradise. This definitive guide covers everything you need to know to make the best plant picks for poolside perfection after choosing the ideal location. Let's dive in!
Key Factors for Poolside Plant Selection
When choosing plants for your pool area, opt for low-maintenance varieties whenever possible. You want to minimize extra work like pruning and debris cleanup that can quickly become a headache. Here are some key maintenance considerations:
Keeping it Tidy
- Avoid messy plants. Plants that drop leaves, flowers, and other debris can mean constantly fishing stuff out of your pool. Stick to clean choices that won't fill your skimmer basket.
- Consider water needs. Drought-tolerant picks are ideal since plumbing irrigation lines on your pool deck can get tricky. Make sure roots won't go seeking water pipes!
- Watch for invasive roots. Some plants have aggressive root systems that can damage your concrete or vinyl liner. Do your homework to prevent spendy repairs down the road.
- Look for all-around easy care. The less time you need to spend pruning, watering, and cleaning up after your poolside plants, the more time there is for relaxing pool days. Choose low-fuss varieties that can thrive with minimal work on your part.
Strategically placing plants around your pool area can increase privacy and turn your backyard into a secluded oasis. Here are some tactics:
- Try tall plants for hedges. Placing perimeter screening plants, trees, and hedges along fences or borders can conceal your yard from neighbors' views. A living wall of green can make your pool feel more hidden.
- Go evergreen. Trees and shrubs that keep leaves year-round maximize privacy 24/7/365. No more bare branches exposing your pool in colder months.
- Add vertical elements. Vines growing up walls, fences, or pergolas effectively block sight lines. Plant climbers strategically to let you lounge poolside out of view.
- Be thoughtful about placement. Situate taller plants to obstruct sight lines from specific vantage points, like a neighbor's upper-story window. A poolside privacy assessment can reveal the best spots.
When kids and water mix, safety should always be top of mind. Smart plant placement can prevent issues:
- Avoid blindspots. Don't let landscaping totally obstruct the pool view from inside your home. You'll want to easily keep an eye on young swimmers.
- Skip the bees. Getting stung is no fun, so pass on plants like lavender and rosemary that attract busy buzzers.
- Watch for thorns and needles. Cacti and roses certainly look pretty poolside but can scratch bare skin. Position prickly plants well away from foot traffic areas.
- Remove tripping hazards. Keep low-growing plants away from the pool's edge so running feet don't catch and fall. Safety first!
Climate and Growing Conditions
For your poolside plants to thrive, you need to choose varieties suited to your yard's specific conditions:
- Mind the sunlight. Know how much sun your pool area gets throughout the day. Make sure to pick plants labeled for full sun vs. shade.
- Ensure good drainage. Standing water can cause roots to rot. Check that your soil or planters allow excess moisture to drain away after watering.
- Consider heat and drought tolerance. If you live in a hot climate, select plants able to withstand dry conditions without constant watering.
- Check your hardiness zone. Know your zone before buying plants rated for certain cold hardiness levels. A too-tender tropical won't make it through winter outdoors.
Beyond functional factors, picking plants that enhance the style you envision is key:
- Add colors and textures. Choose plants with foliage and blooms in your favorite tones. Varying shapes and textures like spiky and ferny also boost visual appeal.
- Include fragrant plants. Scents like jasmine and gardenia can make evenings by your pool feel even more magical. Go for flowers and herbs you find most soothing or uplifting.
- Decide on a look. Do you prefer a posh formal garden or eclectic tropical jungle vibe? Select plants that create your ideal aesthetic.
- Add bold focal points. Strategically place large statement plants, like banana trees or tall palms, to draw the eye.
- Repeat some elements. Using matching plants in a few spots can look cohesive without being boring. Find the right balance for you.
Specific Plant Recommendations
Here are some top plant choices that are well-suited for poolside planting:
- Ornamental grasses. Graceful grasses like fountain grass, maiden grass, or blue fescue add texture without dropping messy seeds or flowers into the pool.
- Evergreen hedges/shrubs. Boxwood, holly, and Indian hawthorn create privacy screens year-round. Most are tolerant of pruning to keep tidy.
- Palm trees. Swaying palms instantly conjure up tropical resort vibes. Look for compact varieties appropriate for poolside plots.
- Flowering vines. For vertical interest, plant sweet-scented star jasmine or trumpet vine on trellises and walls.
- Fragrant flowers/herbs. Embrace aromatherapy with fragrant choices like gardenia, lavender, rosemary, and lemon thyme.
By keeping poolside plant selection in balance with considerations like easy maintenance, safety, privacy, climate suitability, and visual appeal, you can create an outdoor oasis that is both gorgeously designed and optimally functional. Careful planting choices let you relax and enjoy your backyard pool paradise to the fullest.
Getting Creative with Poolside Planters
Container gardening opens up fun new possibilities for poolside plants. With planters, you can create movable displays that can be rearranged seasonally or for events. Mixing up planter shapes and sizes adds visual interest, while going vertical with tall urns and columns saves space.
Strategically placed pedestals and platforms under pots can create focal points. For soothing sounds, incorporate little tabletop fountains. Use containers to define separate "rooms'' around your pool area.
Maximizing mobility is key - choose large pots with wheels or casters that can lock in place when needed. Get creative with plant choices too - pick a single dramatic specimen for each pot or combine thrillers, fillers, and spillers.
Lightweight plastic, resin or fiberglass planters are ideal if you'll be moving them frequently. Save heavy concrete for permanent spots. And don't forget drainage holes so excess water can easily drain out. With the right planters and plants, you can create stunning displays that can adapt to any occasion or need around your pool.
Extending Your Pool Season with Landscaping
Unless you live in the tropics, your outdoor pool likely has a defined season. But clever landscaping strategies can help stretch your swimming days. Planting dense evergreen windbreaks using trees or vine-covered trellises blocks wind, helping the pool stay warmer in spring and fall.
Also, position trees and shrubs to shade the pool on hot summer afternoons while still allowing sunshine during cooler months. Using pools of warmer-colored paving materials like dark reds and browns absorbs heat, keeping surrounding air warmer as well.
Incorporate fire features like fire pits, chimineas, and fire bowls to provide radiating warmth on chillier evenings. Try thermal insulating blankets and covers to trap heat when the pool's not in use. Foam pads laid out on diving boards when not in use also reduce surface area and heat loss.
Plant late-blooming tropical varieties to enjoy bold colors into early fall. Strategic lighting extends evening hours by illuminating the pool, landscaping, and paths. With some savvy plant placement for sun and wind control plus supplemental heating features, you can comfortably take that pool party into overtime.
Overwintering Tender Poolside Plants
If you added tropical flair to your poolside paradise, you'll need to overwinter delicate plants safely for next year. Move containers to a protected greenhouse, sunny window, or covered garage or porch.
For in-ground plants, heavily mulch the root zone after first freezing to insulate the soil. When hard freezes hit, wrap or cover plants with fabric row covers or plant blankets. Water minimally over winter to prevent rotting. Prune back vines and climbers before bringing them indoors.
Check for pests like scales or mealybugs that can spread quickly indoors. Consider growing lights or full spectrum bulbs to supplement natural light. Avoid overheating indoor overwintering areas, as plants prefer cool 40-50 degree environments.
Repot rootbound container plants in fresh, well-draining soil to encourage new growth. In spring, transition tender plants back outside gradually over a week or two to prevent shock. With planning and preparation, you can ensure tropical plants survive from one pool season to the next.
Creating your personal poolside paradise with gorgeous greenery is totally doable if you follow the right plant selection criteria. Keeping maintenance, privacy, safety, climate, and aesthetics in mind will ensure your pool plant picks check every box.
A splash of creativity combined with proven landscaping strategies results in a beautiful, thriving backyard oasis you'll enjoy for years to come. With these insider tips, you're ready to pick the perfect plants to transform your pool from basic to beautiful. Time to turn your swim spot into the backyard of your dreams!