Swimming Pool Landscaping - Plants To Avoid

Swimming Pool Landscaping – Plants To Avoid

Your pool is your oasis and the right swimming pool landscaping makes it look like one. 

However, the wrong plants might turn your peaceful pool time into extra maintenance. No one wants to clean their pool even more often.

Before you start adding some greenery around your pool, carefully consider which plants work best and most importantly, which ones to avoid.


Trees are a great addition around pools, especially smaller ornamental trees. However, there are a few things to think about first. Most importantly, don’t plant any trees too close to the pool. If you’re planting them in the ground, the roots can spread, leading to eventual cracks around your pool area and even the pool itself.

Also, try to avoid planting trees that shed easily. For example, bamboo is great, especially for creating a lush, green privacy fence, but if it’s too close, you’ll end up with a pool filled with bamboo leaves. Plant things like this close to the fence line to keep your pool cleaner.

Despite how beautiful the Royal Poinciana tree is, the colorful flowers are destined to end up filling up your pool. Opt for smaller trees to plant near your fence line, like palms, or to plant in pots that are easy to move back when leaves start so shed.


Annuals die every year, meaning you’ll need to replant. Since they die, this leaves you leaves and flowers falling off and drifting into your pool. Plus, constantly needing to replant every year takes up valuable time that you could be spending in your pool.

When it comes to swimming pool landscaping, skip the annuals and opt for perennials instead. These come back yearly. In fact, evergreen plants tend to be the best option as they don’t shed their leaves nearly as much.

Tall Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses make a pool look great. However, that small clump you planted can quickly take over a flower bed. Plus, if you’ve planted them in pots near the edges of your pool, the sharp blades can fall into your pool. 

Opt for much shorter grasses that grow between 6-12 inches high. You can plant taller ones nearer your fence line, but sweep the area regularly to keep any fallen blades away from your pool. 

Flowering Bushes

Brightly colored flowers immediately make any pool look beautiful. But, for swimming pool landscaping, these could spell disaster. Larger flowers gradually fall off, often one petal at a time. Plus, some bushes may shed their leaves as well. 

Small or ornamental hedges with colorful leaves work better. These are usually evergreen and don’t shed nearly as much. 

Ground Cover

Ground cover isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, if you create a raised bed to contain it, it can work well around small hedges to add more color. However, be careful when planting ground cover that spreads easily. It can quickly overtake beds around your pool’s fence line. 

Plus, if there are any cracks around your deck area, the ground cover can spread into these. 

Non-Native Plants

Trying to grow plants that aren’t meant to grow in Hawaii can definitely cause problems. These can spread and over take local plants. Plus, they might not grow as well in Hawaii’s climate, causing them to shed more often or die completely. 

While some plants are technically native to Hawaii, they’ve been gradually brought in and have become a natural part of Hawaii’s environment. This is why it’s best to shop for swimming pool landscaping plants locally to ensure you’re getting the right things. 

You can also research plants on Native Plants Hawaii. You can also check out cacti and succulents, both of which are great around pools, that work well in the area.

No matter what swimming pool landscaping you choose, pool maintenance is still a must. Contact us today to let us help with the maintenance so you can enjoy your pool even more.

Image: Chris Arock

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