8 Tips For The Perfect Poolside Plants


A pool is not just a fun and refreshing way to cool down on a hot day – it’s a major feature of your home and the absolute centrepiece of your beloved backyard.

So if you’ve just had one put in, or you’re thinking about revamping your landscaping, you may be searching for the best poolside plants to complete your backyard swimming paradise.

But it’s not just about picking plants for your swimming pool surrounds that are going to look great – there’s quite a bit more to it than that. Here’s what to know about plants for pool areas.

1. Start with the fence

Frameless Glass Pool Fencing Image 4 - Killara
Frameless Glass Pool Fence Surrounded With Plants – Project Was In Killara NSW

Before you even start thinking about pool plants, you’ll need to think like an artist.

That means starting your plants for pool area planning not with the plants themselves, but with a frameless glass pool fence.

That’s because pool landscapers will often work with non-glass pool fencing by hiding it behind a range of poolside plants.

However, trees and plants around pools need to be situated away from the pool fence, because children may try to use them to climb over.

The solution? A difficult-to-climb frameless glass pool fence that won’t impede the view of your poolside plants and is easy to maintain and clean.

2. Choose soft-stem plants for near the fence

Dwarf New Zealand Flax Are Great As A Poolside Plant
Dwarf New Zealand Flax As A Hedge Around A Rock Pool

So that the kids aren’t tempted to climb something else, put in plants like dwarf New Zealand Flax or Agapanthus around the base of the fence.

Soft-stemmed plants around pools are ideal because they can’t be climbed but they’re still friendly to the touch.

3. Agapanthus are a poolside winner

Agapanthus Blue Are A Great Poolside Plant
Blue Agapanthus Are low Maintenance And A Grea Poolside Plant

Need another reason to choose Agapanthus as your ideal pool plants? They don’t need a lot of water so a bit of pool splashing can be enough to keep them happy.

And they look brilliant in the summer when the pool is going to be used, with their long leaves and spectacular white or blue flowers at the end of tall stems.

4. Consider a camellia

Camellia Flower Great As A Poolside Plant
The Camellia Flower Is A Great Addition To Your Poolside Plants

Pair your Agapanthus with Camellias. Why?

They’re also easy to keep healthy, and the fact they bloom in the autumn and winter means they’ll be making your pool area look great when the flowers of the Agapanthas are absent.

5. Think about your cleanup

Leaves In A pool
Leaves In A pool Not An Ideal Outcome.

Ask someone who maintains a pool what their pet hate is, and they’ll tell you it is leaf debris on the surface.

This is magnified by poor planning, including having put in too many trees or plants whose leaves overhang the pool.

Overhanging trees actually provide welcome pool and poolside shade on those really hot days, so selected planting is desirable.

Consider deciduous trees as you plan your plants around a pool.

Why? This means you know the leaves will fall in Autumn and can use a pool cover at these times. Evergreens will shed leaves all year round requiring constant maintenance. 

6. Think about the chlorine

Golden Cane Palms Are A Great Poolside Plant
Golden Cane Palms Are A Great Poolside Plant to Have And Easy To Maintain

If you want some ground cover near your pool, consider Mondo Grass.

That’s because normal lawn might be affected by chlorine, but Mondo withstands a decent splash of the stuff very well.

Golden Cane Palms and Star Jasmine are also great picks for poolside plants that don’t mind a bit of chlorine.

7. Know what to avoid

Jacaranda Tree With A Bee On A Plant Not To Put Poolside
Jacaranda Tree Attracts Bees So Do Not Use Around A Pool.

Before going wild with your poolside plant selections, know what you definitely don’t want around your pool. 

Many people without well thought out swimming pool landscaping can suffer from prickles and thorns in bare feet or a multitude of bee stings.

So obviously steer clear of prickly plants like Cacti, keep nearby lawns weed free and don’t put bee attracting Roses and Jacarandas beside your pool.

8. Choose poolside plants that will thrive

Cannas Flowers Around A Pool Provide a Colourful And Vibrant  Atmosphere
Cannas Flowers Around A Pool Provide a Colourful And Vibrant Atmosphere

What do most poolside areas have in common? They’re hot, and they’re confined – and that’s exactly the conditions beautiful Dietes just love.

The fun and vibrant colours of Geraniums are also reliable poolside plants, while Cannas just love the summer too.


Planning for your poolside plants is about more than just choosing for aesthetics.

You also want that entire poolside area to be safe, low-maintenance and sustainable. So take time to select the perfect poolside plants whether you are planning a swimming pool or giving your pool area a refresh.

Have you planned a perfect pool paradise and have a tip to share? Know any plants around pools to really steer clear of? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!