Plants Round the Pool: The Best and Worst Varieties to Choose

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Your pool can be the centrepiece of your garden, and in the baking hot summer months, it’s a cool oasis away from the stress of everyday life. However, many outdoor pools are a little bit bland and uninspiring, and therefore adding some greenery around the pool can make a big difference to your outdoor space. This breaks up the concrete lines, and makes you feel like you’re basking in nature. However, if you are adding plants or trees to your garden, it’s important to choose the right variety. By using landscape designers in Perth, you can be sure the right greenery is chosen to thrive in the local environment, and that the area is low maintenance for an easy life.

Things to consider

There are many reasons why plants that are going to be next to a pool need to be carefully chosen.

  • Humidity – A warm pool can create a humid microclimate, and when there’s a very sunny day, the bright sunshine can damage plants
  • Chlorine – Plants next to the pool need to be tough. They need to survive being regularly splashed by chlorine, so delicate species are not an option
  • Debris – Plants that create a lot of debris will soon clog your pool filter and can mean you’re constantly skimming
  • Look – Ideally, you’ll want plants that have an exotic, tropical look, which suit a pool area
  • Overhang – Try to choose plants that don’t hang over your pool, as this makes it harder to clean

That’s why it’s important not to just plant a lot of greenery right next to the pool without proper planning. By choosing Perth landscape designers, you can be sure they have the local knowledge needed, and can choose the right plants for the local soil and climate. Not all plants will necessary thrive in all environments, and there are many different variables for each variety.

Best plants


If you want to add a colourful, exotic touch to your garden, then the hibiscus is a popular choice. If you are looking at backyard designs in Perth, then you might want to choose some of these bright, cheerful flowers. Often associated with Hawaii, they thrive in sunny environments, but need enough moisture. However, the humidity next to your pool could be a great spot to grow these large, bell-shaped flowers.


These evergreen plants bloom from autumn into spring, which keeps your garden colourful even during the cooler months. Camellias are strong and hardy, with limited maintenance needed, although they thrive a lot more if they’re given a feed in the winter. A camellia hedge is also a more interesting alternative to stone or brick walls, adding some privacy to your pool area.

Banana plants

With large, lush green leaves that have a tropical look, banana plants provide lovely shady spots in your garden. If you want to grow banana plants, it’s important to speak to a garden designer in Perth, as they’ll need to source a government approved species that’s disease-free.

Bird of paradise

While these plants might be a common sight in Australian gardens, they can add an interesting touch to your pool area. They certainly have an exotic look, with spiky leaves and colourful blooms that resemble exotic birds. It’s important to plant them in soil with proper drainage, but otherwise they don’t need a lot of maintenance, and don’t tend to shed, making them great for the pool area.

Citrus fruits

As well as looking exotic, citrus plants are strong enough to sit by a pool area, and love the extra sunshine reflecting from the water. They need proper drainage, so when you’re looking at garden landscaping in Perth, it’s important your trees are in the correct position to thrive. They can also be placed in ornamental pots, which means they can be moved if needed.


While they look exotic and colourful, geraniums are strong and low-maintenance, so are great by the pool. When you’re looking at landscape designs in Perth, consider adding some hanging baskets or pots of geraniums. They’re an easy way to add colour, and even those who aren’t green-fingered can enjoy blooming plants.

Canna lilies

With big tropical leaves and colourful flowers, canna lilies look great by the pool. They love the tropical microclimate that a pool provides, and bloom during the hottest months, bringing an exotic touch to your pool. They can break up boring concrete pool areas, and when they aren’t blooming, the greenery alone has an exotic touch.

Plants to avoid

There are a few varieties of plants that simply don’t work by the pool. When you’re trying to create a Perth garden design, it’s important to consider whether the plants you choose are practical, and whether they can survive in the often-sandy soils, as well as in a humid pool environment. Some plants to avoid include:

  • Cacti – Cacti love hot, dry conditions, so the humidity by the pool can be too much for them. They can also shed needles, which means they’re annoying if you go barefoot
  • Succulents – Succulents have certainly become popular for a contemporary garden style, but some of them can be thorny and spiky, which is dangerous when kids are running around the pool
  • Conifers – While conifers are evergreen, some species can drop needles or shed debris, which means they can make a mess in your pool
  • Roses – Roses don’t always do well in the humid conditions by a pool. You’ll also be cleaning dropped petals, and avoiding these thorny bushes if they’re too close to the water
  • Jacarandas – They may look beautiful when blooming, but in early spring when they drop their leaves, they can be annoying by a pool area

If you are looking to improve your pool area, get in touch with Xterial Landscapes in Perth on (08) 9303 9925. They can help you turn your pool into a relaxing oasis, and ensure that your garden stays green throughout the seasons.

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