Pool plants: complete guide

The key for decorate the environment surrounding a swimming pool is to use resistant plants able to grow in the microclimate of a swimming pool, normally located in full sun, and able to offer an environment that reminds us of a jungle and tropical environment, typical of the countries of Southeast Asia .

In this article, we have chosen some plants for swimming pools that best adapt to this type of environment and that can create a totally tropical and paradisiacal landscape. In addition, they have good hardiness and adapt well to the usual conditions of this type of garden space.

In our head we design several spaces around a swimming pool, where yes or yes the plants have a lot to say. The lawn is one of them, but we see it more as a complement than a unique solution. You cover large spaces on the ground for the amusement of children and pets, but end up with empty environments that cry out to incorporate other plant species.

Depending on your tastes, you can choose a xerophyte space for your swimming pool, choosing plants with low water needs, with shades of brown (grasses and cereals), grayish green (desert plants and succulents) and combining it to taller, low-maintenance shrubs. (Junipers and others).

On the other hand, you may be looking for a more tropical environment, with taller plants and vegetation, large leaves and shady spaces, where you can include several species of the genus. Muse (bananas), Alocasias, etc.


Types of spaces for swimming pools

Depending on the area where you are, you can mainly choose between a tropical style, a Mediterranean pool style and a neutral style (a bit of everything). Let’s analyze each of them.

tropical style swimming pool

Plants for tropical pools

One of the most famous styles of pool environments takes the tropical-style. An environment that tries to imitate the tropical zones of the south east asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and mainly Bali), with shady areas, tall plants but with lots of herbaceous branches and less woody stems.

In this type of spaces we choose plants that usually need warm temperatures almost all year round and its main weakness is the cold, so our garden should be located in a warm area for most of the year.

In the choice of plants for this environment, large-leaved conifers (alocasias, ferns, climbers, banana trees and others) associated with tropical palms such as feathery coconut palm, slender palm, Australian royal palm, etc. stand out.

Alongside these plants, the use of wood and the creation of plant walls that still offer an additional point of shade also stand out.

Mediterranean style swimming pools

Mediterranean pools

The Mediterranean pool generally looks for white tones and plants with dark green and grayish tones. They are distinguished by the choice of low-resource species, playing with low plants, such as succulents and grasses, against the background of tall trees such as conifers and palm species.

This type of gardening usually coincides with the choice of xerophilic speciesthat is to say species accustomed to hostile environments, almost desert, with very low water resources, such as cacti and succulents.

In the image we can see the choice of plants for pools in desert areas with an excellent combination of tall cacti (prickly pear, saguaro, San Pedro cactus), with dwarf palms.

Types of tall palm trees for your pool surrounds:

List of plants for swimming pools with good adaptation

sex Muse (banana trees)

Banana trees for swimming pool

When we are looking for added value for the environment of our swimming pool, with tropical tones and larger plants and voluminous leaves, the kind Muse can provide us with some interesting species. This genus includes those known as banana trees, plants that need year-round warm conditions and good light exposure.

They are fast growing and can provide shaded areas for the pool. If you appreciate a warm environment, close to the coast or the Mediterranean or island region in Spain, you can afford to grow bananas.

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: shaded or semi-shaded environment, warm temperatures all year round and sheltered from strong winds.
  • Soil type: deep soil rich in organic matter, good drainage and loose type.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: constant watering during the warmer months, fertilization at the end of winter to stimulate the germination of new leaves.
  • Maintenance: constant throughout the year, guiding the development of its leaves and pruning those that have fallen, cracked or aged.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa sinensis)

Hibiscus for swimming pools

When we are looking for bushes with a large size, good resistance and fantastic flowering, hibiscus can be an interesting option for pool plants. It adapts very well to warm environments and shows its vigorous flowering in spring and summer.

For growing China rose, the tropical environment is ideal, but if you don’t live there (like many people), mild winter conditions can be tolerated by the plant, with an environment full of light and shelter from cold winds.

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: It resists the cold well, growing optimally in more humid areas and at temperatures of 15-25 ºC. It is grown in full sun.
  • Soil type: soil with good drainage and average fertility. It is grown directly in the garden.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: constant watering and application of fertilizer every 15 days in spring and summer.
  • Maintenance: prune at the end of the summer period, cut off old shoots, remove spent flowers and guide their growth.

Paradise Bird (Strelitzia reginae)

Pool plants Strelitzia reginae

An outdoor plant that is growing in popularity year after year is the one known as the bird of paradise. Perfect as a pool plant in warm environments, vigorous and fast-growing, and with a beautiful bloom that resembles a bird’s head (hence its well-known name).

It can be grown both in pots indoors and in planters or directly in the ground outdoors, sheltered from strong winds and cold winters.

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: sunny spaces, culture in full sun or partial shade, sheltered from the wind and hot areas. Does not tolerate frost.
  • Soil type: soil with good drainage and high fertility. It can be grown in pots or containers.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: constant watering in spring and summer (2 or 3 times a week). Fertilized every 2 weeks at the end of winter (NPK ratio 2-1-2.5 with micros).
  • Maintenance: elimination of old and too open leaves and separation of children.

Egyptian papyrus (cyperus papyrus)

papyrus basins

You are looking for a jungle environment with plants that generally grow along rivers, Egyptian papyrus is a plant that is perfectly adapted to humid conditions and has good resistance. It creates an exotic and tropical environment, and can grow in all types of soil, especially those that hold moisture well (clay).

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: shaded areas (or partial shade), humid environment and high tolerance to different temperatures.
  • Soil type: soil rich in organic matter, with a good ability to retain moisture.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: constant watering, requiring moisture in the soil. Subscriber in small quantities in spring and summer.
  • Maintenance: pruning open and old leaves, cutting the stems a few centimeters from the ground.

Agave (Attenuated Agave)

Agave attenuata garden

In the list of plants that tolerate any type of exposure and hot climate, the genus Agave offers us different varieties. Attenuated Agave It can be grown both in pots and in direct soil.

Its fantastic grayish green leaves, leathery appearance and low maintenance offer an excellent alternative for the corners of swimming pool environments where we are looking for a more xerophytic landscape, with species with low water consumption, gravel substrate and perennial species. .

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: mild and warm winters. Full sun exposure.
  • Soil type: Draining sandy soils with very good drainage.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: very limited watering, once a week in summer and every 15-20 days in winter. Fertilized in spring and summer to stimulate germination, in small quantities.
  • Maintenance: low maintenance with pruning at the end of summer to clean the trunk.


Schefflera Garden Pool

Schefflera It is well known as a houseplant, although it has slowly adapted very well to generally warm areas and coastal areas. It is used in pool environments due to the extra humidity it receives and when we are looking for larger species (it exceeds one meter in height without problems), in more shaded areas.

It is an evergreen plant, therefore it combines perfectly with tropical flower species and flowering shrubs.

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: warm temperatures and optimal range (13-25 ºC). Area protected from drafts and semi-shaded location, sheltered from frost.
  • Soil type: rich in organic matter, deep and airy.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: resistant to lack of water, moderate irrigation. Fertilized in spring (NPK 15-5-30 with micros) and all summer to stimulate budding.
  • Maintenance: low maintenance. Prune in late summer removing twisted stems, brown leaves and growth guide.

Pennisetum Rupelli

Pennisetum Rupelli swimming pool

When we are looking for a herbaceous herbaceous plant that covers a good space in any area of ​​the pool and provides a warm landscape typical of a Mediterranean garden, Pennisetum Rupelli is a great option.

It has off-road development and very low maintenance needs, with high resistance to environmental drought, high tolerance to water stress and very well-lit spaces.

This pool plant can be grown directly in the ground or in large pots and planters. The large budding it emits and the fall of its stems will visually make the container disappear.

Growth conditions:

  • Location and climate: sunny spaces and hot, semi-desert environments. full sun
  • Soil type: medium type soil, well drained and not necessarily fertile.
  • Irrigation and subscriber: irrigation at the minimum expression, with weekly contributions of water and small quantity. Does not require fertilization except for soil recovery with compost or organic matter
  • Maintenance: zero maintenance. Prune every few years if you want to reduce its foliage.

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