According to the Swimming Pool and Spa Association, a plant must have a few key characteristics if it can be officially classified as “pool friendly.” They should be able to thrive in an environment where wind and salt exposure are expected, for example. They should also be capable of thriving in either a semi-shaded area or a full-sun area, the specifics of which will obviously vary depending on your environment.

They should also be highly tolerant to exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals, which is particularly common in the area immediately surrounding your pool. Because of this, options like pineapple sage, peach-leaved bellflower, swamp daisy, and Ajuga are the way to go.

Shrubs can also make a great addition to your swimming pool landscaping, with options like Siberian Iris, Mexican Orange Blossom, and Mexican Mock Orange being popular selections all across the country.

These are certainly not your only options, however. A few of the other types of plants that you can include in your swimming pool landscaping include but are not limited to ones like:

  • Bull Banksia
  • Blueberry Ash
  • Native Fuchsia
  • Holly Leaved Grevillea
  • Waxflower
  • Australe Storksbill
  • Himalayan Dogwood
  • Prostrate Grevillea

Pool-friendly plants share common characteristics such as low maintenance, little or no pruning, and high drought tolerance. If you have a salt-chlorinated pool they need to be salt tolerant in case of water splashing. Depending on the location of the pool, your plant choice may be dictated by the environment in terms of privacy, wind factor, or ground coverage.

For screening: If privacy is a concern, consider the following to create a natural, low-maintenance screen that will mature over the years. Laurus nobilus-Bay Laurel, Olea Europa- Olive tree and Banksia marginata- Coastal Banksia.

For mid-level planting: Consider Gardenia species, Westringea fruticose-Coastal rosemary, Rosemarinus officianalis-Rosemary, Cycas revoluta-Cycad and Philodendron ‘Xanadu’.

For ground cover: Consider Trachylospermum asiaticum-Star jasmine, Ophiopogon japonicus-Mondo grass, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’-Silver dichondra, Senecio serpens-Blue chalk sticks, and Nepeta species-Catmint.

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