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Thread: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

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    Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Hi, we're in the last steps of our IGP build & would love some suggestions on plants to put behind a bond beam. There's about 6' of space between bond beam and back block wall. We just want something green, very low maintenance that's not going to create a mess in the pool. The area gets full sun for most of the day. We're in zone 10a.

    Thanks!
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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Just sympathizing with you. We are starting to think about this too, and have no idea what we will come up with.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Tree aloes, pachypodium, palms, you have a limitless list of choices in a place like Simi Valley.

    Not sure what kind of plants float your boat, but I'd get some Aloe 'Hercules' or similar at least for part of it.

    Can you post a picture of the area? I love talking plants...
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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Sounds like a fun project. I'm not an expert and certainly can't speak to zone 10a, but I recently finished our DIY pool landscaping project (SE Texas). Our first step was creating a well draining base (mixture of sand & organic). Our local garden center had excellent suggestions for plants that are well suited for our area; freeze tolerance was high on my list. Better yet, they were discounted about 50%~70% (fall winter pricing). One thing I can mention is the pH of the soil around so much concrete. Kind of dependent on the age/cure, but some plants may not tolerate higher pH's around fresh concrete (you may need to use an acidic fertilizer to keep pH a bit lower). Post pics and let us know how it turns out.
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Unfortunately, you can't grow just about anything in Simi, especially in my yard The soil is VERY hard and doesn't drain well, I've augmented the top 2-3 feet, but once you go past that, it's just clay, and a lot of time, the water from sprinklers just stands there, rotting the roots...

    Here's what the area of interest looks like, it's about 44' long about ranges from 5 - 8' wide
    [attachment=0:17lgwwe0]WP_20140121_001.jpg[/attachment:17lgwwe0]

    The Aloe plants looks like it may work, need to do a bit more reading and ask my local nursery if those do well here...

    I've been considering Pygmy Date Palm, Sago Palm, and possibly Cat and/or Bamboo palm... My concern w/ the last 2 is shading and fruit/seed that they may drop. I'm also at a bit of a loss about what to use as filler in between the palms, need cover that dirt w/ something somewhat cost effective... mulch blows into the pool w/ high Santa Ana winds that we get, and rock may be a bit pricey, would need a lot

    Pygmy Date Palm

    Sago Palm

    Cat Palm

    Bamboo Palm
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Well, sago palms are out as I just found out they are poisonous...
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Unless you have dogs they are not a real danger. Kids won't eat them!

    If your soil really drains badly, palms should do very well. It's just about impossible to drown a palm.
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    I do have 2 Weimaraners that love to get in trouble, so gotta pass on Sago...

    Looks like I'll be looking at Pygmy Dates, and possibly "Bolivian Mountain Coconut Palms (Parajubaea Torallyi)" though it might be too big for what I want or, if I can make it work "SUGAR CANE PALM TREE (Dypsis Baronii)"

    Coconut Palm


    Sugar Cane Palm
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    I've got Sagos around my pool, and 2 very hyper and nosy black labs. They don't mess with the palms, there is enough of a point on the ends of of the fronds to discourage them, even if they showed an interest in them, but they haven't. They just leave them alone. Also, I believe the dogs would need to ingest a pretty large quantity for it to be a problem.

    Sagos are very forgiving as far as care and maintenance.....so are the Pygmy dates....and those will eventually get a moderate size to them. Coconut palms get huge!
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    It's mainly the fruits on sagos that are toxic, and apparently dogs just love them. I doubt a dog would chew on the leaves. You could just remove the cones when they appear, before fruit forms.
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    From what I read, the entire tree is poisonous if ingested, the seeds, do however, have a much higher concentration of the toxin. I like the way the look, just not enough to risk my dogs getting hurt, or even a vet visit (one my dogs snorted a bee last year, can't imagine eating some palm would be out of the question for him )
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Houston TX chiming in - native here - low root system, low maitenace, evergreens and flower for butterflies and hummingbirds:

    Tangerine Beauty - vine - climbs with tentacles, works wonderful and ground cover as well. Evergreen, so a year round foliage, spring, summer, and fall blooms 247, then temps get below 40 at night the leaves turn burgundy. Great for pool side, for me at least.
    http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/al...-carpreolatus/


    Barbados Pride - bush or tree - again evergreen, flowers, low water low maitenance, a pool side wonder. I was cleaning pool the past summer and it was covered with monarch butterflies.
    http://www.floridata.com/ref/c/caes_pul.cfm

    Both were recommended by Texas University - emailed their botany department and ask for recommendations for pool side, no birds, grown on fence without destroying it. Colleges are wonderful resource and the young folks love to research and recommend stuff. Fun, too! Good luck and I am going to continue to track this string for other idea.
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    EllieWilliams, Thanks for the recommendations!

    Love the look of the plants, just checked, and it looks like that "Tangerine Beaty" only goes up to zone 9, I'm in 10a, not sure it'd be happy, but I'll ask my local nursery...

    The "Barbados Pride" looks great and would grow in zone 10a, but appears to be poisonous, see http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/2247/

    Maybe I should consider finding a new home for my dogs as it's clear that the plants that I find appealing aren't compatible w/ them
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    The tangerine crossvine (http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/56818/) will do great there...it thrives here when well watered, and we get much hotter and much colder than you do there!

    The Caesalpinia (pride of barbados) is, for all practical purposes, non-toxic. No kid, dog, or anything will eat the seeds...don't worry about it. It will likely need substantial shearing back every year though, since it will die back quickly if you even nick freezing. Even if frozen to the ground, it'll come back vigorously from the roots, and you'll have a 6' plant before the next winter comes.

    You've got lots of room there for stuff to dangle over that little ledge too, if you wanted. Iceplants, sedums, etc. Some echeveria maybe...oh, to live in Simi Valley
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    Hello, This is my first post here. Recently we adopted a very chewy little puppy, after pulling her forcibly away from the sago near the outdoor kitchen I started doing research. Not only were my 7 sago plants deadly, so were the 20 ft of oleander on the side of the house. Furthermore my beautiful jasmine vines that ran the lenght of our fence are also deadly. All went. The huge sagos went into front yard, small ones to trash, vines to trash, oleander to trash. Planted sword ferns to replace smaller sago plants, lilac vine "happy wanderer" to replace jasmine vines and oleander. I did not do this lightly as we have what I feel to be an amazing tropical paradise. Consult a vet, look at aspca website, consult a reputable botanist. These will tell you simply that if you love the dogs, the plants go bye bye. Not every kid drinks bleach but you wouldnt leave it in the playpen. Going through life relying on luck to keep those depending on you safe isnt my style. Nothing to chance.
    Full list coming soon

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Pool landscape - plant recommendations

    If you can take the smell, ornamental garlic seems to thrive in otherwise concrete soil. It's a bear to get rid of once it takes root, though.
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