Plants for landscaping around the pool


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
SW Indiana
Thought I'd start a thread for discussing plants that are particularly good around the pool and plants that are particularly bad. Obviously there's going to be some differences based on climate.

On the good side, Pin Oak trees are pretty good as far as trees go. The reason is that they tend to hold onto their leaves far later in the year than most pools are open. Sometimes they keep most of them through the winter, but they always drop them when the cover is on for me, which gives them a :goodjob: in my book.

Elephant Ear, which is Caladium or the other related plants known as Elephant Ears. These are a good tropical-looking plant for pool landscaping. Bulbs have to be dug for the winter, though.

Banana Trees are another good one for tropical ambiance. They also have to winter indoors except in really warm climates.

On the bad side, Crape Myrtles (the correct spelling, by the way). Those of you not in the South may not realize that they grow as a shrub that flowers most of the summer in freezing climates, but they drop all kinds of stuff on the ground. Fine for general landscaping, but not near a pool.

Morning Glories and Hibiscus need some space between themselves and the pool due to the mess they make when they drop blooms.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 29, 2007
I know that Black Jack Oaks are the pits! They drop leaves, acorns, pollen, and those brown squiggly things. They also tend to just fall over for no apparent reason. I hate them, but my husband refuses to cut down any living tree. I guess they are good for shade, but I prefer them for firewood. :-D


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Cottonwood and Baumagallia(sp?) both are AWEFULL to have around pools - they are the ones that drop all that fluffy junk. Poplar and Aspen can also drop a lot of junk too. Any kind of flowering tree is a mess around a pool.

Maples do quite nicely as they don't drop a lot of pollen and the leaves hold on well into autumn (look nice too)


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2007
Toms River, NJ
I think telling your location (state) when naming plants/trees would be helpful in this thread. Here in the northeast, we can't get away with some of those nice tropical type plants/trees.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
SW Indiana
skinsfan44 said:
I think telling your location (state) when naming plants/trees would be helpful in this thread. Here in the northeast, we can't get away with some of those nice tropical type plants/trees.
Same here. That's why we like the banana trees and elephant ears.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 8, 2007
Waaay NW MN
Oh, Sago Palms DO work nicely. I actually have a couple of them in pots. Hens and Chics in strawberry pots really work nicely too, they look pretty cool. Both of these can sit poolside on a hot deck in full sun without a lot of fresh water, they can take salt splash.


LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks for the thread. I've been wanting to more research on plants.

I think I'll even start a thread a little more specific to my goals, and will be watching this one closely.

Pin oak, huh?

A friend of mine suggested a Drake Elm. Any thoughts on this?



LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2007
Lebanon, TN
Does anyone use mosquito shoo geranium plants? I wonder how well they actually deter the mosquitos.
Also, any flowering plants....are there many problems with bees and such?

Thanks! What a great idea for a thread JohnT! :wink:


Well-known member
May 14, 2007
I have some Japanese silver grass plants up close to the pool. The only downside is in late September they drop their seeds in the pool. I usually cut the pods off before they fall in. They get about 5 feet tall and weep down to almost the water level.


Well-known member
Jun 18, 2007
Spring, Texas
In regards to the Mosquito Shoo....I believe that they do contain citronella, but the plant itself will not keep mosquitos away. You would have to crush the leaves in order to release the oil and rub it on your skin (make sure you're not allergic). The same goes for lemongrass.

I wish there was an easy way to rid of mosquitos aside from chemicals.....for the stronger stomach individuals, here is a link to a video showing what mosquitos can implant when they bite....WARNING....not for the weak stomach individuals:

Sorry if this post is out of place...just thinking about the mosquito question had me think about this.


Well-known member
Mar 28, 2007
Any plant or tree and doesn't drop leaves, blooms or etc. will be fine. Bougainvilleas are terrible they are
always shedding the Red flowers. Fairy Dusters are almost as bad. Any of the cactus or agaves are not
messy. Compact Myrtle makes a nice small bush. Sissoo trees are not messy either.

Just a few suggestions.

Cliff s


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
I have a PinOak!!!

This guy is HUGE and still growing! (20 years old) I can finally see the top of it over top of our two story home from the bottom of the driveway! It provides great shade too! I wish I had better pics of it's massiveness but I don't. I do have a few though.

It's one of my favorites that will probly out live all of us!

I lied! I do have a pic of it! :lol: Rt side behind house.

Notice the shade... Never mind the dog coming back from under the fence with her ball. :lol:

My brother with my friend's doggie Dixie! Pin Oak in background...

That's all I got for showing him off!


Well-known member
Apr 9, 2007
N.E. South Carolina
Need suggestions

I am in SC, zone 8. I have liriope next to my pool deck, and 2 windmill palms. I am getting ready to add some ornamental grasses in clumps around the outside of the pool deck. I have a space next to my raised deck (about 10 feet from the water's edge) where I would like to plant a small tree. I would like something that would not get over 6-7' tall, and it must be hardy. So far I have a "tropical" look, but don't want to go so far as "tiki-hut" tropical, if you know what I mean. More like a low-country SC tropical. I would love a small Japanese maple, but don't know if this would really go with what I have already.

I don't like the banana plants, don't want bamboo, would be OK with another palm as long as it would stay small. I don't want anything that drops a bunch of fruit or things that would be hard to walk on (since it will overhang the pool deck some.

Any suggestions?


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
South Carolina
Like many of you, we have banana trees and elephant ears and love them.

Our Home Depot had Kimberly Queen Ferns for $10.98 in 10" pots. Nice healthy plants and good price for here. (moved info here from another post)

For those that may not know, these ferns can take full sun and are low maintenance. Using the pots they come in, I set the whole thing in a no-drain container so that it always has water. Nice tropical look.


LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2008
Evans, GA
I can't wait to be able to landscape our backyard and the pool area. We are going to be doing a major backyard renovation once the pool, gazebo,hot tub and new patio are eventually put in.

We're in GA, zone 8 and here is a great site for tropical plants that I have just been drooling over some of these plants.


LifeTime Supporter
May 1, 2008
Austin, TX
I use lantana a lot, nothing kills it. I accidentally sprayed a corner of one with Round up (aiming for the weed next to it). It's only just slightly smaller than last year. I also have mexican sage, a couple of tree roses and some Lady Banks rose up against the fence. Yellow bells esperanza is nice too.