The best plants to choose around your pool

The best plants to choose around your pool

Greenery can add a fun, tropical vibe to your outdoor pool area. However, not every plant is the right fit for this area of your property. Here’s a list of some of the best plants to put around your Sacramento pool:


Succulents come in a variety of sizes, textures, and colors. These low-maintenance plants are a good choice for people who want a good-looking poolside garden without having to put in a lot of work. Large succulents like Yucca and Crassula can pull double duty as a barrier and offer rich color. Their blooms also attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Smaller, colorful succulents like Aeonium and Sedum can fill in bare spots around the pool.

Ornamental Grass

Grass is a hardy, low maintenance plant. It creates texture and depth in your landscaping. Grass also requires little water. There are a number of varieties you can work with, but Zebra grass is quite popular. Its variegated colors contrast beautifully with the blue water in your pool.

If you want an all-natural privacy screen, plant ornamental grasses close together. They create an attractive green barrier between your pool and the road or the rest of your yard.


If you love skinny dipping or just want more privacy, shrubs are your next line of defense. After all, ornamental grasses can blow and bend in the wind. Shrubs are sturdy and densely bushy. You can plant them strategically to block the line of sight to the driveway or that one nosy neighbor.

Which shrubs should you go for? Look for larger, leafy varieties like Hydrangeas for maximum privacy. Smaller shrubs and tropical plants are another good choice. Hibiscus gives you privacy, adds a fun Caribbean feel to the space, and you can even make tea out of the gorgeous blooms.


Ask any Sacramento pool contractor, and they’ll tell you that palm trees are one of the most popular choices for pools. What could be more luxurious than dipping into the water in the shade of a swaying palm? These trees don’t have much leaf drop, so you won’t have to skim the pool as often.

Dwarf citrus trees also work beautifully in these spaces. In the spring, your pool area may be scented with blossoms and in the summer you may be picking your own fruit. These trees also stay green through the winter. You can find dwarf varieties of lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, kumquats, and even grapefruits.

Troubleshoot Your Pool

The tips above are great, general purpose advice for most pools. However, not every plant is right for every situation. Here are a few issues you may have run into and which plants can help:

Salt Water Pools

Some plants are not very salt tolerant. If they get splashed frequently with salty water from the pool, they can easily die off. In this case, look for plants that are adapted to live near the ocean.

Century Plants and Shrub Verbenas are fairly salt tolerant. To add a ‘splash’ of color, mix in some Daylilies, Moss Rose, and Blanket Flowers. Salt tolerant bushes include Winterberry Holly, Rosa Rugosa (also called Beach Rose), and Adam’s Needle Yucca. For trees, look for Pin oaks and Canary Island Date Palms. Note that these trees may drop leaves and blooms into the pool, so plant them a little farther back.

Bug Repellent

Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to pools. They come to lay eggs in the water and stay for all that bite-able flesh exposed by your swimsuits. Some plants’ natural scents repel mosquitoes. Fortunately, humans enjoy the unique smell of Basil, Geraniums, and Citronella. You can set up these potted plants around the pool, moving then wherever needed.

Debris in the Water

Every plant will occasionally shed a twig or bloom into the water. However, an excessive amount of this leafy matter causes a number of problems. It looks unsightly, can clog your filter or pool vacuum, and attracts insects.

If this is a problem for you, consider planting greenery farther back from the pool’s edge. Have your trees trimmed of dead branches before they have a chance to fall. Finally, look for plant varieties that rarely shed, such as yuccas and palms.

The right poolside plants look great, offer privacy and shade, and troubleshoot issues like mosquitos and debris in the water. Not sure which ones are right for your space? A Swimming Pool Builder Sacramento can help you come up with a plan for pool landscaping.