Finding The Perfect Plants For Your Pool Area

Tropical plants next to concrete pool

Whether you’re building a pool for the first time or renovating an existing pool area, plants are a great way to add colour and depth to your landscape and provide a little extra shade and privacy. But before landscaping a pool area there are few things you need to keep in mind that will save you time and money. Here are our top 3 things to remember when picking the right plants for your pool area.

  1. Double check the root system

When selecting plants it’s important to double-check the plant’s root system to ensure it won’t cause any structural damage to your pool. Plants with vigorous root systems are known to cause damage to underground plumbing and can cause cracks and leaks within the pool’s walls.  Having to repair damaged plumbing and pool structures can be a very expensive exercise.

  1. Choose litter free plants

Choosing plants that are generally litter free will not only make maintaining your pool a lot easier giving you more time to enjoy swimming, but it will also be easier on your pool’s vacuum and filtration system.  We recommend staying away from any plants that feature spines, thorns, or seedpods.

  1. Think about your pool’s environment

Everyone’s pool area is different so what plants might work for your neighbour’s backyard won’t not necessarily work for yours. Take into account how much sun, shade, and wind the plant will need to withstand, and how much exposure to chlorine or salt the plants will need to endure. Delicate plants may not be able to withstand the harsh sunlight that is reflected off the waters edge, or large volumes of splashing caused by diving or children playing.

Once you understand your pools environment, it’s time to start looking at plants. Whether you’re looking for extra shade, privacy, or a touch of colour, here are some of our favourite plants for pool areas.


Plants with silvery, furry or waxy leaves are generally better suited to salt-water environments.

Foxtail Agave – Growing in a rosette shape with soft green to bright blue green leaves, the Foxtail Agave is an attractive and modern looking plant for your pool area.  It does not produce any prickly spines, and can grow to a height of 1-1.5m metres.

Bromeliads – Perfect for adding colour to your pool area, these long-lasting blooms are available in flaming reds, bubblegum pinks and sunshine yellows. They are also available in a wide range of sizes from tiny miniatures to giants.

Flax Lilies – A tough and rugged Native Australian accent plant, Flax Lilies offer many different options of foliage textures and colours. While the regular species of flax lily tends to come in a solid green, many of the hybrid varieties are available in an array of colour variations including a burgundy-blue foliage, and a gray-green leaf with a contrasting bright white or gold edge.


While chlorinated pool splash is known to be quite harsh on all plants, those with larger, leathery leaves tend to withstand better.

Cordylines – A good choice for pool areas with lots of shade, Cordylines are available in a range of shades including green, pink, purple and even black. The various varieties also have different growing heights so you can choose one to suit your garden bed.

Golden Cane Palms – Native to North QLD, Golden Cane Palms will grow larger and more vigorously in full sunlight, and are perfect for providing poolside screening and privacy.  While they can grow up to 12 metres, their root system is non-invasive and they won’t produce any spikes or spines.

Mondo grass – Known for performing well in almost any soil and lighting condition, Mondo Grass is a perfect choice to contrast stark concrete, pavers, or tiles. This grass-like foliage forms dense tufts that slowly spread over time and require no mowing.


If you have children or expect your pool area to have a large amount of splash, consider building a raised garden bed or an adequate draining system to prevent your pool water from continually collecting into the soil, water logging the garden and poisoning the plants with a build up of chlorine or salt.

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