Make a Splash with Poolside Plants (Z: 3 – 7)

Life’s no vacation for plants installed around a pool. Between splashes of chlorinated water, reflected heat, foot traffic, and often winter neglect, they take plenty of abuse. But, if you choose carefully and select plants that can stand up to these conditions, you can have a lovely and colorful garden all season. Since the poolscape doesn’t exist in isolation, the design should be consistent with the rest of the garden or the style of the nearby house. So, we’ve divided this into three categories. All of these can go into containers or directly into the ground (see tips below for more info).

Checkout these solutions for zones 8 – 11 as often zones overlap!

If you have a particular situation and would like other options, just drop us a note in the comments section.



Dave Fleming Hibiscus
Zone: 4 – 10

Very large, hot ruby red flowers have such a great tropical look but also cold-hardy!


Hardy Fiber Banana
Zone: 5 – 11

Super cold hardy and fast grower, with huge leaves that may reach 2 feet wide and 6 feet long.

Midknight Blue Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus x `Monmid, at Monrovia Nursery Co.

Midnight Blue® Agapanthus
Zone: 6 – 11

Use this flower-flowered beauty as an annual or lift out and store overwinter.



Little Grapette Dwarf Daylily
Zone: 4 – 11

Compact clumps of grass-like leaves and lavender-purple flowers on tall stems.

Flower Carpet® Yellow Rose
Zone: 4 – 10

If they can stand up to road salt, a little chlorine and reflected heat are a breeze.


Oertel’s Rose Yarrow
Zone: 3 – 9

As tough as they come, but with tender-pink flowers that thrive in heat.



Scabrida Bamboo
Zone: 6 – 9

Plant this graceful bamboo for privacy, but also ideal for pots.Non-invasive.

Regal Mist® Pink Muhly Grass
Zone: 6 – 9

Mass this airy grass with pink-red flowers where it can be backlit by the sun.


Ivory Tower Yucca
Zone: 4 – 9

Sword-like evergreen leaves and spiky ivory white blooms. Loves heat and abuse.



Morning Light Maiden Grass
Zone: 5 – 9

Tall and blowsy with creamy-white margins creating a shimmering silvery appearance.


Hardy Ice Plant
Zone: 5 – 11

Heat, drought and salt tolerant with vibrant purple flowers over a very long period.


Limelight Hardy Hydrangea
Zone: 3 – 9

Makes a striking large hedge with lime-hued summer blooms changing to pink in fall.


  • Avoid plants that litter by dropping lots of leaves, needles, flowers, fruits, sap, or debris. This includes many trees but also some shrubs.
  • If planting very close to the pool or pool surround, avoid plants with sharp blades, thorns, spines that can cause injury. This includes cactus and some succulents.
  • Beware of plants with invasive roots that can tear up paving and impact stability of in-ground or above ground pools.
  • We love bees but swarms of them near the pool is no-go. Avoid magnets such as honeysuckle, bottlebrush, wisteria and some perennials.
  • Factor in the upkeep of poolside plantings and if you would rather swim than tend, consider lots of containers with a drip system set on a timer.

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