Are you looking to spice up your pool area? The right landscaping — or poolscaping — can make a big difference! Poolscaping is a term used to describe how the area around a pool is enhanced to complement the pool itself. Whether you want to establish a resort-like feel or something more casual, the plants and the locations you choose for them go a long way in setting the desired mood for your slice of Central Florida paradise!
What to Consider When Choosing Plants for Your Pool Area
In addition to creating an attractive, inviting environment conducive to relaxation, recreation and entertaining, you’ll want to select plants that will thrive in their environment. While this is basic advice for all types of landscaping, pool areas have somewhat different considerations. For example, you need to be careful about which plants you place close to the pool itself. Some varieties are sensitive, and could be affected by pool chemicals from splashing water.
When selecting a plant, make sure the area provides the light and soil conditions the specific plant needs to prevent growth issues, and know the plant’s mature size so you can plant in an area with adequate space. This is especially important when planting within a screened enclosure.
Additionally, make sure the chosen plant’s root system won’t cause problems with the foundation around the pool. Avoid trees with aggressive root systems that seek out water, such as willow or ficus. For pools without a screen enclosure, avoid installing deciduous trees — which drop leaves in the autumn — or pine trees, which also shed in fall. Needless to say, those leaves and pine needles wind up in the pool, and can clog pool equipment! This is as good a time as any to recommend you call us to trim overhanging branches that add to the debris in your pool or roof gutters.
If you have a more elaborate outdoor area, consider such factors as suitability for the patio feature they’re meant to accent. Plants with overhanging leaves or fluffy inflorescences — such as muhly grass — should not be used around fire features. When poolscaping for an area with multiple defined zones — such as an outdoor kitchen, dining, shade structure (gazebo), etc., make sure that the plantings aesthetically work together to create an attractive, cohesive environment.
You also need to consider the comfort and safety of those enjoying the pool area. Cactus varieties can be a good choice, as long as they’re planted away from high-traffic areas where people or pets could brush against the needles. In general, any plant with needles or thorns should not be placed in close proximity to where people will gather.
Of course, you’ll want to install low-maintenance plants. If you do your own pool maintenance, you already work hard enough! Even if you have a pool service, choose plants that require minimal care. Look at Florida native and Florida-hardy plants, such as croton, hibiscus and pygmy date palm — to name but a few. Our blog post — “Landscaping with Florida Native Plants” — offers some good ideas to get started!
Best Plants and Trees for Central Florida Pool Areas
We’ve already dropped a few names of plants and trees that will enhance your poolscape. Others include the following:
- Spineless century plant (Agave attenuata)
- Areca palm
If you’re going for a tropical feel, consider a bird of paradise. It’s the quintessential Florida pool plant, adding island flair whether planted in a container or in-ground. There are two varieties: orange (Strelitzia reginae) and white (Strelitzia nicolai). The orange bird of paradise is more common in Central Florida, and more versatile than its white counterpart, which reaches a mature height of 20-to-30 feet — making it more suitable for open areas as opposed to pool enclosures. As the white bird of paradise can easily tower over a single-story house, it’s best recommended for a two-story residence.
Consider ornamental grasses for additional privacy and color. Purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis) grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and wide, producing reddish-purple flowers throughout the year. Native Florida gama grass (Tripsacum floridana) grows 2 to 4 feet tall and wide, producing yellow flowers in summer. Both perform the best when planted in full sun and in well-drained soil.
Gardening writer Lisa Hallett Taylor provides some great suggestions and inspiration in her article for The Spruce on poolscaping, with valuable in-depth information for those interested in learning more.
Great Landscaping Ideas for Enclosed Pools
Pool enclosures protect against mosquitos, animal intrusion and plant debris. However, they pose a challenge to come up with poolscaping ideas that unite your enclosed pool with its surrounding landscape.
Container plants are an easy, low-maintenance solution. They can be placed in a variety of locations, and the containers themselves add texture and visual interest. One popular container plant is the Creeping Jenny. Its small, round golden-green leaves drape over the sides and cascade down the container. Creeping Jenny can be planted on its own, or as an underplanting for a taller container plant. It needs partial sun and well-drained soil, so be sure that the requirements of any “container mate” are the same.
All Seasons Pools offers the following suggestions for enclosed pools:
- Plant flowering shrubs instead of large arrangements of flowers. They are easier to care for than most varieties of flowers and offer plenty of vibrant greenery.
- If you do decide to plant flowers, choose perennials, as they should come back again each year, keeping you from having to replant new flowers the following year.
- Use self-watering reservoirs or a self-watering drip system to keep your potted plants watered. This saves you the trouble of frequent watering and saves your plants from neglect when life gets busy.
- Underplant potted trees with flowering vines and ivy to bring in more color.
- Avoid placing potted trees too close to the water. This will cut down on the amount of foliage and other debris that ends up in your pool.
- Add color variety by choosing large-leafed plants in a range of hues like purple leaf alocasias or red leaf bromeliads and philodendrons.
- If you have grass in your enclosure, consider replacing it with gravel, stones or mulch.
- Look up! Hanging baskets can add visual interest at a higher level.
The Take-Home Message
Your pool and patio are much more than your personal oasis — they’re your family’s center for relaxation and recreation. If you’re ready to enjoy them more and work less on their maintenance, call us at Daniel’s Lawn Service & Pressure Washing! We can plan the perfect poolscape, install trees and plants, and maintain them — so you can sit back and relax … or splash around … or float … or sip a cool drink … or show off your grilling skills!
No matter which area of your property you want to improve, we can handle all of your landscaping needs. We also provide pressure washing services to clean your walkways, decks and exterior walls. Visit our Photo Gallery to see our work for yourself. Our experienced professionals take pride in making your Central Florida lawn the best on the block! All you have to do is pick up the phone and call us today!