6 Plants You Should Not Plant Near Your Pool
We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.

6 Plants You Should Not Plant Near Your Pool

When planned properly, your pool area can be a true respite from the crazy world of busy lives, high-demand jobs, school, and even the kids (when you need that moment!). And planting the right lush greenery, flowers, shrubs, or trees nearby can help make your pool area the perfect spot for relaxation and escape.

But the wrong plants can add a lot of work or draw insects or other unpleasantness. So, you must choose your pool design and the plants to accompany wisely. Below you can find a list of the worst plants to have near your pool oasis.


Image credits: Ada K via Pixabay

Acacias are evergreen trees native to Australia that grow well in zones 7 to 12 in the USA. They have flowers in white or yellow and are quite attractive. Unfortunately, they’re not a great choice for growing around your pool.

Acacias have pods and sap and flower clusters that release in various seasons, making a bit of a mess around their little zones. This means your pool will get gunked up and gnarly with the droppings and sap from the tree.

Most Trees

most trees
Image credits: Coeleur via Pixabay

Keep away most trees from the pool area for many reasons – most of them debris-related. When leaves and bark, branches, and twigs fall, they land wherever they will – often gumming up your pool filter or messing with your pH levels, etc., in the pool water.

Additionally, trees attract birds and animals, which means your pool can become a hazard zone for animals.

Trees also can cause issues if you’re planning to use a solar heater, as they throw shade on various portions of the pool area, which prevents the sun from hitting those solar cells and heating things.


Image credits: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

While a nice pool fence made of bamboo can be a gorgeous feature that adds a tropical vibe, planting an actual bamboo nearby won’t be your best bet. You can, of course, grow bamboo in your little oasis area. However, keep it away from within reach of the pool. The leaf litter from this beautiful plant can be a real problem for your water and your filter.


Image credits: Vane Monte via Pixabay

Bougainvillea is one of the most interesting-looking and beautiful, vibrantly colored climbing flowers in the Americas. The shrub-like vine is a stunning choice for most situations in subtropical and tropical areas, showing off its vibrant reds, mauves, purples, pinks, whites, and yellows.

Unfortunately, these gorgeous plants are a terrible choice for placing anywhere near the pool. The paper thing bracts around the flowers are incredibly messy things that blow everywhere and clog up filters.


Image credits: dae jeung kim via Pixabay

Another stunning flowering plant that’s incredibly popular is the beautiful Azalea, known as the “royalty of the garden.” The beautiful plant has more than 800 species and comes in a huge range of stunning colors. The evergreen shrub is hardy and grows in many zones across the world, as well – and so it’s an incredibly beautiful choice that almost anyone can enjoy.

Unfortunately, they’re also a messy plant and should not be placed anywhere near a pool. Well, not near enough to shed into a pool or have flowers blown to it. If you want them nearby, plant them in containers instead or far enough off that when flowering season occurs their dropped blooms won’t make it into the pool filter for a messy clean-up.


bottlebrush blooms
Image credits: Chesna via Pixabay

Bottlebrush is native to Australia and made its way over to the Americas, and thrives here in zones 9 to 11. They’re a beautiful flowering hedge/shrub that looks amazing, thanks to the vibrant red blooms. They are, however, notorious for their messiness.

When the gorgeous flowers start to shed, they shed everywhere imaginable – making a huge mess. And the little needle-like “petals” of the blooms carry on the wind incredibly easily, meaning they really shouldn’t be grown anywhere remotely near a pool.

Beautiful Alternatives for Your Poolside Oasis

All right, so we’ve read about some plants that should go nowhere near a pool. Let’s take a quick look at some plants that do well nearby instead.

Some of the best plants to grow near a pool can include:

  • Hardy Banana
  • Angel’s Trumpet
  • Succulents
  • Banksia
  • Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine
  • Cacti
  • Wildflowers
  • Passionflower vines
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae
  • Japanese Maple
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Hawaiian Hibiscus
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Zebra Grass
  • Egyptian Papyrus

In most cases, the plants still shouldn’t be directly next to the pool (there’s always some shedding!), but these are less likely to cause as many problems like those listed above while still providing vibrant color and aesthetic interest.

Plants For Your Poolside Sanctuary

While there are many beautiful plants that make for great poolside choices, these 6 plants should never go poolside, at least not if you want to keep things clear, clean, and easy. When choosing plants to go near your pool, always consider the kind of droppings they may, the animals they attract, and proximity to the pool itself. Avoid anything that sheds a lot, has a lot of sap, or draws many animals as these will all add work and make your backyard paradise much more work than you probably want.