Plant What Where | Poolside Plantings

Date: 03-12-2017

PLANT WHAT WHERE | Poolside Planting

With the right plant selections, a backyard pool can be transformed into a private oasis. The right plants can provide shade and privacy, while also setting the scene for the surrounding outdoor space. They can also be the difference between pleasure and pain for pool owners – the right plantings can drastically reduce pool maintenance, making pool ownership an enjoyable experience.


  • When selecting poolside plants, ensure the plants will not overgrow the space.
  • Avoid plants with invasive root systems that might interfere with the pool structure, paving or underground plumbing.
  • Consider the effect of rotting leaves, flowers or berries on filtration and cleaning equipment, as well as possible staining of paving or coping.
  • Consider any maintenance and pruning required to keep the plants manageable.
  • If selecting a flowering variety, look for summer flowering varieties that can be enjoyed during the pool season.


Plant Selections:


Cycas revoluta
Also known as the sago palm, this cycad is a very hardy plant. Featuring dark green foliage, it will grow in most conditions, and is ideal for recreating that tropical resort ‘look and feel’ in the garden.

Ligularia Reniformis
Add texture to the garden with this lush perennial featuring large, glossy dark green ‘tractor seat’ foliage. Great for underplanting a pleached hedge or feature tree.

This evergreen perennial is perfect for use in Modern Native, Tropical and Formal designs. Features dark green, glossy foliage. Plant en-masse under trees or informal borders for a fine grass effect.

Philodendron ‘Xanadu’
Popular for its lush foliage and dramatically lobed leaves. Requires high light conditions in cooler climates for optimal growth. Can be planted in drifts for a mass tropical display or combines well with other plantings.



Buxus microphylla var. microphylla
A small, rounded evergreen shrub that is densely foliated with bright green, glossy leaves. Ideal for planting under trees and performs well in semi shaded areas. It grows well in containers for a formal look or a small clipped hedge.

Rhaphiolepis ‘Spring Pearl’
Featuring dark green, leathery leaves, this evergreen shrub is a great low maintenance selection for beside the pool. It has a dense mounding form, perfect for both formal and informal gardens.



Acmena ‘Firescreen’ pbr
This low maintenance lillypilly features glossy mid-green foliage with coppery new growth, which fades to bronze. It has very few berries, and is quick-growing, making it ideal for a creating privacy.

Laurus ‘Miles Choice’
This Bay Laurel is a fantastic hedging plant suited to Melbourne’s temperate climate. Features dark green foliage, and bright green new growth. Small cream flowers appear in October.  Clip twice a year for a formal look.

Magnolia grandiflora 'Teddy Bear'pbr
A compact plant with an upright habit. Leaves are small, cup shaped, glossy and dark green. Produces large, fragrant white flowers from November to May.

Osmanthus fragrans
Evergreen upright shrub, small tubular creamy yellow flowers beautifully perfumed, green leaves with a slightly serrated edge.


Prunus Lusitanica
Glossy dark green leaves with slender spikes of small, scented white flowers in late Spring. Creates a dense, thick dark green screen when clipped. Flower drop can be limited by Summer pruning.

Viburnum odoratissimum ‘Dense Fence’pbr
A dense, fast growing, evergreen shrub. Features rounded olive-green foliage with subtle red new growth. Excellent for creating privacy in the garden. Ideal for coastal gardens.

Magnolia grandiflora 'Sweet Carolina'pbr
A superbly handsome evergreen tree with feature foliage maturing from light new burgundy growth in spring to glossy dark green with velvet copper undersides. It’s heavily perfumed white flowers bloom from spring to summer and can grow to 25cm in diameter.  Can pe pleached to feature a clear trunk to allow for updated pool planting regulations.


Magnolia alba
This large evergreen tree features small flowers and grows to 6 metres in Melbourne. It is ideal as a large informal screen. On a warm humid night, the scent from the flowers can be enjoyed from a great distance.


Living Pergolas
Grown from deciduous Plane Trees or large-leafed Maples, Living Pergolas stand approximately 3m tall. The foliage is trained horizontally along a trellised wire, creating a living roof structure that provides shade in Summer, and dappled sun in Winter. Ideal for creating an entertaining area near the pool.


For more inspiration:

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