POOL FRIENDLY PLANTS
Selecting the right plants, shrubs and trees can significantly reduce maintenance and chemical costs.
|Beautifying your swimming pool area with plants not only adds colour and depth to the surrounding landscape but also can provide shade, privacy and protection from wind. And while many of us have our favourite go-to species, they may not be the best choices for growing near a saltwater or chlorinated pool.
Pool friendly plants must be capable of thriving in semi-shaded to full sunlight, tolerant of wind due to the normally exposed nature of pool decks, and be able to withstand intermittent salt or chlorine exposure from pool splash.
In some cases, notably heated pools protected from prevailing winds, increased humidity levels and intense sunlight reflected from pool water can create a harsh microclimate that puts plants under further duress.
Regardless of whether you have a recently built formal pool or an old-fashioned freeform design, choosing the right plants, shrubs and trees for your pool area can save you time, money and physical effort.
Choose litter-free plants
Plants with minimal leaf litter, and preferably ones without spines, thorns or seed pods, will mean less time vacuuming the pool – and less demand on your filtration system.
The messiest plants are gum trees which drop leaves and twigs all year round, as do jacarandas, silky oaks and Illawarra flame trees — and, annoyingly, they often do it right through the warmer months while you’re using the pool!
Instead, consider palm trees, cordylines and flax plants along with large leafed shrubs as these are easier to clean up and don’t drop leaves as often.
It also pays to look at the way wind blows around the pool. Try to plant trees and shrubs on the opposite side to the incoming winds.
Avoid robust root systems
Species with invasive and potentially destructive root systems like bamboo and umbrella trees might look majestic above-ground but below ground can damage pool paving, underground water pipes and even the pool shell.
Other species to avoid include rubber trees, messy melaleucas and deciduous trees. Also watch out for plants prone to pests and diseases, as pesticides and pool water are a dangerous mix.
Spring brings pollen
While nothing can be done to prevent microscopic pollen spores from blowing into your pool while you’re swimming in it, regular upkeep throughout spring will ensure they don’t wreak too much havoc on its cleaning and filtration equipment.
Regularly clean baskets during periods of heavy pollen explosions, replacing any that are faulty, broken or not operating properly. If your pool is flanked by a lot of flowering plants, consider attaching a fine material such as cheesecloth or pantyhose to your skimmer before cleaning the pollen from the surface of the water.
If you plan to go away for the weekend, roll out your pool cover to prevent pollen from being blown into the pool while you’re away.
Reduce pollen-rich plants
While nothing can be done to prevent microscopic pollen spores from blowing into your pool, regular upkeep throughout spring will ensure they don’t wreak too much havoc on chemicals and filtration equipment.
Regularly clean baskets during spring and summer, replacing any that are faulty, broken or not operating properly. If your pool is surrounded by flowering plants, consider attaching a fine material such as cheesecloth or pantyhose to your skimmer before cleaning the pollen from the surface of the water.
Image courtesy Byron Luxury Beach Houses
Image courtesy of A Total Concept
Image courtesy of Polar Pools