Pool Friendly Plants

Pools are a beautiful addition to any backyard, but the mess of fallen leaves and other organic debris can be a pain to keep up with. And yet, having lush foliage around your pool area can really enhance the aesthetics of your yard. 

The two main hazards with having trees or plants near your yard are the mess of leaves, and the potential risk of tree roots compromising your pool’s structure. However, there actually are a few really attractive options that won’t make a mess or cause any damage. 

Want to learn more? Check out Best Plants Around Your Pool, Both Large and Small from our friends at Sun Valley Pool Service. 

Here Are a Few Pool-Safe Plants to Consider 

Smaller Plants

Vines and grasses are a great option, because they’re low to the ground and therefore won’t drop an abundance of debris into the pool. Occasional pruning is all you need to keep them tidy. Here are a few good options:

  • Lemongrass is easy to care for and it creates very little mess. You can either pot it, or plant it around your pool deck. An added bonus is that its bright citrusy fragrance, while pleasant to humans, is a natural bug deterrent. 
  • Sweet potato vines are great for trellises, small fences, ground cover, or even as a potted vine. These guys are rapid growers and they come in a variety of lovely colors. Vines don’t drop their leaves  
  • English Ivy is what most think of when they picture a typical vine. With their classic deep green leaves, they’re a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any landscape. 


Trees with minimal shedding- or that drop their leaves all at once- are easier to mind that those who shed consistently throughout the year. Additionally, there are a few whose root systems are less of a risk to your in ground pool. Here are a few:

  • Bamboo isn’t a “true” a tree, but its fronds can certainly get as tall as one! Its shedding is minimal, its roots are shallow, and it’s a prolific grower. In fact, the one downside is that bamboo can become invasive if not contained or pruned regularly.  
  • Willow Acacia produces a deep root system that is more likely to reach down rather than out as it spreads. As an evergreen, it drops its leaves very infrequently, although you do need to watch out for occasional seed pods. 
  • Live Oak Trees are also evergreens- again, leaving very little mess. They provide excellent shade, as they tend to get quite large. However, due to their size, they do need a bit more space from your pool for root growth. 20 feet is considered safe.