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April 24, 2019

3 Poolside Plants To Add This Year

Some people who want plants around their pool wonder if the chlorine in the water will affect them. Interestingly, splashing chlorinated water is of least concern when it comes to plants. What the owner needs to think about are the amount of sunlight, the climate, and the tidiness of the plant. Many of them grow to produce flowers, fruit or nuts that fall into the water and need to be fished out. Others are deciduous and drop their leaves during the cool weather or have sharp leaves, thorns or spines that can injure swimmers. With that in mind, here are three types of plants that are great for the poolside.

1. Ornamental Grass: Miscanthus 
The benefit of ornamental grasses around the pool is that most are beautiful without being messy or high maintenance. One of the most popular is the miscanthus. Also called eulalia, this grass does best in hardiness zones 5 to 9. It grows between 6 and 8 feet tall and gives height to the plantings around the pool side and produces pink or purple feathery flowers. It likes well-drained, loamy soil and does best in full sun. The pool owner should cut miscanthus back to 6 inches before the plant breaks its dormancy in late winter.

2. Succulents: Cacti, Agave and Aloe 
Succulents are plants that store water in their stems and leaves and have evolved to tolerate periods of drought. Some of them have evolved to tolerate extremes of temperature as well. Certain types of cacti are excellent for planting around the pool not only because of this but because these varieties of cacti are not especially spiny or prickly. They include species of Opuntia, which includes the prickly pear cactus. Varieties of these cacti have flat, round, spineless joints and produce showy, colorful flowers. The fruit of the prickly pear is also edible.

Other succulents to consider are the agave and the aloe which thrive in zones 9 to 11. Both of these plants have fleshy leaves. The aloe, which grows from 1 1/2 to 3 feet high, can also be used as a ground cover. Though the aloe can live after it flowers, the agave dies after it flowers though it leaves many plantlets behind.

Ground Cover: Stonecrop 
Stonecrop, which grows from 6 inches to 2 feet, is an excellent ground cover to plant around the pool. It is a succulent that produces clusters of pink flowers that turn bronze colored in the fall. The plant is nearly indestructible and can tolerate neglect and even soil that is dry and sterile. It is wide-ranging and thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 10.

These are only three of the types of plants that can be planted around the pool. They are beautiful, easy to care for and tidy. Use them with other plants to make the area around the pool a small paradise.

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