Pictured here is a hydrangea blooming by the pool.
Everyone loves diving into a pool in the middle of summer, but having plants around makes it that much more enjoyable. Whether you choose to put these poolside plants in pots or set them directly into the landscape, you should consider these plants. The chemicals of your pool are less of an issue than you would expect - the occasional splashing of water won't affect them. The larger concern is the high level of light. Because the surface of the pool and the decking reflect lots of light, you need plants that are ready to take on that challenge.
Cranberry Crush Hibiscus - Hibiscus moscheutos 'Cranberry Crush' PPAF
Hibiscus is the quintessential tropical plant. 'Cranberry Crush' Hibiscus lives up to that hype with large cranberry colored blooms that can expand up to eight inches in diameter. About three feet high and four feet wide, Cranberry Crush hibiscus is ready to go next to your pool and dazzle everyone with its beautifully colored blooms in zones four through nine.
Firepower Heavenly Bamboo - Nandina domestica 'Firepower'
As a poolside potted plant, Firepower Heavenly Bamboo will provide you with evergreen beauty during the summer, and a brilliant display of red foliage in the fall. Only two to three feet tall and wide, it is perfect for the poolside. With a tolerance for zones six through nine, the tropical feel of Firepower Heavenly Bamboo will last all year round.
Porcupine Grass - Miscanthus sinensis 'Strictus'
Gold and green striped blades and creamy white seed heads are the crowning glories of porcupine grass. At the height of six to eight feet and spreading up to four feet wide porcupine grass makes an ideal screen for a pool. Leave the foliage up over the winter for some interest, and enjoy it in the summer when it adds some unique color patterns to your poolside planting. It thrives in USDA zones 4-10, and will give you something unique to enjoy while swimming around.
Tempelhof Compact Hinoki Cypress - 'Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Tempelhof'
Another evergreen shrub, Tempelhof Compact Hinoki Cypress is the perfect plant to put in a container poolside. With its wavy, scale-like leaves, this plant looks like an anemone. Slightly tinged gold on the outside, but dark green on the inside, this shrub will reach 8-10 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide. This plant will flourish in zones 4-8, and is both deer resistant and easy to manage.
Daylily - Hemerocallis spp.
Bright, cheerful blooms are the highlight of this plant. Blooming from June through August, daylilies will thrive in just about any situation. Daylilies will thrive poolside, ranging from 20 to 24 inches tall. Try the species 'Entrapment' for a unique splash of purple, or 'Little Grapette' for a smaller, more compact plant. No matter what your needs are, though, there's a daylily just waiting to be planted by your pool. Even though poolside can be a harsh environment with all of the light reflecting onto your plants, try one of these to make a splash next to your pool. They are all relatively low-maintenance and won't drop a lot of small debris into your water. Happy swimming!