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5 Plants to Avoid Placing Near Your Swimming Pool

Landscaping around a swimming pool is a great way to enhance the design and add color and texture to your outdoor space. However, not all plants are suitable for poolside planting. Some varieties can create maintenance headaches or pose safety risks. So, whether you're considering installing container planters or deciding whether or not your backyard tree needs to go, understanding what plants may cause issues can save you a world of trouble down the line. Here are five plants to avoid placing near your swimming pool:


1.Willow Trees:

willow tree

Willow trees are undoubtably beautiful. And while they may offer graceful foliage and provide shade, their invasive root systems can wreak havoc on pool structures and plumbing. Willow roots spread far and wide, seeking out sources of water. When that water source is a pool, these roots can penetrate pipes, concrete, and pool liners, causing costly damage and leaks. To avoid potential problems, steer clear of planting willow trees or other trees with widespread, invasive root systems near your swimming pool.


2. Fruit-Bearing Trees:

orange tree bearing fruit

Fruit-bearing trees such as citrus, apple, and cherry trees are appealing to many homeowners. Not only do they offer beautiful displays of spring flowers, but having a fruiting tree can be a welcome source of fresh, homegrown produce. But before you plant that orange tree next to you pool, think again. Falling fruit is inherently messy. Dropping fruit can create a messy and slippery surface around the pool, which is both unsightly as well as poses a slipping hazard for swimmers. Furthermore, fruit debris can clog pool filters. Rotting fruit's sweet smell can also attract unwanted pests like bees and wasps which can be a danger to swimmers.


3. Bamboo:

bamboo plant

Bamboo is prized for its fast growth and lush foliage, making it a popular choice for privacy screens and landscapes in warm or tropical climates. However, like willows, bamboo's aggressive spreading habit and dense root system can quickly take over an area, causing damage to pool decks, paving, and underground utilities. In addition, bamboo leaves and debris can create a maintenance headache by clogging pool filters and skimmers. To prevent invasive growth and potential damage, avoid planting bamboo near your swimming pool.


4. Cottonwood Trees:

cottonwood tree

Cottonwood trees are known for their rapid growth and large, dense canopy, which provides ample shade and shelter. However, their namesake fluffy white seeds can create a mess when they fall into the pool, clogging filters and skimmers and requiring frequent cleaning. In addition, cottonwood trees produce a sticky sap that can be difficult to remove from pool surfaces and furniture, creating maintenance and clean up headaches.


5. Thorny or Prickly Plants:

rose bush growing on trellis

Plants with thorns or prickles, such as roses, cacti, and certain types of shrubs, should be avoided near swimming pools to prevent injuries to swimmers. Accidentally brushing against thorny plants while entering or exiting the pool can cause painful scratches or puncture wounds. In addition, fallen thorns or prickly fruit can create a hazard on pool decks and walkways, especially for bare feet. Some families may be able to make these plants work, but those with small children or pets may want to steer clear.


6. Popular Pollinator Plants

bee covered in pollen

Finally, while large flower pots or flowering bushes are beautiful to look at, take precaution before lining your pool deck. Like falling fruit, popular pollinator plants may attract stinging insects. Pool water is already a popular drinking hole for many of these pests, and adding more elements to attract them could be a recipe for disaster. If you want to include flowering or pollinator friendly plants, move them a safe distance away from your pool.


When planning your poolside landscaping, it's essential to choose plants that complement your swimming pool while minimizing maintenance and safety concerns. By avoiding certain plants, you can create a beautiful and hassle-free outdoor space that you can enjoy for years to come. Take the time to research and select suitable plants that will enhance the beauty and functionality of your pool area without causing unwanted problems or hazards.


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