How to Landscape Around Your Pool in Orlando

image of a swimming pool in orlando

Are you lucky enough to have a pool in sunny Orlando? We can’t think of many better ways to cool off over the summer months! But before you start taking dives, you need to know how to landscape around your pool in Orlando to make the most of it. After all, what’s the point of having a pool if it doesn’t have an inviting environment to enjoy it in?

We’ve broken your project down into a straightforward guide to help you get the most out of your pool landscaping setup. Read on to find out how landscaping around your pool can add an extra wow factor and make your pool look top-tier.

Can You Design Your Own Pool-Side Landscape Plan?

Some people might tell you it’s best to hire a professional landscaper for the job, and sure, we have to agree that having a pro might be easier. But if you feel that DIY energy, there are some simple steps you can take to create your own beautiful and low-maintenance landscape plan.

Start by looking at some ideas online and making a list of the designs and looks that appeal to you most. Keep an eye out for examples that fit your style preference, color palette, and budget. Once you’ve narrowed down all this information, it’s time to work out the details of your plan.

In order to get the best result, make sure to consider your maintenance needs. Do you have time for regular pruning and upkeep? Will you need to hire someone else for more labor-intensive jobs? It’s also important to keep in mind the type of plants you select to make sure they can handle living in a poolside environment.

What Plants Should I Select for Pool Landscaping? 

A wooden fence surrounding a pool in the backyard with a yellow slide
Photo Credit: irina88w / Canva Pro / License

Choose plants that won’t drop a lot of litter, don’t have aggressive roots, and don’t have spines or thorns. Don’t forget to add an element of shade, too. It’ll make your poolside relaxing, even on the hottest of summer days.

If you want to use plants that are ‘chlorine-tolerant,’ then think about using alphas and cordylines, or for saltwater pools, then go with bromeliads and foxtail agaves that can handle saltiness better. It’s also smart to prepare in advance for the growth of larger plants, so factor mature height and spread into your calculations.

Here are some of the best plants for pool landscaping in Orlando:

Roebelenii Palm

Have you seen these cute little guys? Dwarf date palms like the Roebelenii usually fit inside a pool screen enclosure, but you’ll get extra points if you can display them nicely outside.

They have long, arching, glossy green leaves that give you an instant tropical feel, and you can plant more than one for a multi-trunk effect. The downside is that they have spines – so work out ahead of time how you’ll prune them carefully. If done right, they’ll be your pride and joy.

While you’re at it, check out our other tips for landscaping with palm trees in Orlando!


Who doesn’t love a bit of bold color next to the pool? Crotons love heat and come in a rainbow of really vibrant colors. Think bright pink, red, purple, and yellow. Make sure you bring those sunglasses along when you take a dip!

Crotons prefer indirect sunlight or dappled shade, and you can find them at heights of six feet or more. They’re perfect for a pool landscaping focal point. And if you’re into exotic foliage, definitely check out our next top pick!

Xanadu Philodendron 

Prepare to fall in love with the Xanadu for your poolside. It comes with shiny, leathery leaves and more than a dozen lobes. The best part? It’s easy to maintain since it reaches no more than four feet high and wide.

Use it for a dark green background for splashier plants like crotons. Whether you decide on these or other plants, be sure to add some cute colorful annuals to bring in a bit of further color throughout the swimming season. 


Bromeliads look like they were born to be part of your pool landscape. They love humidity, so Central Florida is the perfect place for them, and they’ll relish being next to the pool as much as you do. And let’s not forget about their colors – from light pinks, purples, and blues to bright reds.

You can also find them in multiple sizes, so you really have your pick of plenty of options if you’re looking for something special. These cute plants look great in a corner of your pool or make a wonderful feature near a pergola. 

What You Shouldn’t Plant Around Your Pool 

It’s a good idea to avoid any plants that have burrs, thorns, spines, or other irritations (although these are manageable with vigilant pruning).

Also, you don’t want anything that sheds leaves or fruits too much and overtaxes your filtration system. Hardwood trees with multiple hardwood leaves can be a no-no since they drop constantly and stick to the floor of your pool.

Pool Landscaping Design Ideas & Tips 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When it comes to making your poolside Orlando dreams come true, here are our top tips: 

Remember That Plants Grow

You’re undoubtedly excited to put in a palm tree, and while it might look perfect now, don’t forget that it can outgrow its space in five or so years. Make sure you plan ahead and choose plants that won’t take up too much room as they grow. In the long run, it’ll save you from a lot of headaches.

No Littering 

If you want to avoid dealing with leaves that end up in your pool, stay away from plants like Hawaiian Ti. They might look super fun, but you don’t want all that mess and extra work to clean them up.

While you’re at it, select plants that can take a bit more chlorine or salt water in order to be sure they won’t die from your pool environment.

Frost-Proof Plants 

Even in Central Florida, you’ll experience some chill from time to time. If you’ve got your heart set on some more sensitive plants, then fear not.

The air near a pool is typically warmer than in other parts of your yard, so you won’t need to worry about frost damage as much. Plants like foxtail agaves will be your friends here. 

Choose Containers or Rocks Carefully 

Rocky ground covers are very popular and great if you want to avoid mulching, but make sure you plan on regularly cleaning up any debris to avoid getting a messy look around your swimming pool. Also, be sure to choose smooth pebbles that won’t hurt your bare feet when you’re lounging around the pool. 

You could also go for some colorful pots that you can keep in control easier than taking care of plants in the ground, but again make sure there won’t be too much extra work for you in terms of upkeep.

Go Native & Avoid Aggressive Roots 

If you’re more of a low-maintenance type, then go ahead and have fun with some Florida native plants

While you’ll need to prune them occasionally, they don’t require a lot of water or extra care and are likely to stick around for years. Just avoid any invasive roots since they’ll end up creating havoc for your pool. 

Tropical Touches

Can it be a pool in Orlando without going full tropical? That’s up to you, but whatever your style may be, it might be worth considering adding a few tropical touches here and there.

Succulent plants can look amazing against a wall or poolside, and make sure to add some bright and beautiful flowers like hibiscus. 

Artificial Turf Vs. Real Turf

Backyard with artificial turd and a patio set on a deck
Artificial turf
Photo credit: Perfect Grass / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Mowing the grass around a swimming pool can be a pain, so a great solution might be synthetic turf. It looks just like the real thing but without having to worry about maintenance or pesky mosquitoes since it has no soil underneath. 

But if you want a more natural and eco-friendly poolscape, you can go with regular turfgrass or a low-maintenance groundcover. If you’re thinking turf, go with one of the best grass types for Orlando. Another good idea here is to plant clover instead of regular grass, as it requires little to no maintenance. 

Ornamental grasses or wildflower meadows are also great options if you want to replace turf with something unique.


Want your dream pool landscape to be low-maintenance and easy to handle? Then choose mulch the right way! Especially if you have no shade in your garden, mulching around plants helps them retain moisture and keeps them looking healthy.

Your best bet is always organic mulch types. Cypress and cedar wood chips, for example, provide great protection during the hottest months but don’t cause issues with tree roots. Managing heat and moisture around your pool should be one of your main concerns, and with the right type of mulch, this should be a breeze. 

FAQ About Landscaping Around Your Pool in Orlando 

Are you required to have a fence around your pool in Florida?

Yes, any private swimming pool in Florida is required to have a 4-foot fence or any other barrier around it. This is to help ensure the safety of young children in the vicinity. 

Why do people cover their pools in Orlando?

Covering a pool helps minimize the amount of debris and leaves that can get in your pool. It also helps control evaporation and maintain heat for longer periods. Not to mention, it keeps animals out of your pool when you’re away.

What types of native trees work well around pools in Orlando? 

Trees native to Orlando, like oaks, maples, magnolias, and cypress trees, are perfect for pool landscaping since their root systems don’t damage concrete or become a nuisance. You should also consider native shrubs, grasses, and flowers for extra fragrance and character. 

Create a Vibrant and Inviting Poolside in Orlando

Landscaping around your pool doesn’t have to be costly, time-consuming, or complicated. From careful plant selection and expert tips to beautiful design ideas, you can find the perfect landscape for your Florida poolside oasis all on your own. Don’t want to do it yourself? You can always hire a professional Orlando landscaper to make sure you get the perfect poolside landscape. In the end, it’ll be worth every penny!

Main Image Credit: Pixabay

Adrian Nita

Adrian Nita

Adrian is a former marine navigation officer turned writer with more than 3 years of experience in the field. He loves writing about anything and everything but specializes in covering smart technology and gardening. When he's not writing, Adrian enjoys spending time with his family and friends or hiking in the great outdoors.