Even if you don’t use your pool during the winter, the deck and surrounding area are still a significant part of your backyard’s aesthetic. For those who pride themselves not only on having a gorgeous pool area but on having an attractive yard year-round, we have some good news about which winter-hardy plants you can add to your pool deck.
When it comes to making an informed decision about winter gardening near your pool, there are 4 main things to keep in mind:
- Does the plant remain healthy all 4 seasons of the year?
- Does it make a mess in the fall when it sheds its foliage?
- What are its sun vs. shade requirements?
- What are its soil and watering requirements?
There is a difference between plants that “overwinter” well and those that thrive year-round. You may already have some plants around your pool deck that are presently dormant, but you know they’ll bounce back beautifully come springtime.
What we’re exploring in this article is a selection of plants that STAY beautiful no matter the weather or the season. With these, your outdoor decor will always have a splash of lively color even in the bleakest winter months.
Evergreens are your safest bet for minimizing fallen foliage that gets into your pool water and drains. And you might be surprised how many options you have regarding evergreens that don’t look like those classic needly Christmas tree types!
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However, there are plenty of others that either shed minimally or have very large leaves that are easy to either scoop or sweep away. There are also some shade-loving beauties you might consider planting, only a bit further away from the poolside.
Sun and Shade
You want your sun loving winter plants to be of the sort that don’t heavily shed their foliage in the fall, so you can plant them near the pool without making a mess. That, or you can choose planters that can be moved further out as the cooler season sets in.
But as for your shade lovers, planting in a nearby garden spot that’s a couple meters from your pool is often a mess-free option in keeping your yard colorful around the deck.
Soil and Water
Plants that require well-drained soil obviously should not be immediately adjacent to a well-used pool! Splashing and overflow can drench them to the point of demise.
In addition to the previous 3 factors, keep this in mind when choosing what to place where around your pool and deck area. Again, utilizing mobile planters may be a wise decision.
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Good Options for Poolside Plants that are Winter Hardy
Coral Bells produce tall, thin stalks of tiny, lacy flowers that bloom in an variety of pinks and reds. But even when not in bloom, their colorful foliage sticks around through the winter.
The leaves of a coral bell are large and lobed, with bright green coloring and maroon veins. These plants require shaded, well-drained soil so they are a good bet for areas several feet away from the pool, perhaps at the base of a shrub hedge along the back fence.
Baptisia are native to the prairie, so they are comfortable in both extremes of heat and cold. They’re slow growers, but they’ll live for decades if cared for properly!
When baptisia aren’t showing off their spring bloom of white, yellow, purple, and blue flowers, they offer a lovely sage-green spray of foliage. Both the petals and the leaves are quite small, so you may want to plant them in a container you can relocate to avoid a mess in the fall.
In addition to these great ideas, we also have some helpful advice on What You Should Not Plant Around a Pool!
True to its name, the blue spruce produces bluish-green needles all year round. It can be pruned as a shrub or allowed to grow to full height as a tree.
As with many evergreens, this one will not make much mess, if any, in the autumn. This and its preference for full sun make it a good candidate for placement right along the pool deck.
These beauties love sun and water, making them great poolside companions. They produce bright- to dark-green foliage until winter sets in, at which point festive red berries adorn their lengthy stems.
While winterberries are beautiful year-round and generally low-maintenance, the smaller leaves may be a bit of a hindrance come fall. Just be sure you sweep and scoop diligently while the pool is still open!
Hostas grow actively all through the winter, gracing your pool deck with the color and texture of their huge, dark-green leaves. Their pointed oval foliage will sometimes shed, but it’s large enough to make for easy cleanup.
When in bloom, these shade lovers come in a seemingly endless variety of colors and sizes, and they get along well when planted near other shade-loving flowers.