Do you really want a high-maintenance relationship with your swimming pool or spa? The kind that requires you to spend your free time (what’s that?) cleaning out twigs, spent flowers, fruit, and plant debris from nearby poolside landscaping?
The whole idea of a pool is to enjoy time with family and friends while maybe getting in some exercise, in the privacy of your own backyard. Hours of maintenance is not what you signed up for.
“Anything with thorns is a ‘no,’ as well as plants with small flowers that will bypass a skimmer basket,” advises Myles McMorrow, owner of Pool Services Network, a swimming pool service company based in the Washington DC area. He continues: “Some types of ornamental grasses (like maidenhair) hang over the pool when they get too tall. Their blades are sharp, and they’re too large to fit into skimmers and cleaners after they fall into the pool. I’d also avoid flowering trees, like cherry and plum.”
On the subject of things to be aware of when selecting poolside plants: find out how far their root systems are likely to spread, so you won’t get roots in your water pipes.
But we’re focusing on plants that shed. Our list of messy trees, shrubs, and vines is presented alphabetically.