February 23, 2022

16 Tropical Pool Landscaping Ideas to Transform Your Property into a Beautiful Oasis

In the DFW area, having a pool is almost essential. Once the summer temperatures start to rise, we all start looking for a place to cool off. Community pools make HOAs and multi-family properties more desirable. From hotels and resorts to sprawling estates and ranches, pools increase property value across the board.

But pools are not all created equal. A rectangle hole of water surrounded by hot concrete is hardly appealing. Fortunately, there are ways to incorporate plant life and other structural features to change your pool from drab to dreamy.

Here are sixteen tropical pool landscaping ideas to spruce up your outdoor spaces.

Swimming Pool Landscaping Ideas

Our landscape designers have worked with many estate owners and HOA communities to provide professional landscape services in Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas. We have swimming pool landscaping ideas that can help you create the paradise you’re looking for. Read on for some plant suggestions, then give us a call!

Pool Friendly Plants and Trees

  1. Emerald Green Arborvitae or Nelly R Stevens Holly – Either one of these hardy evergreens will make a good privacy screen around your pool area. Blocking your pool paradise from the rest of the world will help make it even more of a tropical getaway.
    • Since it will take quite a few plants to line the perimeter of your pool area, we recommend planting a mixture of shrubs or trees instead of one single thing. Besides being more interesting to look at, if disease hits one section of arborvitae, it won’t destroy all of them in a domino effect.
  2. Chinese Yellow Banana (Musella lasioscarpa) – This cold-hardy banana shrub grows 5 feet tall and can form clumps as much as 15 feet wide (if you want to let it get that big). It is a perennial, so you can enjoy it year after year.
  3. Japanese Banana Tree (Musa Basjoo) – If you’re looking for a taller banana plant, this one grows up to 14 feet tall and wide. Its roots can handle our Texas winters if it is well mulched, but the leaves will die back each year. It may be necessary to wrap the trunks in burlap or bubble wrap to protect them from hard freezes.
  4. Palm Trees – Nothing says “tropical” quite like a palm tree! For best results in North Texas, choose the Windmill Palm (Trachycarpus fortunae) which grows 8-10 feet tall and is the hardiest of all palms in cold weather. In Zone 8 or higher, the Texas Palm (Sabal mexicana) is also a good choice.
  5. Star Jasmine (Trachleospermum jasminoides) – If you have a pergola or fence near your patio or pool, this would be a great plant to add. It quickly climbs up to 18 feet if supported well and has a nice fragrant scent. Consider planting several to help enhance your privacy screen.
  6. Limelight Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) – While traditional hydrangeas are found in shady gardens, Limelight can handle full sun. Its bright green blooms will really go well with all the other colorful flowers around your pool. Plus, it’s a perennial shrub that can handle intense Dallas summers with no problems! It will spread out 6-8 feet tall and wide. (If that’s too big, consider its smaller cousin “Little Lime.”
  7. Ornamental Grasses – Adding grasses to the trees, shrubs, and flowers around a pool is a great idea. They come in many varieties and sizes, so there’s bound to be one that fits your landscape perfectly.
  8. Daylilies – Although not considered a tropical plant, the bold blooms of this perennial favorite can add a lot of color to your pool landscape.

Container Plants for Tropical Pools

  1. Hibiscus – The big blooms and bold colors of this plant will immediately make you feel like you’re on the islands. They’re annuals in our area, so be prepared to move them indoors if you want to keep them around. Texas Star or Luna are great choices.
  2. Ferns – Adding some lush green foliage around your pool will add to a tropical atmosphere. There are several varieties available, but avoid Kimberly Queen and Boston Ferns. They’re not winter-hardy here.
  3. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia) – This evergreen shrub definitely creates a tropical feel with its hanging trumpet-shaped flowers. It can be grown as a shrub or small tree that responds well to pruning if you ever need to cut it back or shape it. (Caution: all parts of this plant are toxic to dogs and cats, so you may want to avoid it if there will be pets in the area.)
  4. Million Bells (Calibrachoa) – The name of this plant isn’t much of an exaggeration! Add a few hanging baskets of this around your pool area and enjoy the tons of flowers it produces. Available in a variety of colors, they are a good drought-tolerant choice.

Other Pool Area Ideas

While the right plants can definitely help create a tropical feel to your pool, don’t overlook the value that other elements can bring to your little slice of paradise.

  1. Hardscapes – Instead of plain concrete around your pool, think about using natural stone pavers and/or crushed gravel walkways. Build low wooden platforms to hold your outdoor seating (wicker is always a good tropical option).
  2. Swings – The tropics are all about relaxation. Add a swing in a shady spot (maybe under a pergola covered in Star Jasmine).
  3. Cabanas – Speaking of shade, what better way to unwind and still feel tropical than on an outdoor couch under your own cabana. Close the curtains for an afternoon nap, or tie them back and enjoy the breeze.
  4. Outdoor kitchens – If you incorporate a nice place to grill up some pineapple chicken kabobs, you can keep the tropical vibe going all day long!

Trust Us for Tropical Pools That Bring the Vacation to You

We understand how important your pool area is to the value of your property. We have years of helping make tropical pool landscaping ideas a reality. Schedule a call and see what we can do for you!

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