Low-Litter Plants for Landscaping Around Swimming Pools

Who doesn’t love to take a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day?  I certainly do.  But I

Who doesn’t love to take a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day?  I certainly do.  But I must admit that I don’t have a pool of my own.  Because of that, I don’t have to worry about trees and plants that may drop leaves and/or flowers….

Grass with Fallen Palo Verde flowers

To be honest, I like how fallen flowers look when they fall on my grass on directly on the ground, underneath my plants.

But for those of you who have swimming pools, this can be a huge headache.  So, here is a list of plants that are recommended for use around swimming pools.

**Most of the following plants are low-litter….NOT litter-free.  It is difficult to find plants that do not drop the occasional leaf or flower, unless you decide to plant silk plants – which I DO NOT advise doing 🙂


Willow Acacia      Acacia salicina

Shoestring Acacia    Acacia stenophylla

Mediterranean Fan Palm    Chamaerops humilis

Desert Fern    Lysiloma watsonii

Pygmy Date Palm    Phoenix roebelenii

Southern Live Oak    Quercus virginiana

Queen Palm    Syagrus romanzofianum


Mexican Bird-of-Paradise    Caesalpinia mexicana

Red Bird-of-Paradise    Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Red Fairy Duster    Calliandra californica

Natal Plum    Carissa grandiflora

Bush Morning Glory    Convolvulus cneorum

Hop Bush    Dodonaea viscosa

Valentine    Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’

Mexican Honeysuckle    Justicia spicigera

Lantana    Lantana species

Texas Sage    Leucophyllum species

Heavenly Bamboo    Nandina domestica

Rosemary    Rosmarinus officinalis

Autumn Sage    Salvia greggii

Chaparral Sage    Salvia clevelandii

Arizona Yellow Bells    Tecoma stans

Orange Jubilee    Tecoma x ‘Orange Jubilee’

Cape Honeysuckle    Tecomaria capensis


Desert Marigold    Baileya multiradiata

Blackfoot Daisy    Melampodium leucanthum

Iceplant   Drosanthemum speciosum

Gazania    Gazania rigens

‘Katie’ Ruellia    Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’

Verbena    Verbena species

Canna Lilies    Cannaceae species

Lily of the Nile    Agapanthus orientalis

Daylily    Hemerocallis species

Fortnight Lily    Dietes bicolor

Whirling Butterflies    Gaura lindheimeri

Angelita Daisy    Hymenoxys acaulis (Tetraneuris acaulis)

Penstemon    Penstemon species

Rain Lily    Zephranthes species


Pink Trumpet Vine    Podranea ricasoliana

Purple Lilac Vine    Hardenbergia violaceae

Star Jasmine    Trachelospermum jasminoides


Agave    Agave species

Aloe    Aloe species

Sago Palm    Cycas revoluta

Desert Spoon    Dasylirion wheeleri

Golden Barrel Cactus    Echinocactus grusonii

Red Yucca    Hesperaloe parviflora

Deer Grass    Muhlenbergia rigens

Red Fountain Grass    Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

**This list is by no means meant to include all low-litter plants suitable for use around swimming pools, but it is a good start.

There are some plants that you DEFINITELY DON’T want next to your pools.  We will cover those plants in our next post, so be sure to come back 🙂

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Noelle Johnson
Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and certified arborist who lives and gardens in the desert Southwest. When she is not writing or helping other people with their gardens, you can find her growing fruits and vegetables, and planting flowering shrubs and maybe a cactus or two.