Plants chosen to landscape swimming pool areas should meet three requirements:
Branches, foliage and flowers should be smooth, not bristly, prickly, sharp or thorny. The plants should be as litter-free as possible. They should be able to tolerate splashes of chlorine-treated water.
Palms and tree ferns are first choices in trees, Acacia and Firmiana simplex (Chinese parasol pree) are next on the list. Camellia, Lantana, Viburnum davidii, Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia), Junipers and Pittosporum tobira are all good choices for dense hedging or shrubs, and flower choices include Lily of the Nile, Alstroemeria, Colocasia (Elephant’s Ear), Coreopsis, Gazania, Daylily, Kniphofia (Red-Hot Poker), Limonium and Gaillardia.
With these suggestions in mind, you should be able to put together a functional and attractive poolside landscape. For a more tropical feel, go with containers of hibiscus and bougainvillea, which should bloom all summer. Use intense colors with oranges, hot pinks, purples and reds for the best tropical feel.