Plants for islands within pool enclosure

chellamaralJune 20, 2011

I just bought a house with a great pool area with planting islands. There will be irrigation running into them soon. Currently, some of the plants include umbrella tree (appears to have mites? I see mottled yellow spots and very small patches of black web) Banana, ginger, ti, dracena, and orange bird of paradise.

The previous owner did little to maintain. I have applied Bayer 3 in 1 and some liquid micro nutrientsI have cut back the umbrellas since they were almost touching the top of the cage, and the tis and banana look leggie.It looks like a couple of stalks of the banana were cut off, but no new growth came from the cut. The stalks are about 5 ft before the leaves emerge

I want to put some black magic under the orange bird, but I need suggestions for plants that do well in pool beds. I had to cut a root of one of the umbrellas as it looked like it was going to damage or break through the pool.

The entire area gets mostly sun, even through the screen. I will continue with the tropical theme. I need suggestions for suitable plants with medium and low heights and wonder if I should remove the umbrellas and banana and start from scratch?


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ibarbidahl(9 (tampa-ish))


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 4:33PM
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One of the most important considerations near a pool is getting plants that don't shed leaves. It took me some time to come to this realization. Not only does it clog up the pool filter but creates a messy floor requiring sweeping or vacuuming and that is something I'd like to do less of.

I've settled on bromeliads around the pool for that reason but another good reason is that bromeliads require less maintenance so we can go on vacation for 2 or more weeks and don't have to worry (although you have irrigation I don't).

Orchids are also great around the pool and I don't mind picking up the fallen petals.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 5:07PM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Oh, Denise, I love your pool area! So creative with the driftwood stealing the show and the succulents in the strawberry pots. The bromeliads are really pretty too. I also like how the pool color picks up the color of the tile. Very different and so nice. What a great solution for the pool area beds. And I bet it always looks nice and needs next to no maintenance.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 7:19PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Denise, your pool and plants are so beautiful!!! I bet that you feel like Queen getting inside your gorgeous pool.
Last Saturday I was at a pool party listening to the host how difficult was to come up with the right plants for the pool, he had some short palms, it looked nice but I like Denise choice better.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:19AM
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I have birds of Paradise and some tropical that has huge leaves on it and is supposed to have white flowers but never had it bloom. Since it is somwhat shaded, I have clay pots under the lager plans. In the summer I have caladiums in the pots and in the fall I plant impatiens - usually red and white which look nice throughout the winter, if covered for cold spells. I do have some litter to take care of but since the bed is lower than the pool deck, its not really a problem.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:57AM
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Here are some pics!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics of pool area

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:15PM
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thank you Anna and Silvia, I cannot take any credit for the pool, the previous owners added it to the house but we do love the color. Teal blue green is my favorite color in the world.

I forgot to mention that we will be moving a areca palm into that space in the rear soon. It will help block out the neighbors across the way until the bamboo outside gets tall enough to do that job.

Yes, succulents are wonderful low low maintenance plants too. Walmart had some a few weeks back and I got one of everything. I also saw a great selection at the Saturday Venice Farmers Market with low prices too. Lovely different shapes and colors. I am not a cactus lover but cactus would also do well around a pool located in a place no one can get hurt by it.

Aechmea chantinii Black (second photo far right in teal pot) is in bloom right now, red and yellow spike. I got it from Michaels Bromeliads located in Venice FL in the boondocks. Have to call ahead to visit because they do most of their business either mail order or wholesale. They've got some wonderful bromeliads.

I love your caladiums which I have trouble growing because my yard has so little shade. That's a great choice for a pool enclosure with some shade.


Here is a link that might be useful: Michaels Bromeliads Venice FL

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:33PM
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what a beautiful pool you have with many spots for plants. It doesn't look like you need much more really.

The large green plant in photo #3 is a strong grower, I've seen them outdoors 2-3 stories high. If it were me it would be replaced even though it's nice looking now.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:40PM
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How awesome to have so many beds to work with around such a gorgeous pool! I do agree with Denise about the umbrella trees, though. I've seen them grow huge in inappropriate places, and it ain't pretty. But you've also got a whole bunch of plants that I think are worth keeping.

In the ti, ginger, umbrella trio, I'd swap out the umbrella for some bananas and some birds of paradise (strelitzia). I don't even know if you can grow birds in your zone, it's just a little vision I had.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 4:28PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

I've done several change outs learning the hard way as I go. I started out with Elephant Ears around the spa and they gave a nice jungle look and didn't shed leaves but overtook the spa area quickly, next came Ti plants but they shed a lot of leaves and were buggy. In the corners I started with Adonidia palms but they grew too quickly and within a few years punched through my top screens, I replaced them with false aralia plants which still require trimming to keep out of the screens and do shed lots of leaves into the pool so they may come out too. Denise is right about selecting plants that won't drop too many leaves, right now I have dwarf schefflera around my spa but they are dropping too many leaves into the spa, around the deck and into the pool so I'm thinking about replacing them with slender umbrella plants. The only things I'm really satisfied with are the dwarf philodendrons in front of the spa and the cardboard palms in the two slender islands surrounding the pool, and they don't drop leaves, require any watering and I can cut the cardboard palms back every year so they flush out with new growth.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 6:16PM
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what a pretty pool Tom and are those RAINDROPS? Send some south OK?

Cardboard palms look very tropical, a nice pool choice.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 8:33PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Case in point, I snapped this picture this morning, this is what you don't want...think carefully about this aspect of the plants you select.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 11:15AM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Forgot to say Hi Denise, I hope you got some rain last night or this morning ;-)


    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 11:20AM
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pabrocb(Sarasota/Cape Cod)

Tom, I love cardboard palms and planted some big ones in the front of the house. They have a primitive sculptural quality that just got to me when I first arrived in Florida.

I did not plant any in the back because I have read that the red "berries" are poisonous to dogs. My little guy will eat anything, and everything, so I tend to clip off the immature seed pod. (not sure what it's called.)

I have space on the pool deck, but no planter areas. So I use pots which I drag in and out all winter.

I'm going to try more succulents, as they look great in all the photos.

Carol B. on Cape Cod

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 4:48PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Good point Carol, I didn't realize the seeds are poisonous. My larger plant is female and puts out a few cones every year so I usually end up with several hundred seeds...we have a cat be he has no interest in them. Here's a picture after I cut them back this spring.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:47AM
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YES YES YES, those seeds are VERY poisonous!!! My chocolate lab ate some 3 years ago and I almost lost her. She is the only documented survival case registered with the National ASPCA Database. Most animals die of profound liver damage within 2-14 days.

I was able to rush Josie to an animal hospital on a Sat. night where she received acute care including Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. They wouldn't even take her in without a 2300.00 down payment, only accepting credit card or cash! Tests were showing she was dying a slow death, then I started feeding her all kinds of nutraceuticals like milk thistle....She pulled through at around 2 months, but I think it really helped she is a hearty breed. It cost me 5000.00 in vet bills, but it was worth it to me!

Cut those damn cones off as soon as you see them!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 8:01AM
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pabrocb(Sarasota/Cape Cod)

Oh my chellamaral, I'm so sorry. And you are right, Lab's are a hearty breed. I a have a 13 pound dachshund and he would not survive after eating one berry.

Tom, I'm glad you put a photo of before and after. But I gasped when I saw how much you chopped off! I saw landscapers cutting back some beautiful old cardboard palms in front of an office building and I just about had a fit. When I was in FL last time, I saw they filled out nicely. What do I know?

I'll gingerly trim off a few branches when I'm back after the 4th. If anything is still alive.

Carol B. On Cape Cod the roses are gorgeous, hydrangeas are starting to fill with color, and I planted more hosta.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Just thinking about hydrangeas and how beautiful the Cape is this time of year. I'm envious... I want steamers....
thought I'd let you know too, that it has been raining here in Sarasota for the last few days - torrential downpour as I write!! Yea!! - I know you live south of me, but it's raining there too.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 2:14PM
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Hi All,

Just wanted to post an updated link to my pool plantings!

Here is a link that might be useful: before and after pics of pool area

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 7:51PM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Lovely! Josie must be a happy girl :)


    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:03PM
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stuartwanda(N. Stuart)

I just love your pool area! I like the way they put the pillers and arches in. You have done a great job of selecting the new plants. It looks lovely!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 5:34AM
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annafl(z9b/10a Sarasota)

Absolutely beautiful, chellamaral. Great choices and creativity. Don't touch those bananas... they look great!

I've gotta comment, what a man you have! Does incredible grunt work with a smile and then cooks dinner for you? Oh my goodness, we should clone him!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 8:06PM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

I don't know what I want to copy first: your bromeliad tree or your pizza on the grill. Both look yummy.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2011 at 7:36PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

WOW! Stunning, looks so professional, you two definitely have it all figured out....


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 7:46AM
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Randy Ritchie

chellamaral, those photos are wonderful. Love what you've done with your beds, and plant selections. Everything looks very established, and natural. It's obvious alot of thought and planning went into the plant composition. Oh, and I also think we should clone your hubby.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Thanks all!
We were very fortunate to be able to purchase this home way below its' value. The owner was in construction and built it as his dream home in 2008. The pool construction is amazing as he was in concrete business and spared no expense with the solid concrete kneewalls, arches and pillars. This enclosure will withstand any hurricane!

But with the beauty comes the beast! Went away for the weekend to come back to Canna Rust! Came on so fast, and now all this rain! I cut off the diseases leaves and applied BAYER ADVANCED 3-IN-1 INSECT, DISEASE, & MITE. CONTROL READY-TO-SPRAY but I see a little a little more rust starting. It's been raining so I'm not sure if the first application took or not. I am very worried it will spread all over!

There were a few things he didn't finish (ie irrigation and landscape) so alot to keep us very busy! I will be adding a page for the front cottage garden landscaping, side yard shade garden, and working on eatable landscape area. Stay tuned ;-)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Chellamaral, could you tell me about the neos on the driftwood? How much light are they gettting? How did you attach them to the driftwood? They look fantastic. Have you had them for long?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 9:54PM
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I'm green with envy! You have my dream home! Will you let me know if you ever sell? PLEASE!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Just purchased a home with a pool cage and would like to know best plants to hide a less than desirable view in one corner. Ideally would grow to 15 feet, few leaf droppings, evergreen, and thrive in a large planter or pot. Am I asking for the impossible?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:37AM
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MarieEliza, I saw a huge Peace Lily at Home Depot for 25.00. I believe you would have to protect it in cold, but I was considering buying one to hide my compost bin, that's how big it was!

chinchette, I purchased the neos from Kraft Gardens about 3 months ago, the other air plants I found in my live oaks. I have a few in plantings of neos that get full sun (except for the screen shade) and the brom diftwood piece gets morning shade. I attached them with floral wire and used "U" nails for eyelets to hold the wire. I was trimming it up this weekend and noticed the wire is already rusted through, so I would use something heavier. I just washed off the soil from the roots and tied them at the base with wire. The driftwood had a few "crooks" from branched being cut off, so I used them to cradle the plants a bit.I then took some spanish moss off a tree and wrapped it around the roots to help hold them on and keep the roots moist. The drip lines spritz the plants a couple times a week.

BELIEVE me, this is no project for the faint of heart. It is really a 2 person job, and it took me all day in 95 degrees heat and long pants and shirt. Very itchy, can't really wear gloves!

CorpsmanCooper, not selling ever! LOL

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 10:12AM
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