Pool Landscaping With Tropical Plants
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Pool Landscaping With Tropical Plants

Not all tropical plants do well in colder weather, but with winter hardy varieties now available and some basic winterizing steps, a tropical pool area is not as out of reach as previously thought. Here are a few recommendations to make your own tropical getaway.

Not all tropical plants do well in colder weather, but with winter hardy varieties now available and some basic winterizing steps, a tropical pool area is not as out of reach as previously thought. Several tropical plants create tubers or bulbs that can be stored away for the next spring planting and other plants will need to be dug up and toted inside or into a greenhouse for the winter.

Bird of Paradise

The bird of paradise plant produces exotic yellow and purple flowers that resemble birds head. The bird of paradise has long, silver green leaves and is an easy plant to maintain. Thriving in USDA Hardiness zones of 9 through 11, the bird of paradise can also be kept through colder climates if potted and brought in during the winter.

Elephant Ear

The Elephant Ear plant creates overly large leaves that can reach lengths of up to 3 feet long in tropical regions, while creating smaller leaves of up to 1 foot long in other regions. Elephant ear is a reasonably easy plant to take care of provided it has plenty of water, and is placed in a cool, shaded location. Thriving in USDA zones of 8 and up, elephant’s ear can be grown in colder climates if tubers are brought in before freezing.


Bromiliads are a lower growing plant that thrives in partly sunny locations. They need well drained soil and are easy to care for. There are over 2700 varieties of bromiliads, the leaves are brightly colored in greens, reds and yellows depending on the species, making them beautiful exotic plants even when not in bloom. Bromiliads thrive in USDA zones of 10 and 11 with some species doing well in zone 9. During colder months bring your potted bromeliads inside during the winter and place in a well lit area.


Smaller clumping varieties of bamboo are hardy in USDA zones of 8 and up. Bamboo is a quick grower and will spread if not controlled. One way to control the bamboo is to keep it in several large pots that can be easily moved around a pool location. Bamboo is a great backdrop for other lower growing tropical plants in a pool setting.


Ginger is a very popular tropical plant. Not only do they come in several colors, the leaves can also be quite attractive. Ginger reproduces very quickly and can take over areas that are not frequently maintained. Ginger grows from tubers in the ground and does best in hardiness zones of 8 through 11. In colder climates it is quite easy to dig up several tubers for next years plantings or keep your ginger plant in a large pot that can be brought inside or placed in a greenhouse.

Banana Trees

Banana trees are a great addition to a pool area because they grow quite fast and have a brilliant light green coloring. It is best to plant a banana tree in a wind protected area, as it will shred their tender leaves making them unsightly. There are several varieties of banana plants available and even a few that tolerate colder conditions such as the 'Darjeeling Banana', which can tolerate USDA Hardiness zones of 5 and 6, without mulching.

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