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Chlorine Tolerant Plants

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A homeowner or landscaper may desire to locate plants that can tolerate a fair amount of chlorine for areas near pools that will be subject to splashing or pool water drainage. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Auston suggests that salt-tolerant plants are simultaneously the best able to tolerate chlorine, as chlorine exists in nature as chloride in salts. Plants with waxy leaves may also be well-suited for splashing chlorine.


Several grass species for both turf and ornamental use may prove ideal for an area with chlorine exposure. Ornamental grass selections include sea oats, blue love grass, eastern gama grass, maiden grass, pampas grass, muhly grass and sand cordgrass. Highly salt tolerant turf grasses include zoysia, seashore paspalum and common and hybrid bermuda grasses.

Groundcovers and Vines

Vines or low groundcovers suitable for a salty or chlorine-exposed area include beach morning glory, bay hops, gullfeed, birdsfoot trefoil, spreading liriope, creeping rosemary, mondo grass and stonecrops. Climbing vine selections include English ivy, Virginia creeper, confederate jasmine, climbing fig and others.

Small Trees and Shrubs

Shrubs suitable for areas that will be exposed to chlorine include wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), American beautyberry, bay cedar, scarletbush, century plant, some yucca species, oleander, agave and others. Small trees likely to survive in the presence of a fair amount of chlorine include wax myrtle, yaupon, devilwood, redbay and sand live oak.

Large Trees

Some large trees that are highly salt tolerant and thus well-suited to tolerate chlorine include the following species: Live oak (Quercus virginiana), willow oak (Q. phellos), southern magnolia, eastern red cedar, thornless honeylocust, Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) and others. Although these trees are salt and chlorine tolerant, some may not be ideal for a given region, depending largely on the climate.

Additional Annual and Perennial Selections

Annuals that may be able to tolerate chlorine splashing or runoff include moss rose, coleus, pentas, Joseph's coat and others. The following perennials, which may be annuals in cooler regions, are highly salt tolerant: Gaillardia, daylily, lantana, certain species of prickly pear cacti, lavender cotton and seaside goldenrod. Mandevilla, bouganvillea and alamanda plants may be able to tolerate some degree of chlorine splashing.

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