Saltwater pools give you the illusion of swimming in the ocean with the natural salt you use to chlorinate the pool. When you plan your own island-like oasis, lush landscaping around the pool area with trees, plants and bushes provides just the right appearance. Before you begin planting, make sure to plant only plants that can tolerate the salt water from the pool. There are various saltwater pool plants you can choose from that can handle the average dousing from splashing water.
Salt's Effect on Plants
All soils contain salt, which is one of the vital nutrients for plant growth. As with many things in life, too much can do more harm than good. Too much salt inhibits the protein production that affects leaf growth. Poor leaf growth results in poor photosynthesis, the process in which plants produce sugar as food. Additionally, salt naturally absorbs water. When there are increased amounts of salt in the soil, the salt absorbs the water intended to nourish plants. The result is the dehydration of plants.
Some plants can tolerate some degree of salt water, such as the amount splashed outside of a saltwater pool. Salt-tolerant trees to include in your landscaping include the Madagascar olive (Noronhia emarginata), which is suited to warm, tropical climates, and the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which has a large canopy and produces edible fruit.
When you combine shrubs with trees in your poolside landscaping, it provides depth to the overall appearance. Some salt-tolerant shrubs include the jade plant (Crassula argentea) and the lantana (Lantana camara), a flowering annual that thrives in full sunlight.
Add height to the landscaping around your pool with vining plants. Vines that can tolerate saltwater splash include the star jasmine (Jasminum nitidum) and the cape honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis).
Saltwater pool generators can release backwash into the ground around the equipment. As the salt seeps into the ground, plant roots soak it up with the groundwater. Select areas away from the generator to landscape. Place landscape rocks on the ground around the generator to catch the seepage.
Splashing water is a common occurrence around swimming pools. Saltwater generators actually turn table salt into chlorine to keep your pool clean and algae-free. When the salt water splashes on your landscape plants, rinse the salt water away, specifically around the soil, with the garden hose. Dilution of the salt and chlorine is necessary to reduce the amounts that settle into the soil. Heavy rainfall takes care of this process naturally.
- ACS Garden: Plants for Pools
- Society of Experimental Biology; Salt of the Earth -- How Do Plants Cope?; Nerissa Hannink; July 2005
- ECOsmarte Pool: 8 Reasons Why ECOsmarte Is Preferred by Pool Owners...
- University of Hawaii at Manoa Extension; Salt and Wind Tolerance of Landscape Plants for Hawaii; Norman Bezona, et al.; 2001
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