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Posted:  07 Feb 2011 03:41  
What plants will survive atmospheric chlorine levels in an indoor pool area?

~Will Creed
Posted:  07 Feb 2011 17:09  
There is some ancient info in the book, "Commercial Indoor Plants" by David L. Hamilton on this topic.  I will try to fish my copy out of my "archives" and post the info here when I do.

But I know that the list of chlorine-tolerant interior plants is not lengthy, nor is it foolproof.  It's like those sketchy lists of "deer-proof" plants you see in the local newspaper's gardening section every year.  Sometimes, the deer don't read the paper!

Posted:  07 Feb 2011 17:43  
Here you go, Will:

D. warneckei







Leea coccinea

Ficus elastica 'Decora'


Not a lot of variety there, I guess, but other than Leea, which can be a real dog under the best of circumstances, the other plants on the list are readily available and easy to maintain.  I'm sure there are other folks who will chime in with their recommendations.  Good luck with the project!

Posted:  07 Feb 2011 23:55  
Thanks, Clem. I thought I had seen this list in the Scaper Talk archives that are no longer available - what a shame! Your reference to Hamilton's book sent me 'fishing,' too. Thought I had a copy, but maybe I just referenced it some years ago. Glad you found yours.

I understand your caveat and I don't plan to bet the farm on any of these plants.

I would love to hear if anyone has any direct experience with indoor pool plant installations.

Posted:  08 Feb 2011 00:48  
I happen to have some first-hand experience with them...one in a large high-rise condo, the other in a high-end single-family residence.

Boston Ferns surprisingly did well in the home, as did Spider Plants and several Dracaena species (you'd think not, but they did fine).

Some large specimen material that the former contractor had installed and maintained in the beds in the condo project didn't do as well...Schefflera, Ficus, Areca Palm, that sort of thing.

The critical factor is VENTILATION.  Splashing of water isn't much of an issue unless you have plants sitting right at poolside.  If the plantings are in planters or containers set back away from the water's edge, it's not a problem.

However, depending on the dosage and frequency of ordinary, regular chlorination (and "shock treatments", which I think do the most harm to plants due to the heavy dose of chlorine fumes that goes with that kind of treatment), plants may or may not suffer from the vapors in pool enclosures.  If the pool enclosure has proper ventilation, you're good; if it's a sealed space, like a glassed-in atrium with HVAC, it could become stuffy and foliar toxicity symptoms may occur.  Every such facility is unique in those respects.


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