En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 02, 2004

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Septic Systems
Title: Native groundcover plants for septic drain field
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

I'd like to plant wildflowers over my newly installed septic drain field, but am told they should not have deep root systems. What would you suggest?

ANSWER:

The best kinds of plants that perform well over a septic drain field are a mix of native grasses, annual wildflowers and a limited number of perennial herbaceous plants with shallow root structures. For an initial planting, I suggest warm season perennial grasses that will establish fairly quickly, providing cover that will compete with invasive primary successional plants, as well as aid in erosion prevention. Sow a mix of regionally appropriate annual/perennial wildflower seed in mid-Fall for Spring blooms. Also, try sowing late successional native plant seed that will attain height when in bloom to add texture and color variety as your native grasses grow long during the summer.
 

More Septic Systems Questions

Texas mountain laurel roots and septic systems
February 12, 2009 - I want to plant a Texas Mountain Laurel tree in our RV Resort. The park must approve new plantings, and they are concerned about any root system that might endanger their septic systems or pipes. They...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for leach field in Maine
October 31, 2010 - I am looking for a wildflower mix that would suitable to plant over a leach field. What plants should I look to avoid?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Septic Field in NC
August 14, 2013 - What kinds of low water plants can I plant over a new septic field in North Carolina? The area is part sun so I am concerned about having trouble getting grass started.
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Grass for septic drainfield in Georgetown TX
February 10, 2009 - We recently had a new septic drainfield installed. It is raised approximately 2-3 ft above ground level. I would like to plant it with a native grass/grasses that would attract wildlife yet still be a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center