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

Native plants for septic field in Austin
March 14, 2011 - Do you have guidance for west Austin residents regarding landscaping a septic field with native plants?
view the full question and answer

Will a 10-ft. yaupon damage my septic lines in Texas Hill Country?
July 18, 2009 - A 10 foot yaupon is growing in my Texas hill country septic field. The field pipe is 5 feet below the surface. Should I be concerned about the roots invading the pipes? What would be the best way to r...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will not clog lateral lines with roots
January 25, 2009 - We recently had to replace the lateral lines for our septic tank because wisteria roots had clogged the drainpipes. The machinery tore up our front and side yard,and we are trying to get them back int...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants for area over septic system drainfield
July 22, 2010 - I live in Michigan and have purchased a house with a septic system. I hate to mow grass AND to waste all that area over the drain field with mere turf. I also enjoy attracting butterflies. what are...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a septic system in Poland IN
September 22, 2009 - Hi, we have a septic system under a large front yard at a newly acquired lake cottage in southern Indiana. The yard is completely unlandscaped. I'm trying to find if there are are any safe trees I ...
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