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

Dog wallowing in damp area in garden from Great Bend KS
March 20, 2013 - I Have a wet area in my back yard that is close to my house. and off my patio there is a water hydrant,gas meter, electrical for my hot tub, my sprinkler valves and pump all there. My dog digs throug...
view the full question and answer

Should non-native invasive Wisteria be planted near well and septic system?
May 05, 2010 - I was told not to plant my Wisteria vine near my septic or well because the root will get into it and cause me many problems. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a septic field in Rogers AR
June 13, 2011 - I live in Rogers Arkansas (northwest corner of the state). My home sits in a holler. My back and side yard is almost totally lateral lines for a septic system. One section of my yard (it's fenced an...
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

Tree for on top of sewer lines from San Antonio
March 16, 2013 - I am looking for an evergreen small tree with taproot to plant in a very small front yard near the sidewalk and possibly on top of or nearly on top of sewer lines. Would a Mt. Laurel be the choice? ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center