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

Monday - November 02, 2009

From: Orlando, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Septic Systems
Title: Native plants to replace St. Augustine over septic area
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

Hi. We're new to Orlando, FL and need some help with plants that would be suitable to grow over our septic field. It's on the west side of the house, full sun. We live in a subdivision that required that every disturbed area be planted over with St. Augustine grass, but I'm not a fan of massive lawns, and we have a one-acre lot. The law has since changed, so the sub/d will be forced to allow us to remove some of the resource-wasting St. Augustine. Can you suggest some lovely plants for us? PS - It think it's absolutely fabulous that Mrs. Johnson's legacy is continuing. This is a great website.

ANSWER:

Thanks for asking! Mr. Smarty Plants is always happy to help natives re-take some ground. This answer to a previous question suggesting native Florida groundcovers may be helpful.

Do you have the leeway to plant a meadow? It would be rougher-looking than lawn – and taller, but would include meadow wildflowers. Listed below are some grass and wildflower species native to Florida. The  Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly) and Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass) are clumping and somewhat taller grasses, not suitable for mowing.  

Muhlenbergia capillaris (hairawn muhly)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

Rhexia alifanus (savannah meadowbeauty)

Phlox nivalis (trailing phlox)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Rudbeckia triloba (browneyed Susan)

Salvia coccinea (blood sage)

Anemone berlandieri (tenpetal thimbleweed)

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Coreopsis gladiata (coastal plain tickseed)

Coreopsis grandiflora (largeflower tickseed)

 


Muhlenbergia capillaris

Eragrostis spectabilis

Rhexia alifanus

Phlox nivalis

Rudbeckia hirta

Rudbeckia triloba

Salvia coccinea

Anemone berlandieri

Aquilegia canadensis

 

 

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

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

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

Bouteloua dactyloides to cover septic field in Texas
June 25, 2007 - I need plants that can be seeded or plugged to cover a septic field at a new home on Lake Travis. What about turffalo? Other suggestions?
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