En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native plants to replace St. Augustine over septic area

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

Non-native smoketree for California City, CA
June 28, 2010 - I was wondering if you could tell me if it would be a good or bad idea to plant a Smoke Tree (most likely European) in the vicinity of a septic tank. We are looking for something which will provide a...
view the full question and answer

Native groundcover plants for septic drain field
July 02, 2004 - 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?
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 field on a steep slope in Austin
April 09, 2010 - My septic field is on a fairly steep slope and is overrun with bermuda grass, native grasses, vines, thistle and other vegetation. What types of wild flower seed can I use on it that will grow on a s...
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

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