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?


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

Thursday - September 15, 2011

From: Raymore, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Septic Systems, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Appropriate plants for septic field from Raymore MO
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is it practical to plant coneflower, garden phlox, etc. on a septic drain field?


We are frequently asked about appropriate plantings over septic fields. Rather than repeat ourselves, we will link you to several of those previous answers from various parts of the country. The gist of those answers is that grasses and herbaceous blooming plants are good, holding soil and moving moisture to the surface. On the other hand, woody plants such as trees and shrubs are not good; their roots will make a beeline for the septic lines and disrupt them

Previous answer No. 1

Previous answer No. 2 - which also has a number of other links


From the Image Gallery

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Wild blue phlox
Phlox divaricata

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Hillside Groundcovers for Pollinating Insects in Wisconsin
November 28, 2015 - I am looking for native plants for a project around Hudson, Wisconsin. We are to choose native plants to be seeded next spring 2016. They are to be planted on a hillside under and around solar panels ...
view the full question and answer

Indian paintbrush wedding
October 20, 2004 - I live in western Montana and have become quite fond of the flower known as indian paintbrush. I will be getting married this next July, and would like to incorporate the flower into my wedding; Howe...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like oranges in Alpine, TX
August 16, 2012 - There are patches of flat bushy like plants in lawn, smells like orange. Areas may be 10" and spreading, but when pulled has small root. How can I get rid of this plant and what is it?
view the full question and answer

Moving School House lilies in Austin
March 02, 2009 - I live here in Austin in zipcode 78729. I have a clump of School House lilies in the back of the garden. I would like to move them to another bed under a tree. Is this a good time to move them? Should...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers & Shrubs for Shade in North Carolina
April 30, 2013 - Mr Smarty Pants, My neighbor planted cypress trees as a border between his yard and ours and it is sucking up every drop of water and nutrient. We also have a purple plum in the area which creates ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center