Landscaping around your Septic System

Love flowers? Like a nice shady spot to cool off under? Me too! Landscaping can add so much character, comfort, and charm to your yard. Just because you have a septic system doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a beautiful yard! Below is a list of plants approved by landscape artist and septic specialists alike to help you landscape! This list was originally made by landscape designer Wynn Nielson.

As always check to see if the plant listed is appropriate with your soil type (clay vs sandy) and the sun conditions of your yard. Also, do not plant trees directly over lines or the tank. Now onto that list!

Grasses/Clover (for play fields and heavy usage)
•Traditional lawn (seed or turf)
•Microclover (can mix with eco grasses or meadow flowers)
•Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sledge)
•Eco-grass naturalized lawns/meadows (some are sold specifically for septic field use). Eco-grasses are typically a mix of drought-resistant and clumping grasses like red fescues.

Bulbs/Corms/Rhizomes/Tubers (for naturalizing lawns and meadows)
•allium (all types)
•autumn crocus
•spring crocus
•hardy cyclamen
•tulip (use species ones for naturalizing)

Carpeting/Creeping Perennials (“stepables” for light walking and use. Weeds can be an issue)

•creeping penstemon
•thymes (especially dwarf thyme)
•mazus reptans
•blue star creeper
•armeria (thrift)
•native mosses
•ajuga (dwarf)
•creeping jenny
•baby tears
•brass buttons (hard to establish)
•gold oregano
•carpeting sedums
•carpeting saxifraga

Taller perennial flowers/grasses (For viewing or strolling on paths, it’s best if drainfields are at least 1 foot deep)

•penstemon (rgl)
•lady’s mantle
•hardy begonias
•bleeding heart
•ferns (most)
•hardy lobelia
•sweet william
•creeping woodland phlox
•toad lily
•aster novae-angliae
•sedums (all kinds)
•perennial geraniums
•ajuga (tall)
•armeria (thrift)
•false Solomon’s seal
•wild ginger
•Festuca ovina (blue or green fescue)
•deschampsia grass
•pennisetum grass
•stipa tenuissima (feather grass)
•tall fescue grass
•carex grass
•sweet woodruff
•coral bells
•artemisia (small, delicate ones)

Shrubs (Slow-growing shrubs with fibrous, contained root systems. These are less likely to be a problem if planted at the recommended distances from a drainfield.)
•dwarf/shrubby euonymus
• rhododendron/azaleas

Trees with more vertical root growth (Also less likely to cause harm if planted at the recommended distances from a drainfield.)

flowering dogwood
•genetically dwarf trees
•small species maple: palmatum (Japanese maple)
•maples: griseum, Amur
•Japanese snowbell

Feel free to print this list to take to your nursery of choice! If you have any questions or need septic help please give us a call at 918-381-2050. Happy Planting!!