What Can I Plant Over My Drainfield?

Some homeowners sabotage septic systems by improper landscaping. Ununified choices for land use can result in poor utilization of drain fields. Maintaining your septic system requires you to avoid poor plant choices like:

  • Packing cars on septic systems when the parking lot gets filled
  • Constructing wooden decks over septic tanks
  • Planting hungry willow trees next to drain field

It is almost impossible to exhaust how people misuse the chance to take good care of these fields. Some will still complain of septic system troubles when the power to maintain its performance is in your hands. Replacement and repair of these systems are costly, and you should strive as hard as possible to avoid such expenses.

Plants to Grow Over Drainfields

It would be best not to avoid growing any plants over your Drain Fields when you catch cold feet because of dealing with the roots. Leaving the drain system bare increases the risk of soil erosion. Most people go for crops that have shallow roots to avoid spoiling the septic system. The following are some of the plants you can grow in this area:

Bulbs or Interspersing Annuals

These are herbaceous plants that have shallow roots and can prevent soil erosion in the drain field. These groups of plants include anemones, snowdrops, cyclamen, and crocus. They provide a good ground cover essential to mulching the soil and preventing damages from heavy raindrops.

Lawns With Fibrous Roots

Traditional lawn plants have drought-resistance features, which means they have deep roots that can cause damage to Drain Fields. Most homeowners may prefer them because of the beauty they create on the ground, but it would be best to avoid such plants. Go for the lawns with fibrous roots because they can provide an excellent shade to the drain fields. These include carpet plants like sedums and thyme, shallow-rooted perennials, moss, and clover.

Newer Shrub Varieties and Dwarf Trees

These plants pose few risks to the drain fields compared to more prominent shrub varieties and trees. They have shallow roots and can give your drain field a gorgeous look because of their small size. They include cherries, snowbells, dogwoods, and crabapples.

Grasses and Perennials

Plants from the grass variety can be a better choice for growing over your drain field because of their shallow root features that prevent them from causing damage to the drain system. Going for such plants can also protect you from soil erosion due to running water and heavy raindrops. They can include ornamental grasses.

Non-Woody Small Ground Covers

Non-woody small ground covers have shallow roots; therefore, they are a good choice since they cannot invade your drain system and cause damage. You can find numerous varieties to choose from once you decide to go for these plants. These crops can thrive well in sunny areas, wet fields and may not get destroyed by pests. They include spring bulbs, hollyhocks, wild violets, and bee balm.


The best way to find the correct plants for your drain field relies on researching which ones are better than the others. It would be best also to consider the soil condition in your drain field and the maintenance practices required for different crops and trees. Some plants like jewelweed, creeping charlie, and stonecrop usually multiply quickly once planted and can be used to create a gorgeous ground cover on your Drain Field.

Contact Information

Fuller-Wente Inc.

3316 Marshall Ave.

Mattoon, IL 61938

Phone: 217-234-8336

Fax: 217-234-8337

Email: shepard70@yahoo.com

IDPH # 049-021967

Business Hours

Monday - Friday: 08:00 AM - 04:00 PM

Saturday - Sunday: Closed