Discover the Best Plants to Beautify Your Drainfield without Damaging Your Septic System

Discover the Best Plants to Beautify Your Drainfield without Damaging Your Septic System


Septic systems are essential for homes that are not connecte to municipal sewage systems. A crucial part of a septic system is the drainfield, where wastewater is naturally filtered and treat before returning to the ground. While it’s important to maintain the functionality of your drainfield, there’s no reason why it can’t be aesthetically pleasing as well. In this guide, we will explore the best plants to beautify your drainfield without jeopardizing the integrity of your septic system.

Understanding Septic Systems and Drainfields

Before delving into the plants suitable for your drainfield, it’s essential to understand how septic systems and drainfields work. A septic system consists of a septic tank, where solids settle and are digeste by bacteria, and a drainfield. Where partially treate wastewater is release into the soil for further treatment and filtration. Drainfields rely on the natural soil and microbial processes to purify the water before it reenters the groundwater system.

Choosing the Right Plants

When selecting plants for your drainfield, it’s crucial to opt for those with shallow roots that won’t invade the drainfield pipes or compact the soil. Here are some excellent choices:


  • Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne): Perennial ryegrass forms a lush, green carpet and has shallow roots, making it an ideal choice for drainfields.
  • Fine Fescue (Festuca spp.): Fine fescue varieties like creeping red fescue and chewings fescue are low-maintenance grasses that are well-suited for septic systems.

Ground Covers:

  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia): Creeping Jenny is a low-growing, spreading plant with bright green leaves and yellow flowers, adding a vibrant touch to your drainfield.
  • Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense): Wild ginger is a native ground cover with heart-shape leaves and unique maroon flowers, perfect for shady drainfield areas.


  • Dwarf Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii): This compact shrub offers attractive foliage and delicate white flowers in spring, enhancing the visual appeal of your drainfield.
  • Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra): Inkberry holly is a versatile evergreen shrub that thrives in various soil types and provides year-round interest with its glossy leaves.


  • Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.): Daylilies come in various colors and sizes, providing vibrant blooms without aggressive root systems.
  • Sedum (Sedum spp.): Sedums are drought-tolerant perennials with succulent leaves, making them resilient and visually appealing additions to your drainfield.

Native Plants:

  • Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta): Native to North America, black-eyed Susans are hardy, drought-resistant plants with golden-yellow petals. And dark centers, attracting pollinators to your garden.
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea): Another native favorite, purple coneflowers, are not only beautiful but also beneficial for the ecosystem. Providing nectar for butterflies and bees.

Maintenance Tips

To ensure the longevity of your septic system and the health of your plants, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your drainfield to identify any issues promptly.
  2. Avoid Excessive Watering: Overwatering can oversaturate the soil and disrupt the natural treatment process in the drainfield.
  3. Proper Pruning: Trim and prune your plants regularly to prevent overgrowth and maintain a tidy appearance.
  4. Avoid Chemicals: Refrain from using harsh chemicals or pesticides near the drainfield, as they can harm the soil and beneficial microbes.
  5. Divert Water Sources: Redirect water from roofs and gutters away from the drainfield to prevent excess water accumulation.


By selecting the right plants and following proper maintenance practices, you can create a beautiful, eco-friendly landscape around your drainfield. These plants not only enhance the visual appeal of your property but also contribute to the overall health of your septic system. Remember, a harmonious balance between aesthetics and functionality is the key to a thriving septic system and a picturesque garden.