Safe landscaping on septic drain field #775255 - Ask Extension

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Safe landscaping on septic drain field #775255

Asked October 13, 2021, 2:03 PM EDT

Hello, we have a septic drain field that stays moist for several months of the year (though our septic system is regularly maintained and deemed perfectly fine/just dealing with clay and a poor slope). Looking for something we could plant over the moistest areas to beautify it and wondered if either of these prairie type grasses we have elsewhere in the yard could work over the drain field? What about liriope (sp?) which also thrives throughout our yard? We're just over the Wake County line by Wake Forest, but technically in Granville County.

Granville County North Carolina

Expert Response

You could try the grasses you have photographed here, and see how they tolerate the moisture.  You don't want to plant woody shrubs there, as their roots may be too aggressive. But any of these perennials and grasses should be good choices (including liriope, although it's not native). https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Coastal-Plains-Plants.doc

Perennials

Blue Star (3) – Amsonia tabernaemontana

Lady Fern (2) – Athyrium felix-femina

Butterflyweed (1) – Asclepias tuberosa

Swamp Milkweed (3) – Asclepias incarnata

Climbing Aster (3) – Aster carolinianus

False Indigo (1,2) – Baptisia species

Boltonia (3) – Boltonia asteriodes

Turtlehead (3) – Chelone glabra

Green and Gold (2) – Chrysongonum virginianum

Mouse Ear Coreopsis (2) – Coreopsis auriculata

Tickseed (1,2) – Coreopsis lanceolata

Swamp Coreopsis (2) – Coreopsis rosea

Joe Pye Weed (3) – Eupatorium dubium

Swamp Sunflower (3) – Helianthus angustifolius

Swamp Mallow (3) – Hibiscus moscheutos

Texas Star (3) – Hibiscus coccineus

Blue Flag Iris (3) – Iris virginica

Seashore Mallow (3) – Kosteletskya virginica

Gayfeather (2) – Liatris spicata

Cardinal Flower (3) – Lobelia cardinalis

Cinnamon Fern (3) – Osmunda cinnamomea

Royal Fern (3) – Osmunda regalis

Garden Phlox (2) – Phlox paniculata

Moss Pinks (1,2) – Phlox subulata

Rudbeckia (1,2) – Rudbeckia fulgida

Green Headed Coneflower (3) – Rudbeckia laciniata

Goldenrod (3) – Solidago rugosa

Stoke’s Aster (2) – Stokesia laevis

Ironweed (3) – Vernonia novaboracensis

Verbena (1,2) – Verbena canadensis

Ornamental Grasses

River Oats (1,3) – Chasmanthium latifolium

Muhly Grass (1,2) – Muhlenbergia capillaris

Panic Grass (1,3) – Panicum virgatum

Indiangrass (1,2) – Sorghastrum nutans

Sedges and Rushes

Lurid Sedge (3) – Carex lurida

Fringed Sedge (3) – Carex crinita

Southern Waxy Sedge (3) – Carex glaucescens

White-topped Sedge (3) – Rhynchospora latifolia

Woolgrass (3) - Scirpus cyperinus

Non-native perennials and ornamental grasses suitable for rain gardens include: Liriope (1,2) (Liriope muscarii and L. spicata), Siberian Iris (2) (Iris sibirica), Daylily (1,2) (Hemerocallis hybrids), Rain Lilies (3) (Zephyranthes species), Crinum Lilies (3) (Crinum species), Japanese Painted Fern (2) (Athyrium nipponicum) and Maiden Grass (1,2) (Miscanthus cultivars).

Jeana Myers Replied October 13, 2021, 7:02 PM EDT

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