It’s time to tackle the septic tank landscaping project! Here are some landscaping ideas around septic tank and tips to help you get started.

Landscaping adds value and beauty to your home’s exterior, but a septic tank can add an extra challenge.


You can landscape around your septic tank, but you must carefully consider what you plant and place in the area.

Large objects and heavy machinery in the drainfield can cause damage, and roots from certain trees and shrubbery can grow into the drain lines.

What Can I Put Around My Septic Tank?

You can keep existing native vegetation and native wildflowers in your drain field or plant grass. Only use shallow-rooted, drought-resistant plants on or around your septic tank.

Various groundcovers are also ideal, as are perennials and trees with shallow root systems, like cherry, Japanese maple, or dogwood trees.

It’s best to go with low-maintenance plants that don’t require lots of watering, so you don’t end up with a lot of water in your drainfield.

How Can I Disguise My Septic Tank?

If you want to hide an unsightly septic tank cover, you can disguise the access hatch with a potted plant.

Make sure to choose lightweight, small to medium-sized planters.

You can also use a garden statue or decorative covers specifically designed to hide septic tanks.

These covers typically resemble rocks or other outdoor elements to help them blend into the landscape.

septic tank cover
Photo Credit: Dekorra/Amazon

What To Consider When Planting Around My Septic Tank?

The main thing to focus on when planting around your septic tank is ensuring the drainfield remains operational.

It’s a good idea not to plant anything with extensive root systems that will damage pipes. 

Deep roots can damage your septic tank system or the septic system drain fields.

Ensure the septic tank latch is secure so nothing can get inside of it. Also, direct any drainage away from the tank and avoid planting water-loving plants or vegetation.

The excess moisture from watering plants may bring problems to your septic drain field.

Ground Cover Ideas Around A Septic Tank

It makes sense that you’d rather not leave the space around your septic tank areas barren. It doesn’t make for a beautiful yard. Non-woody, herbaceous plants are good choices for your leach field.

If you want to add ground cover around your septic tank, pay attention to your tank’s location.

Is it in a shady spot of the yard or somewhere that gets lots of sun? Is there a lot of foot traffic? Do you have large animals that will be walking through the septic field?

If Your Septic Tank Is In the Shade

Here are some of the right plants that are low maintenance and have shallow roots. When planting native plants, be sure to check how much sun and water they require.

  1. Bunchberry
  2. Chameleon
  3. Sweet Woodruff
  4. Wild Ginger
  5. Wintergreen
  6. Mosses
  7. Ferns
  8. Japanese Maples

If Your Septic Tank Is In the Sun

  1. Carpet Heathers
  2. Bugleweed
  3. Cotoneaster
  4. Kinnikinnick
  5. Periwinkle
  6. Ground ivy

Opt for Grass Over and Around Your Septic Tank

There are a few top options for grass around your septic tank. Be sure to check for native grasses to your area.

  1. Fescue
  2. Lawn grass
  3. Wildflower meadow mixes
  4. Ornamental grasses
  5. Kentucky Bluegrass

Three Ideas for a Vegetable Garden Around Septic Tank

It’s best not to plant a vegetable garden directly on or around your drainfield.

A significant reason for this is that wastewater could potentially contaminate your veggies. Instead of the healthy meal you were hoping for, you can end up with one full of harmful bacteria.

Avoid root vegetables if you’re determined to plant a vegetable garden near your septic tank.

These veggies send their roots down deep into the ground to gather nutrients and have an increased risk of meeting up with wastewater.

If you can’t plant your vegetable garden elsewhere, consider these ideas.

1. Choose vegetables that grow well in pots

You can grow several veggies exceptionally well in pots.

  •  Tomatoes
  •  Beans
  •  Eggplant
  •  Peppers
  •  Radishes
  •  Green onions
  •  Lettuce
  •  Squash
  •  Okra

2. Position your vegetable garden at least 10 feet away from the septic tank

If you don’t want to plant your veggies in pots, you must locate your garden at least 10 feet away from your septic system.

3. Plant veggies that can grow on a trellis

Limit direct contact with the soil if you absolutely must position your veggies on or around your septic tank.

Opt for veggies like cucumbers, pole beans, or tomatoes that you can train to grow on a trellis or stake.

And, of course, always wear gloves and wash your veggies before eating or cooking.

More Landscaping Ideas Around Septic Tank

You should not place any type of permanent decking, shed, sports court, or fountain over your septic area. Also, avoid laying plastic sheeting, gravel, or fill of any kind over the drain field.

There is also a general rule, or good rule of thumb, not to reshape or dig out this area.

So, now that you know landscaping ideas that are a bad idea, what are some other landscaping ideas around your septic tank?

You can use a beautiful lawn ornament or a specially-made cover or opt for one of these creative ideas.

1. Create a Beautiful Moment

Plan a beautiful and colorful garden around your septic tank using perennials and wildflowers. Feature a tall statue in the center to add another layer of disguise to the tank cover.

Feature a tall statue
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2. Use a Wishing Well

This charming way to hide a septic tank looks like something out of a fairy tale. The well itself is a decorative planter that encircles the tank. Then, hanging in the middle, is a beautiful potted plant. There’s no mud or water inside the well (it’s just the outer shell), so it’s easy to access the tank.

charming way to hide a septic tank
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3. Sitting Area

You’d never know there was a septic tank under there. A few boards to create an easy-to-move deck, a bench, and a couple of potted plants are just enough to do the trick. It makes a lovely place to relax and disguises an otherwise unsightly part of the yard. Because who doesn’t want to sit all along the septic system area; right? All jokes aside, it’s a great way to make the area look nice!

a lovely place to relax
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4. A Decorative Stepping Stone

Hidden in plain sight is the perfect way to describe this septic tank disguise. Place some stepping stones on either side of the tank cover to create a walkway.

Throw some decorative stones into the mix along the path, and make one of them a cover for your tank. Brilliant.

stepping stones
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5. Add a Humorous Touch

If it goes with your personality and style, disguise your septic tank with a little bit of humor.

Unique creations like a mini wooden outhouse can create a fun conversation starter within your landscaping.

This one covers a pipe, but you can always opt for a slightly larger one over your tank. Perhaps it’s not what a landscape designer would pick out, but why not have a little fun?

Photo Credit: 1001 Pallets

6. Large Bird Bath

Some people replace their septic tank lids with large bird bath bowls.

Be sure to measure correctly. You want the bird bath to cover the opening. I suppose this is a good way to assure you won’t have tree roots effecting how your septic system works.

large bird bath bowls
Photo Credit: Achla Store/Amazon

7. Septic Tank Rock Cover

This popular landscaping rock is often used as a septic tank cover. It’s affordable, is no-low mantainence, and won’t cause any damage.

Photo Credit: Emsco Group Store/Amazon

With these ideas, you won’t have to worry about an ugly septic tank ruining your beautiful landscape. 

If you wanted landscaping ideas around septic tank, I hope you found some creative solutions.

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Landscaping Ideas Around Septic Tank