The Q&A Archives: Hazards of Planting Roses Near Leach Fields

Question: Are there any kinds of problems that roses might cause being planted around a septic system leach fields and do they need any special care having been planted there? Thank you for your help. Donna Stephens Hermon, ME

Answer: I would caution you against planting roses around your leach field for two reasons: First, plants with deep roots can invade the pipes of the leach field, eventually blocking them and creating all sorts of problems. For this reason it is usually recommended that you plant only grass on top of leach fields. (If it is a newly-installed leach field I would contact the person who installed it for their recommendations.) Second, leach fields do eventually need to be repaired and replaced, and it would be difficult to transplant mature rose plants when that time arrives. You might be OK planting annual flowers over your leach field, since they have relatively shallow roots and die back each year. I would, of course, avoid planting edible plantsthere.

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