The Q&A Archives: Shrubs for wet sandy soil

Question: We live near a lake and have a sunny spot with wet sandy soil near our raised septic bed that we'd like to plant for privacy. I'd like a flowering shrub that grows fairly quickly to about 15-20 tall but that won't send roots out more than 15-20 feet wide, to protect the septic bed. I've been told lilacs are definitely bad news near septic systems, so I'd love an alternative. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Answer: Lilacs are not good choices because they do have aggressive roots and they do sucker. Plus, they are deciduous so they wouldn't provide much privacy during the winter months. You might consider viburnum, holly or escallonia. Best wishes with your landscape!

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