Mondo grass can be found in gardens all over the place nowadays. And it’s easy to see why. The ground cover has a nice look, it flowers in the summer, and doesn’t require much maintenance at all. Despite its name and look, mondo grass isn’t actually a grass. Its closer related to lilies, which can explain the way it flowers with pink and white blossoms in the right conditions. It’s a very low-maintenance groundcover that is resilient to a whole host of pests, including dear, and it could be the key to unlocking a whole range of options in your garden.

If you’ve been thinking of growing mondo grass, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we dive into everything you need to know about this species of grass from its varieties to how you can use it in your garden!

The Different Types Of Mondo Grass

There are a lot of varieties of mondo grass out there, but we’ll be looking at the most common ones in this section. These three varieties are the primary types that grow in the garden, and it’s important to understand the characteristics of each to help you decide which one suits your needs the best.

Dwarf Mondo Grass

As the name implies, this type of grass doesn’t grow too tall. Dwarf mondo grass only grows to heights of about two to four inches. The leaves you’ll find on them are slender, giving the plant a very cute and petite look. This grass would be a great choice if you’re looking for a ground cover for a flower bed. It’s also ideal for cold weather and is resilient to pests.

Ophiopogon Japonicus

This type of grass is the one you’ll find all over America. They are the most common and probably the most recognizable as well. This plant grows up to 12 inches in height under the right conditions. Though it’s more common to see them grow from six to ten inches in height. They are very low maintenance and can thrive in shady conditions.

Black Mondo Grass

This is a stand-out amongst mondo grass as it has a darker color. It’s an eye-catcher, for sure, and will be a great addition to any garden. This plant takes longer to grow compared to other varieties of mondo grass because it branches out from stolons underground. This variety is not as low-maintenance as other types and would need regular watering to keep it growing. They thrive in sunny areas but can also work under shade. It can grow to up to ten inches in height and can add a lot of nice contrast to a flowerbed. (Cont. on page 26)

What Are The Ideal Conditions For Growth?

Mondo grass is known for being able to survive most conditions, which is what makes it a favorite amongst gardeners. The plant can survive sunny and shady areas, and it will rarely need to be watered (except for black mondo grass). If you plan on growing the plant, make sure to remember they grow well in USDA Zones 7-11. They don’t need to be watered too much, but the plant will not fare well in a drought either.

How Do I Take Care Of Mondo Grass?

Since it is so resilient, once you have planted the mondo grass, you don’t have to do too much. As long as you water it during the dry season, remove weeds when you see them, and give it a trim when it gets too long, you won’t even have to think about the grass! It’s also generally pet-friendly and pest resilient, so you won’t have to worry too much about animals ruining the plant.

Ideally, you’d want to pull up the grass every two or three years and divide the root clumps. But other than that, you won’t need to do too much with this plant. This is what makes it a great choice for those who prefer passive-growing plants.

How Do You Grow New Mondo Grass?

Growing mondo grass is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is keep a close eye on weeds overtaking the area where you’re planting. You can order seeds or pre-propagated plants from your local plant shop and keep the plant safe by using straw or wood mulch in the areas surrounding the plant. It’s important to choose the right area to grow your mondo grass. While they can survive direct sunlight, they thrive the best in partially lit or shaded areas.

The way to grow mondo grass is by planting in the early spring, which gives your plant time to establish before the frost. Plant the grass in a partially shaded area for the best results and in slightly acidic soil. It’s best to give each plant around three to four inches of space to grow when you plant them. You can also use organic fertilizer before planting and give the plant diluted organic fertilizer once every spring to keep it looking healthy while it’s growing out.

How Can I Use Mondo Grass?

Mondo grass has a lot of uses in the garden. For one, it’s primarily used to line flowerbeds and trees, since they thrive in the shade. The grass can also be used to add some texture and dimensions to a garden. And while a lot of people use this grass more as an accent piece, it can be taken much further than that.

Mondo grass lawns are slowly growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. Since the plant is so low-maintenance and the roots spread around so rapidly, it can serve as a great ground cover for larger areas. It also looks great when used as companions to Japanese Painted Fern, Loosestrife, and Astilbe.

Another option for those who are looking for more minimalist approaches to gardening is growing the mondo grass in containers. This can be used for fairy gardens or miniature gardens, or simply as container plants inside and outside the house. The options of this plant are seemingly endless, and seeing as it’s so easy to take care of, it’s no wonder that this plant can be seen in gardens all across America!


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