Does Dwarf Mondo Grass Spread?

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Last Updated on February 1, 2022 by

Mondo grass is an evergreen perennial that is an excellent groundcover but does dwarf mondo grass spread around like the common one.

Does Mondo Grass Spread?

Dwarf mondo grass – Ophiopogan japonicus is a hardy grassy plant.   This grass is known to grow fast or slow depending on its environment. The type of soil you plant it on, the amount of sun it gets each day, and how often you water and fertilize it affect its growth rate.

Mondo grass is known to be a fast spreader once it is established, but the dwarf mondo grass spreads slower than their full-sized cousins do.

Dwarf Mondo Grass Fast Spreader

Mondo grass, generally known as monkey grass performs well on almost any soil and lighting condition.

This grass is attractive and provides an outstanding landscape worth a gardener’s time.  It is easily propagated by division and requires minimal care once established.

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Mondo Grass Facts

  • Mondo grass withstands almost anything including deer except lack of moisture.

  • It is not a true grass though it has strappy leaves and a clumping habit.

  • It blooms in summer brightening up the area with white or lavender flowers that develop into glossy black fruit.

  • Growing this grass is easy, as it withstands neglect in areas where there is plenty of moisture is available.

  • Once this grass is established, you can forget about it and still watch it thrive.

Is Mondo Grass Invasive?

Mondo grass is described as invasive because it is hard to control its spread or get rid of it.  In many southern states, Mondo grass is considered invasive and grows through turf lawns and gardens.

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So, What Kills This Grass?

If you want to get rid of this grass, the only way to fully eliminate it is to use a product that has glyphosate. This is an active ingredient in most grass killers.

Take caution when spraying Round-Up in your yard as it is a non-selective herbicide.  It will kill both the grass and any other plant or tree that it touches.

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Does Dwarf Mondo Grass Spread?

Dwarf mondo grass is clumping grass as opposed to the normal carpeting grass.  Due to its type, it will only spread as wide as its mature growth.  This dwarf type – “Gyoku-Ryu” (Ophiopogon japonicas), a large dwarf mondo cultivar, spreads as far as the standard varieties at maturity. It thrives in USDA zones 7 through 10.

Is Dwarf Mondo Grass Good For Recreational Use?

Dwarf mondo grass allows some occasionally walking on it, but it is not recommended as a lawn area where children and pets get to frequently play.

It does not support many recreational activities like the normal grass.

Is Dwarf Mondo Grass Expensive?

Generally, Mondo grass has become very expensive.  4-inch pots are selling for $7 to $8 each.  This is a general price for all Mondo grass including the dwarf type.

Does Dwarf Mondo Grass Multiply?

Dwarf Mondo grass takes about 2 to 3 years growing under the right conditions to reach its spread of 3 to 4 inches.  The standard Mondo grass has a mature spread of up to 1 foot wide within a year or two.

How Far Apart Is Dwarf Mondo Grass Spacing?

Plant dwarf mondo grass at least 2 to 4 inches apart while the standard varieties at least 4 to 12 inches apart. If you want your grass to cover the ground faster, use minimum spacing when planting.

How Do You Propagate Dwarf Mondo Grass?

Use your hands or a sharp knife to break the clump into smaller pieces. Plant the dwarf grass clumps in the spots you would like them to grow in.  Water them thoroughly for the first few weeks until they are established.

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Where Does Mondo Grass Fit Best?

Mondo grass is popular and the different varieties can be used in various ways.  They include:

Dwarf Mondo Grass

  • Dwarf Mondo grass is commonly for groundcover.  It’s best for lawn use if you want well-kept lush green grounds that don’t need lots of maintenance. This type spreads with ease to create a lawn-like cover.   This variety is quite a slow grower, though, so your lawn will take a long while before filling in.

  • It’s best for areas with deep shade and can also grow under black walnut trees. It is suitable for sloppy areas where grass doesn’t do well.

  • This grass is a traditional groundcover in most Japanese gardens, where it grows around statues, stepping stones, and under trees.

  • Dwarf Mondo grass withstands foot traffic but too much will destroy it.  You will need to use a stepping-stone if you want to create a walkway where you are growing Mondo grass.

  • This grass is pet-friendly, it can withstand dogs running and playing on it but it can’t handle their urinating or digging as easily.  It still tops the list as one of the better options than most turfgrass.

Where Does Mondo Grass Fit Best

A Standard Size And Black Mondo Types

  • Standard-sized Mondo and black Mondo grass are often grown as ornamental grass.  They create soft, informal borders between walkways, lawns, and garden beds.

  • Their medium height helps hold back plants in a planting bed. Mondo grass is useful if you need a hedge-like edge that is higher than the crops.

  • As an ornamental plant, this has some of the most beautiful deeply colored leaves.  They also make a soothing sound as they rustle in the wind making this plant a pleasant addition to common seating areas. The flowers normally get lost among the leaves, so they are not a reason to grow the plant.

All Mondo Varieties

  • All Mondo grass varieties have good salt tolerance making them favorable in the coastal gardens.  They do well in the shade of trees and deer tend to avoid them.


Does dwarf mondo grass multiply?

Yes, it will multiply. It's a fast-growing perennial that spreads by runners. It can get quite large in a very short time, especially if it gets lots of sun. It can be annoying to have a thick patch in your yard. If you dig it up and replant it, it will do just fine.

Is dwarf mondo grass invasive?

Mondo grass is a perennial grass that can grow up to three feet tall. It has been classified as an invasive species. Mondo grass has invaded many parts of the United States and Canada, including California, Washington, and Oregon. The grass grows in moist, sandy soils with low nutrient levels. Mondo grass can grow vigorously on sites where it is not wanted, such as roadsides or vacant lots. It also grows along waterways and wetlands.

The grass spreads rapidly by seeds and rhizomes. Seedlings are light green and have soft, downy leaves. Mondo grass grows quickly, sometimes reaching heights of several feet in one year. The long stems of the grass often touch the ground, forming dense mats of vegetation. The stems also produce roots at the base of the plant. These roots can spread and invade other areas. Mondo grass grows best in well-drained soils.

How wide does mini mondo grass grow?

Mini Mondo Grass grows about 8 inches high and 8 to 10 inches wide. The grass can be cut regularly and reseeded, but the grass will not grow back once it's been cut. It is a good choice for lawns that are too small to use real grass, but not small enough to use an in-ground pool or water garden.

Does mondo grass like sun or shade?

It loves sunny spots.

How often should you water mondo grass?

Mondo grass can be kept in a pot or in the ground and needs to be watered at least once a week. You should water it before the first real frost. This is to ensure that it gets a good start, so that it will grow well all season.

It is best to water during the cooler part of the day.

How do you plant Mondo Grass?

The process of planting mondo grass is very similar to that of a regular lawn. To plant mondo grass, you will need to dig a hole big enough for the roots to fit into. Then you will need to remove the root ball from the container it came in. If the container was plastic, you can use your hands to separate the roots from the dirt.

Once you have removed the root ball from the container, you will need to replant the mondo grass into the hole you just dug. To make sure the roots are planted firmly, water the mondo grass. This will keep the soil moist and help the grass grow faster. The best time to plant mondo grass is during the fall or spring months. During the summer, it is too hot for the grass to grow as fast as it should.

 Final Thoughts

Now that you know how dwarf Mondo grasses spread, and how farther they can grow, you can try growing it. If you are looking for an alternative to the ordinary turf, Mondo grass is what you need.

It grows just like regular grass and remains green all year round all the while adding a unique touch to your yard.

The grass not only looks good but is easy to grow and maintain.  It grows at a slower pace compared to the ordinary grass so you can tame it easily and reroute it where you want it to grow. 

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