When Is The Right Time To Plant Mondo Grass?

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Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by

When to plant Mondo grass is a question we are frequently asked by gardeners and to answer this question, we decided to do a post.

Mondo grass is also known as monkey grass is an evergreen perennial that makes a great standalone or undercover grass-like plant.

This grass does well in almost any soil and lighting condition.  It is a slow-growing grass that can be easily grown through division and requires minimal care once established.

Interesting Mondo Grass Facts

  • It is a good resistance to anything including deer
  • It thrives in good moisture
  • It is not a true grass but it has strappy leaves and a clumping habit
  • During summer it produces white or lavender flowers that later develop into glossy black fruit
  • Mondo grass grows easily without plenty of care
  • Once established you can leave it alone only to check it occasionally
Interesting Mondo Grass Facts

How To Plant Mondo Grass

Plant this grass in the spring season through fall, this is the best season to grow this plant.

Plant your grass in well-drained soils that receive full to partial sun and are free of weeds.  You don’t want your grass growing together with weeds that can be hard to remove.

Divide the mondo grass clumps into smaller sections using your hands and plant each section alone.  Each section should carry at least 8 – 10 leaves and as many rhizomes as possible.

Stick each section into the ground deep enough to cover their rhizomes and not too deep to cover the crowns.  Space them at least 4 to 12 inches apart covering the rhizomes with enough soil and pat it downward.

Remember to water your mondo grass frequently in the top 3 inches of soil to remain moist.  Whenever you notice it’s dry, keep watering.

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Use compost manure as it provides the soil with enough nitrogen and macronutrients.  Spread at least ½ inch layer of compost over the soil around the mondo grass to encourage its growth.  Add the compost layer annually for optimum growth.

You can apply a controlled-release fertilizer or organic fertilizer during summer and spring according to the fertilizers packaging directions. The fertilizer helps maintain the color and appearance of the mondo grass.

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Varieties Of Mondo Grass

There are 3 varieties of Mondo grass that can do well in your garden.  Before you plant any of them, its best to know all of them to make an informed choice

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Planiscapus ‘Nigrescensan)

This grass provides your garden with an aesthetic appeal that you will love and will attract your guests. It is darker than the other varieties that have traditional bright or light-green colors.

It is a slow-growing variety that thrives in sunny areas but can also grow in shady parts of the yard.  It is a thirsty variety that requires plenty of watering for it to maintain its growth.

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Planiscapus ‘Nigrescensan)

As it grows, it showcases a light green color that slowly fades to black. Its dark leaves are appealing and can be grown as an addition to flowerbeds and grow to a length of about 10-inches tall.  It flowers in the summer months producing beautiful bloom.

It is resilient to cold and lasts through the harsh months of winter without any issues.

Ophiopogon Japonicus Mondo Grass Care

This variety is the most common type found in many gardens across America.  It grows to an average height of 6 to 10 inches but some of it can grow up to 12 inches if given the right growing conditions.

It takes a wide space of about 15 inches and tolerates cold weather and pests.  It does pretty well in both sunny and shady areas of your garden.

Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Japonicus ‘Nanus’)

This variety grows to a height of about 2 to 4 inches.  It has slender leaves and a petite look that makes it attractive for use as a ground cover in your flowerbeds.  The dwarf mondo grass tolerates cold weather and pests too.

Conclusion About Planting Mondo Grass

If you are looking for an alternative to the normal turf grass, mondo will give you the look you are searching for.

Just like ordinary grass, it will remain green for the rest of the year.  Most people use mondo grass as an accent piece in many different types of garden arrangements because it adds a unique touch.

This plant is highly resilient and makes an excellent ground cover for large areas too.   It is therefore a good replacement to turf and growing to become a popular option.

Not only is it easy to grow and maintain but it also easy to tame and re-route where you want it to grow.


Can I plant mondo grass in winter?

Mondo Grass is a perennial grass that can be planted in the spring and will grow in all conditions. It will take one year to establish but then it will stay for years. Mondo grass is drought tolerant, salt tolerant, and can grow in hot weather.

This grass is a warm season grass. The soil should be well drained and have good tilth. Mondo Grass is very low maintenance grass. The grass will not need mowing. Once established, this grass has a long growing season. 

It can also be used for erosion control. Mondo Grass is a drought tolerant grass. We have planted some Mondo Grass in our community garden at the end of June, and it looks great. We are planning on planting more next year.

How quickly does mondo grass spread?

Mondo grass spreads quickly and is a good choice for those who want to add more turf or simply enjoy a great looking lawn. However, it may be best to use the lawn as a temporary surface before you decide to dig in. Mondo grass can survive the winter without problems but will not withstand hot summer temperatures.

What conditions do mondo grass like

Mondo grass is hardy and will survive the winter with no problem, so there shouldn't be any issues with frost. The other problem with mondo grass is that it doesn't like to stay moist, so if your lawn dries out too much then the leaves will start to turn yellow and fall off.

If you can find a lawn that's been fertilized with compost, you might be able to use that as a soil amendment for your mondo grass. 

But I'm sure you'll have the best results from a garden soil amendment. I would also recommend using a fertilizer that is not too high in nitrogen and phosphate.  Fertilizer can burn the roots of the grass and make it more susceptible to diseases like powdery mildew.

Does mondo grass like full sun?

Mondo Grass has a very high requirement for light (or lack of it) to flower, so you won't be able to move it into part shade.

How do you prepare soil for mondo grass?

You should water the soil once a week and add a little bit of compost to help with drainage.

Does mondo grass come back?

Mondo grass is a perennial grass, meaning that it will come back year after year.

Does mondo grass stay green year round?

For the most part, yes it does stay green. However.in the fall, it turns a gorgeous shade of gold and orange. It also makes a beautiful cut flower. When I'm feeling creative, I like to arrange the grass in a simple pattern on my patio. It's fun to watch the mondo grass grow and to see how different varieties look.

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