Getting your landscape under control can sometimes be easier said than done. Do you have overgrown monkey grass you're struggling to keep at bay but don't know what tool you can use for this? What is the best equipment you can use for your monkey grass?
Luckily, we've done plenty of research and have a few ideas to share.
We recommend a weed whacker/eater, hedge shears, or hand grass clippers if you need a new tool for cutting monkey grass. Since monkey grass can be tucked into other plants and tends to cover the ground, you want to be as precise as possible while cutting it.
A common misconception about monkey grass is that it is a traditional "blade" grass, which is untrue. This plant works more as a flowering groundcover, often resembling turf grass.
As we start this article, we will cover all things cutting monkey grass and share which tools you should use. Whether your landscape is vast, pretty manageable, or your monkey grass needs some TLC, we're here to offer some guidance. With that said, let's dive right into this topic below!
What Tools Can I Use To Cut Monkey Grass?
If you need to cut your monkey grass, we recommend three main tools:
- A weed eater/wacker
- Hedge shears
- Hand grass clippers
Since monkey grass grows close to the ground, focusing on sharp, precise cutting is better. Use a weed-eating attachment on your mower and mow the monkey grass if you'd like, or use a weed whacker.
Those should bring your monkey grass down to the soil, giving them more of a manicured look. Furthermore, hedge shears are perfect for shaping and controlling monkey grass.
You can also use hand grass clippers to shape and control your monkey grass, although this can become a hassle for larger portions of this flowering plant.
Unlike regular grass, you shouldn't use a traditional lawn mower for monkey grass. This can harm your plants and stress your lawn mower, so try and stick to our three tools above.
Many experts prefer hand-trimming, as it will be more precise than using a large machine/tool. Of course, that's entirely up to you and your monkey grass.
WORKEASE Cordless Weed Trimmer
This weed trimmer/wacker is battery-powered, works for 1.5-2 hours per charge, is lightweight, works well for ground-covering plants, has three sets of blades, and features a side safety lock and adjustable handle.
OARA Garden Hedge Shears
These garden hedge shears feature a 21-inch carbon steel blade, and soft vinyl cushion grips, work well for hedges and smaller plants, won't rust, and have great online customer reviews.
Kings County Tools Grass Trimming Shears
These hand grass clippers work well for monkey grass, feature 5-1/4-inch steel blades, have rotating handles, a secure safety lock, have alloy steel blades, turn 45 or 90 degrees, and are made in Italy.
What Is The Best Way To Cut Monkey Grass?
When it comes to cutting monkey grass, this shouldn't be too difficult. Most times, the best way to cut monkey grass is by using sharp, precise shears and shaping them to your liking.
Since monkey grass produces a pretty purple flower, you don't always want to get crazy with your shears. Monkey grass has a ground-covering effect, growing over entire landscape sections and flowering during the late summer.
Therefore, you don't want to cut your monkey grass down to its base. Unlike regular grass, monkey grass doesn't grow in a single-blade format.
This small herbaceous perennial grows more like clusters of blades/flowers, so this isn't a one-size-fits-all species. As we mentioned before, monkey grass responds better to hand trimming or gentle shaping.
If you want to wait until your plants become overgrown before cutting them, that's perfectly fine. Try and create a schedule for your monkey grass and avoid trimming it during the late summer/early fall blooming period.
Specifically, we recommend cutting your monkey grass back around three inches for the best results.
How Often Should You Cut Monkey Grass?
Since monkey grass doesn't grow super fast, you won't need to cut it too often. Most times, monkey grass should get a trim once yearly, before or after the summer blooming period.
Your perennial should become around 6-12 inches tall, so these aren't very big. One benefit to growing monkey grass is its smaller mature sizing. Therefore, you won't need to trim it to keep everything looking well-manicured constantly.
Another interesting fact about monkey grass is it doesn't typically become affected by insects or disease. So, you won't need to closely monitor it or prune off dead/dying sections regularly.
With that said, if your monkey grass starts growing into other sections of your garden: you may want to consider pruning. Ground-covering plant species can make their way around an entire landscape if you let them, so keep that in mind.
Even grabbing a pair of hand shears and doing some light trimming can help make your monkey grass look aesthetically pleasing, so this species is easy to manage.
Is Monkey Grass A Weed?
No. Although monkey grass may be seen as a weed to some gardeners, this species is not considered one. Since monkey grass grows low to the ground and spreads rapidly, it's understandable why you'd think it's a weed species.
However, this ground-covering perennial is flowering and very beautiful, making it a few steps higher than a highway weed. Liriope (monkey grass) grows aggressively, which can also confuse people.
Most weeds share similar spreading behaviors, so in that way, they are very alike.
Of course, you can also use weed products to get rid of monkey grass, so you aren't trapped with it forever. Some gardeners may appreciate the extra green and purple along the ground, while others may not.
Regardless, it never hurts to try and manicure monkey grass using one of our above tools, so don't be afraid to give your section growing a trim once every 12 or so months.
Is Monkey Grass Invasive?
Yes. There are two types of Liriope (monkey grass), both growing fairly quickly. However, the spreading version of monkey grass is Liriope spicata which is considered highly invasive.
If you try planting a spicata variety in your garden, it will spread: fast. As your monkey grass matures, more seedlings will grow, often covering large amounts of soil in as little as a few months.
With that said, spreading isn't always a bad thing. For example, monkey grass is a great choice if you have a barren landscape needing color and evergreen plants.
Again, you don't want to let your monkey grass grow wild, which can become problematic later.
Try and maintain your monkey grass, spreading or not, and use a tool to trim it whenever things look possibly invasive or overgrown. Your other plants nearby will appreciate your efforts.
If you want to grow monkey grass that doesn't exhibit invasive behaviors, we recommend the Liriope muscari. This variety clumps rather than spreads and is easier to take care of.
How Big Does Monkey Grass Get?
Monkey grass can grow anywhere from 6-12 inches tall most of the time. However, some plants may reach closer to 15 inches, especially in the wild.
As we said, monkey grass is a ground-covering species. Therefore, it spreads more in width and volume than becoming tall and large.
Most times, the monkey grass in a landscape will be around ten or so inches tall. For the spread, you can expect monkey grass to become 12-18 inches across, which is pretty significant.
Considering some types of Liriope clump while others multiply, your ground can quickly become purple and green coloring throughout the entire year.
One reason so many people love monkey grass is because of how easy it is to take care of. Especially if you have a spreading variety, all you need to do is to shape and border to protect other nearby species.
Where Is The Best Place To Plant Monkey Grass?
If you want to find a spot for your monkey grass, this won't need to be anywhere in particular. An interesting fact about this ground cover is that it can thrive in full sun or shade.
However, most people prefer monkey grass surrounding the base of a tree, along the lawn, bordering other plant beds, or along pathways.
Remember, this species isn't hard to grow and requires a once-yearly trim. So you shouldn't need to worry too much about the location.
Moreover, you might have better results planting monkey grass in more shade than the sun. When it comes to USDA zones for monkey grass, we recommend anywhere within zones 7-11.
That means your perennials will do best in warmer climates, often preferring the tropics and coastal areas along the west and east.
The key to growing monkey grass is giving it enough space, shade, and occasional trimming.
To Finish It Up
Whether you have monkey grass growing in your garden or want to try planting a few, it's always good to understand how to maintain this species. We found that you can use a weed eater/wacker, hedge shears, or hand grass clippers to maintain your Liriope.
When it comes to how often you should prune monkey grass, we recommend it annually. Since these ground covers don't grow too large, they shouldn't become an issue in height.
However, you may need additional trimming during the year if you have a spreading variety. Keep your Liriope at bay using sharp, precise shears, and don't be afraid to section it off.
And while we have your attention, check out these helpful related garden articles below: