Does Mondo Grass Spread [Is It Invasive]?

Mondo Grass is a robust, tenacious grass that can withstand anything. This plant works wonderfully to provide depth to your landscape and is typically used to border garden beds and trees. Does Mondo grass, however, spread? Does it intrude?

We've done extensive research and have these answers below!

Once entrenched, Mondo grass is renowned for spreading swiftly and is classified as invasive owing to how challenging it is to restrict or eradicate it. Across many southern states, Mondo grass is a nuisance because it infringes on turf lawns and gardens.

All this type of grass needs hydration to survive, and it can withstand anything from shadows to animals. You'll discover that caring for such a plant is simple and doesn't require much work to maintain its appearance. To learn more about Mondo grass, read this article!

Green leaves plant Mondo Grass Ophiopogon Japonicus garden background. - Does Mondo Grass Spread [Is It Invasive]?

green ophiopogon japonicus grass and concrete walkway, abstract background

Bushy mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicas) planted in the stone garden.

Varieties Of Mondo Grass

Despite having spiky blades and a clumping behavior, Mondo grass is a lily. During the summer, it blooms, illuminating the landscape of lavender or white blossoms that turn onto glossy black berries.

Stock photo of mondo grass also known as snakes beard or orphiopogon japoncicus blooming in the garden area under bright sunlight. Picture captured at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.

You should be familiar with the numerous varieties of this grass subgroup before you head out and get some Mondo grass seeds. Mondo Grass has four different types you need to be informed of.

Ophiopogon Japonicus

The most prevalent kind of Mondo grass is Ophiopogon Japonicus (also known as "Monkey Grass"), which is the kind you'll be accustomed to whenever you encounter the name.

It typically stands between six and 10 inches tall but can grow up to 12 inches in some cases. This species' outstanding feature is that each plant may get up to 15 inches wide.

This makes it possible for such a region to stay weed-free, significantly minimizing the time and work you must invest in that part of your yard. You'll be delighted to learn that such a Mondo grass is hardy and adaptable to shaded environments.

Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Japonicus ‘Nanus’)

It is a particular variety of Mondo Grass. It develops to only 2-4 inches, roughly half the length of the other varieties in its family.

The more thin leaves of Dwarf Mondo grass will give it a more delicate appearance. Additionally, the environment or animals shouldn't much impact this variety.

You'll like how simple it is to maintain, how attractive it looks, and the wide range it can cover.

Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Planiscapus ‘Nigrescensan)

Guests will undoubtedly respond positively to this variety of Mondo grass. Its name accurately describes how much darker it is than the typical grass tone.

Since it must branch out through stolons below the ground level, it spreads slowly. Black Mondo Grass requires regular watering and does best in full sun or partial shade.

Ophiopogon Planiscapus Nigrescens - black mondo grass or black lilyturf

Because of its dark leaves, Black Mondo grass is regarded as an uncommon species. It flowers in the summer and reaches a height of 10 inches.

Expect its leaves to start green and change to their dark hue as the plant becomes more entrenched. Even in milder winters with milder temperatures, it will continue to grow.

Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon Genus)

There are numerous applications for this kind of plant. While at times, individuals utilize Mondo grass as an additional parameter in various landscape layouts.

Its use extends beyond merely that. This plant is quite hardy.

Therefore, it also works well as a land cover for vast areas. It's common to use Mondo grass in place of turf lawns, particularly in regions with more arid climates.

The Best Way To Grow And Spread Mondo Grass

One of the more straightforward to grow and spread plants is Mondo Grass. You can accomplish this by buying pre-grown plants or seeds from your neighborhood nursery.

Keeping weeds from taking over the area you're planting in will be your biggest challenge. Using mulch made of wood or straw around your plants' immediate surroundings is a crucial defense against this.

Instead of utilizing pesticides, we think this is a more organic way to deal with weeds.

Before applying the covering of hay or mulch, remove all weeds, no matter how small. Weeds won't try to poke through as a result of this.

Time To Plant

After the final frost, you should ideally sow your Mondo grass in the early spring. Planting later in the growing season is possible if you allow your plant sufficient time to grow before the first frost.

Planting Location

This plant prefers shade and moderate sunlight, yet it may survive sun exposure. When planting in natural sunlight, make sure to water the new plant thoroughly after transplant.

Rototiller the site to prepare it. The best benefits come from adding a layer of compost around 2-3 inches thick. Mondo grass thrives in garden beds or containers.

Type of Soil

Expert hand of farmer checking soil health before growth a seed of vegetable or plant seedling. Gardening technical, Agriculture concept.

For Mondo grass, sowing on mildly acidic soil works best. Use a soil pH meter to check the acidity of your soil.

Check this soil pH meter on Amazon.

Depth Of Planting

When transplanting your plant to your garden, remember to duplicate the depth it developed when it was part of the cell pack.


When planting, space them 3-4 inches apart if you want complete coverage. Staying between 6 and 8 inches is best when striving for a smoother texture.


Before planting, make sure you use an organic fertilizer.

For the first few years after planting, a sparing application with concentrated organic fertilizer every springtime is recommended to maintain your plant looking healthy.


Use a pair of lawn shears to maintain the Mondo grass within the hand.

Find this cordless grass shear on Amazon.

Controlling Pests And Diseases In Mondo Grass

Although Mondo grass is robust and hardy, there are several problems to look out for. Slugs and snails can destroy sensitive young foliage of all kinds by chewing holes in them.

Use additional options for natural ways to keep slugs and snails out of your garden by hand-picking them and throwing them away in a basin of soapy water.

Gastropods can be repelled from plants you want to keep safe using various repellents. Garlic oil sprayed on the soil near crops will keep gastropods away and kill any that come close to it.

Scientists recently discovered that snails and slugs are highly hazardous to caffeine. Scatter discarded coffee grounds, full caffeine, not decaf, at the border of vegetable and flower gardens to act as a deterrent.

"Pythium Splendens," a water mold, can cause root rot in very damp soil, especially in dwarf types. Make sure the soil drains effectively and avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

How Do You Get Rid Of Mondo Grass?

lose up of a pile of Mondo grass for taking cuttings and replanting. When thinned and replanted this ornamental grass will grow to form an attractive ground cover. A group of neighbours is replanting a garden bed on the shared driveway to their properties.

The only way to completely eradicate this grass is to use a product containing glyphosate from Round-Up. This is the main component in the majority of lawn killers.

Because Round-Up is a non-selective herbicide, use caution while applying it to your lawn. Any plant or tree it comes in contact with, including grass, will die.

Glyphosate targets wide-ranging plants, making it successful against most weeds in lawns. If accidentally sprayed on, the thin blades of your usual lawn grass are unaffected.

Permit the problematic plant to grow fully enough to produce noticeable leaves before applying Roundup because glyphosate enters plants through their leaves. The region shouldn't be mowed right before you apply herbicide.

A sunny day is best because rain will wash the chemical away, and you'll waste both time and money. Avoid spraying on windy days or adjacent to any food plants.

If you are growing Mondo grass on a border and want to prevent it from spreading, dig down 12-18 inches and install a barrier. The type of bamboo shield made of sturdy plastic sheeting works nicely.

Cover the region with plastic or landscaping fabric to smother any rhizomes or underground roots. While some gardeners view Mondo grass as a nuisance that must be eradicated, others benefit from its hardiness and lovely, evergreen blades.

See this Round-Up concentrate on Amazon.


Green leaves plant Mondo Grass Ophiopogon Japonicus plants in nature park. - Does Mondo Grass Spread [Is It Invasive]?

If you're looking for an alternative to turf, you need Mondo Grass, often known as "Monkey Grass." It will stay green all year long like regular grass while giving your yard a unique look.

This plant is beautiful to look at and exceedingly easy to cultivate and maintain. Due to its moderate growth, the plant is ideal for redirection and training to other areas of your garden.

Made it to the end? Check out these other posts below:

15 Low-Growing Border Plants You Should Consider

Should You Pull Up Dead Grass? [Best Ways To Do It!]

When To Cut Back And Divide Liriope [And How To Do That]

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