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Get Wild and Creative with Monkey Grass

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Sometimes, a brick or stone border around your garden, lawn, or flower bed just doesn't provide the aesthetic pleasure you may be looking for. Monkey grass is a versatile border plant that holds up well in adverse weather conditions and provides a living border that is very attractive. Here's more on monkey grass.

Ophiopogan japonicus goes by several common names: monkey grass, mondo grass, lily turf, and snakebeard, just top name a few. Although some horticulturists think of monkey grass as a weed, homeowners are beginning to see the benefits of this perennial evergreen in all areas of their properties. Monkey grass is identified by its light green blades and full bloom. It's easy to plant, easy to prune, and grows pretty much all year around. Here are some specifics about monkey grass and why you might want to include this plant in your landscaping design.

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Monkey Grass Profile

  • Basic Description. This grass-like evergreen perennial grows in clumps of strap-like (1/8" wide) foliage and spreads via underground runners. It is easily divided with a long life span. It can also be planted and developed by seeds.
  • Growing Conditions. Prefers filtered sun to full shade and full sun in cool winter areas. Monkey grass requires good drainage, and prefers acidic, humus-rich soil. Divide and prune out brownish foliage before new growth begins.
  • Care and Watering. To keep monkey grass healthy, apply leaf mold in the autumn months. Water as you would any other shrub or plant in your garden. Make sure to keep your monkey grass barely moist in the winter months.


So now that you've decided to go organic, here are some tips for making the transition. Your local nursery will have more information should you need it. But once you get started, you'll find that using organic fertilizer is pretty straightforward.

Where to Plant Monkey Grass

  • Ground Cover. Monkey grass makes a perfect ground cover. Try mixing monkey grass with wildly different foliage types and colors for variation.
  • Borders. Plant monkey grass along walkways, gardens, and flower beds.


Take a trip to your local home and garden center and talk to a professional about including monkey grass in your landscaping plan. It's both inexpensive and beautiful.



About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.



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