Spruce Up Your Lawn with Monkey Grass

A ground cover can dramatically improve your landscape.

Most homeowners are familiar with the popular ground cover known as monkey grass. Whether you're trying to cover up dead spots or you want to enhance the edges of your lawn or garden, monkey grass is an easy-to-maintain ground cover that provides homeowners with endless options for use. Also referred to as mondo grass, monkey grass comes in several varieties belonging to the liriope or ophiopogon species. Its low maintenance characteristics, combined with tolerance to heat and drought conditions, make monkey grass a popular choice for homeowners. Monkey grass is relatively resistant to disease and lawn pests, and needs only a small amount-if any-fertilizer. The variety of monkey grass you choose will definitely depend on the region in which you live. For example, some varieties need a lot of sun, whereas other varieties require more shade. Either way, however, monkey grass can survive and thrive in most environments.

Facts about Monkey Grass

Height: Varies between 10 and 15 inches; monkey grass is available in taller forms (up to 16 inches), which are often used as foundation shrubs. Native Land: Eastern Asia Appearance: The leaves on monkey grass are dark green and smooth. As the name implies, it looks like grass. Texture: Delicate to medium The Pros: There are many positive characteristics of monkey grass, making it a common ground cover in lawns. Monkey grass is resilient, easy to maintain, and tolerant to extreme weather conditions (i.e. drought, high and low temperatures, heavy rainfall) and various soils. Furthermore, monkey grass requires little fertilizer and mowing (although you can mow in early spring to promote healthy growth), thrives year-round, and is easy to plant and prune. The Cons: There are very few drawbacks to monkey grass; however, it has a tendency to invade other areas of the lawn. To avoid this from occurring, divide the monkey grass and plant in pots or containers. Most Popular Variety: Liriope muscari (a clumping form that produces spiked-purple flowers in the summer and deep purple berries in the fall) Requirements: Monkey grass thrives with a good drainage system. Ground Cover Use: Monkey grass is ideal for borders, walkways, flowerbeds and gardens. If you have dead spots that need to be filled or other unsightly elements, monkey grass is a low-maintenance ground cover that will spruce up your lawn in no time!
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