kahlanne(z8 LA)May 23, 2005

Since I can't seem to search anymore, I thought I would ask the question here. I was thinking of edging my beds with liriope/lilyturf that has the purple blooms and maybe mondo grass. I am correct that these are not the same right? It says that the liriope can take full sun to shade but in other sites it says best in shade. There is even one site that says not to plant in the south's full sun. Now I am confused. My beds get full sun so I need something for edging there. Will this work? Do they spread fast? I found some online that sells 3"- 6" bareroot plants fairly cheaply so I can order a bunch. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.

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oldblush(8a, MS)

Lirope, monkey grass, will tolerate anything. It will probably look best in the shade but will certainly thrive in direct sunlight. The problem with lirope is not getting it to live but getting rid of it.
Mondo grass, on the other hand, did not do well for me in direct sunlight but thrives well in the shade.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 3:40PM
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I agree with OldBush - Lirope does great in full sun--thrives, in fact. However, monkey grass does a little better in some shade.
The difference b/n lirope and mondo (monkey) grass is that lirope has the blooms and berries with a wider blade and usually taller growth pattern. Mondo is usually darker in color and very thin blades. Also, I know that the lirope is a member of the lily family (lily turf) and I believe that mondo is a true grass, but I could be wrong.
I have the lirope around all my beds and love it because it holds in my soil to make raised beds and can be edged around easily with the weed whacker.
Hope that helps a little.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 4:56PM
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billums_ms_7b(Delta MS 8A)

I have beds edged with monkeygrass as well. You should be aware that there is a bit of work involved with it. Every spring I get out with clippers and cut the grass back to about an inch or two high so the new growth will not be mixed with last year's dead leaves. The new growth will look nice, but since my monkey grass gets pretty tall it can hide lower growing plants until you get close to the bed.

Monkey grass spreads relentlessly. I end up having to get a sharp shovel and thin it back where it grows into the beds. This doesn't have to be done every year though.

I honestly think you can't kill the stuff, so it's good for new gardeners. I'll bet you could find someone in your area who needs thiers thinned back and get plenty from them.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 10:55AM
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I have mondo grass in shade and almost full sun. The shaded beds definitely look better!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 2:30PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

If you are a little confused, I can't blame you. Bayou10 is correct. Monkey Grass is "Mondo" not Liriope. And everything he said is absolutely correct. Monkey grass (Mondo) will not perform in the sun. Liriope will love the sun! Aztec grass, which is totally different from variegated liriope, is a sun lover also that will give you a nice contrast in color. It is much whiter than variegated liriope that is sorta ca ca yellow.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 11:09PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I try to listen to people who have been gardening here all their lives, and I was advised not to plant liriope as it is so aggressive. So I didn't, and I can't tell you whether that is true or not. I do have mondo, tho', and while it does spread some it is absolutely no problem to dig if it gets where I don't want it, and it looks great in even heavy shade, and I never have to trim it in the spring. Some of mine gets some sun, but not full, and it still looks fine. I have a good gardening friend who spends all her time in the yard, and she got rid of the liriope she had edged some beds with because it wanted to fill the beds.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:54AM
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The variegated liriope is less aggressive I think, and looks nicer as an edge against all-green grass. It grows for me in shade or sun. I agree with Billums about the once-a-year trim. It was a lot of work here to edge the beds. When I lived in Mobile, the monkey-grass-man went door to door, offering to put in sprigs for edging - 50 cents per foot.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 8:33AM
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I find mondo much more aggressive and harder to thin than liriope.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 1:21PM
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What am i doing wrong???

I have a small circular garden bed with a small maple tree growing in the middle of it. I've planted liriope around the edges to create a nice border. That was 6 months ago and it hasn't grown an inch !!!!! It is still is sitting there all small and non-growing.

I have tried fertilising, watering more, watering less etc.... i chose liriope because it's meant to be so tough but it does nothing for me !!! agh!

Does anyone have any suggestions???

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 2:30AM
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Would Liriope grass, look good grown in pots, just for ornament?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 8:17PM
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Katiezub, two things with your liriope. I don't see any growth with mine until the year after I plant it. I have areas of thick liriope groundcover that I keep adding to every year. I put in sprigs of it all through the growing season (then ignore it), knowing that it will fill in the following spring. So if you just put it in, you won't see much until next year.
The other problem is the maple. I would guess that most of the water and nutrients you are putting on the liriope are going straight to the maple roots. Nothing competes very well against maples. So you might never see lush growth. The only thing to do is wait until next year and find out. Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 12:09PM
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Wow! I ended up on this string because I was trying to find the real name of the white-variegated Mondo Grass. I don't want yellow variegation (Liriope muscari 'Silvery Sunproof'), or, because it tends to revert to solid green, Silver Dragon (Liriope spicata 'Silver Dragon'). Mondo is Ophiopogon japonicus but there is supposed to be a white-variegated version somewhere.
Now to the apparent confusion on this string:
Liriope muscari is clumping and spreads slowly if at all. Mostly it fills in because the clump itself grows wider. 'Big Blue' is the best green cultivar. It stays pretty deep green with little attention. It should be mowed once, in February in the South. 'Silvery Sunproof' is the best yellow-variegated cultivar, because it takes sun or shade. If anybody knows of a good white-variegated cultivar please let me know.

Liriope spicata spreads by underground stems and this one is the one the above posts must have been complaining took over the bed. If it is happy it will take over the bed. That could be good or bad. But Sugar Hill is right, a Maple is difficult to grow anything under. Maples may even be allelopathic, which means their roots put out a poison to eliminate competition.
The worst problem with L. spicata is that it yellows out, especially in full sun, and seems like a dump-truck full of fertilizer won't green it back up. (Liriope muscari responds beautifully to fertilizer, turning to a forest green.) Some say Spider Mites cause it so if you have that yellowing problem try shaking the leaves onto a white sheet of paper and look for little crawling specks.
The only L. spicata cultivar I know of is 'Silver Dragon', with white-variegation, and like I said it tends to reversion to green.
Mondo grass is similar but different:
1. Though Liriope takes sun or shade in the South, Mondo
resents full-sun, in my experience. Besides, truth be told, there are alot of other groundcovers for full sun that are prettier anyway.
2. Do not, I repeat, do NOT cut back Mondo in February. It will take months and months to grow back. Occasionally, if it gets ratty, cut it back in early June (Z 7). Maybe once every 4 or 5 years.

Aztec Grass is different. I don't think its hardy in the middle South. It is used extensively in Florida in sun or shade. Seems to like sun better though. Nematodes will devastate it so they are helping to rapidly reduce its popularity down there. But no one, no book, not even Florida-only landscape books, seems to know what the scientific name is for Aztec Grass. If a professor stumbles on this string please respond with the real scientific name of Aztec Grass.
Oh! and white-variegated non-reverting Mondo or Liriope anyone?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 8:46AM
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I just planted a Japanese "Full Moon" , "Vitiforum" Maple last week on a south wall which is gonna get full all day sun. One gargen center said it would do fine, the other insisted it would burn. What say all you fine people ? Also, Will this type of maple also leach the nutrients out of anything grown under it ? The soil is clay. When I planted it, I mixed in some bagged "Acid Soil". Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 9:31PM
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