Zone 5+ Liriope Envy (Hosta Companion)

ci_lantroSeptember 11, 2013

So, I admit to a severe case of Zone 4 liriope envy. I was already plagued with 'I only wish I could grow it here' and then, Guacamole Don pushed me over the edge when he posted a pix of his lovely clump of yellow variegated liriope.

Earlier in the summer, I decided to gamble on some Zone 5 hardy Silver Dragon liriope spicata...bought some off of eBay and rec'd a miniscule little start of it. Planted it out in the garden & it had grown some.

Anyway, I got to thinking...

Last summer, I had gotten a small little start of mondo grass as a bonus on another eBay purchase. Thought the seller was nutz for wasting postage on shipping it to Zone 4. Anyhoo, I potted it up and grew it outdoors over the rest of last summer & brought it indoors for the winter, fully expecting it to belly-up. Somewhat to my surprise, it survived the winter & my neglect and has grown nicely outdoors over the summer. Just up-potted it, matter of fact.

So, thinking of that mondo grass, I went a-googling and learned that the variegated gold liriope muscari can be grown as a houseplant...supposedly often used in mall plantings. Since I avoid malls like the plague, I'd a never known!

hmmm....went eBay shopping...and just rec'd three very generous divisions of the variegated gold stuff and, while I was waiting for it to arrive, decided to pot up my zone marginal Silver Dragon...(esp. with the long range forecast of a bitterly cold winter.)

Very long story short, if anyone else up here on the Frozen Tundra has a hankering for that stuff that they grown down in The Tropics (all points south of Madison, WI, that is), ya' might wanna' consider giving it a try indoors over winter.

(FYI, I got my 'very generous' divisions from seller 'gnp2011' on eBay.)

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almosthooked

I have this in the great white frozen north and winters just fine. Not sure if we are border line zone 5 but sent some home to the real frozen north area to mile 49 on the alaska hwy to my daughters garden so will see if it survives the weather and her gardening hands. Once it multiplies.. try it outdoors for the winter and see what happens

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:46AM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

Here in zone 7, the last thing I'm envious of is liriope. Here is a photo of your standard liriope on my neighbors property. It reseeded itself throughout my whole hosta garden becoming an obnoxious weed with with a very evasive root system. It has taken me a long time to dig it out and its still popping up all over. Maybe the new cultivars behave themselves and are not as aggressive, but I have a love/hate - no hate relationship with this plant.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:00PM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

My garden - There are still spots I haven't tackled yet along the back. My former neighbor planted the vinca, but at least its easier to pull up when it starts heading south!

DD.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:07PM
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mosswitch

I have a love-hate relationship with lirope. I have it as a border in front of a row of oak-leaf hydrangeas I planted to block the view of a brush pile at the end of my woods, I love it there. I dug out a 5' row of it in front of a rose bed to plant that 50' border, lol! I hated it there. If it makes a ground cover under the hydrangeas, I won't mind, there is nothing else planted there. I just use that spot to toss garden debris and have for years so it's good compost.

Some are more aggressive than others. The white-flowered one is demonic. The purple one, not so much. I like the little black mondo, and had plans for it in my shade garden, but the deer pulled it all up and I didn't notice until they were dead and dry. I'll try again this time with landscape pins to hold it down.

I have a circle of the white flowered one around a tree at the edge of the woods, growing in a big pile of rock. I like it there. So far. I hated it in a bed at the top of a rock garden, where it took over the whole thing. I had to dig up the whole bed to get it out, and I'm still finding bits and pieces of it in there. I planted that in a border in front of tall mums, but it grew too fast and I hated it there. Dug that up too.

The variegated green and white borders a daylily bed, and it has behaved itself for a good 15 years. I like that one a lot. A couple clumps of the green and gold share space around a rock with toad lily, daffodils, woods poppy and a sedum. I like that too, as long as it behaves..

I guess it's location, location and the type of liriope too.

Sandy

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:08PM
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ci_lantro

Ah, if it's invasive then go ahead & hate it! I have my battles here with goutweed/ Snow on the Mountain and ditch lilies. That, and some green & white striped grass that grew fine (except that started looking bad w/ heat like SOTM does) and was showing all the signs of becoming invasive. Fortunately, I had it planted in a confined area.

When I lived in northern and later, northwest Oklahoma, I grew the plain green w/ purple flowers 'monkey grass'. In that hot & dry climate, it was never invasive & never seeded itself. Wonderful stuff for there because it is tough as nails and holds up to heat & drought and looks super for about 10 months of the year. By spring it was a little ragged looking so we always mowed it off and waited about 15 minutes for it to regrow.

Here in central WI, I doubt that I have anything to worry about because of the extreme cold. And, thanks Almosthooked, I think I will try to winter some over outdoors next winter. I'll plant some out next spring so that it has a chance to get well established over the summer. Assuming, of course, that I don't manage to kill it this winter!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 2:47PM
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ci_lantro

Duplicate post deleted.

This post was edited by ci_lantro on Wed, Sep 11, 13 at 16:05

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 4:03PM
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don_in_colorado

The variegated stuff I have, not invasive. Don't have the blue stuff.

Don B.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 7:22PM
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bernd ny zone5

I once brought green Liriope from Virginia to my zone 5 garden. It grew well here, too well, and now I try to get rid of it.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 7:33PM
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don_in_colorado

Not knowing much about liriope, I looked it up today, influenced by this thread. I guess this is l. muscari, which is considered 'clumping'. The other two species I found are considered 'spreading', and as Sandy, Donna and Bernd can attest to...no kidding, right? Glad I bought the l. muscari, and politely declined a neighbor's offering of the same blue/green stuff in Donna's pic. Too bad...would be much more desirable without the invasive trait. Sneaky mass seed-setters!

Regards,
Don B.

P.S.: Jeez, how much bigger is this gonna get? LOL (not complaining, just surprised)...I bought two clumps last year, and divided the other one into quarters in October. All four divisions lived. They're scattered around the big hosta bed under the pines, doing well. : )

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:10PM
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almosthooked

Don , mine is the same as yours and the clumping kind too( so far anyway) Excuse the chomps out of it, our mini donkey got out and decided he needed a small bite on the way by before he was sent home lol Guess it is not poisonous anyway

I was informed by Myrle what I have is not Liriope but Japanese Sedge( Carex Ice Dance) I searched under it and found the tag so I made a mistake but it sure looked the same. Sorry for the confusion
Faye

This post was edited by almosthooked on Fri, Sep 13, 13 at 21:19

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

There are many kinds that clump. Some have better flower clusters. Some are much larger too (liriope gigantea). I had the spicata once and never again. Here is gets way too invasive. We have to cut ours to the ground every Spring when the new growth begins to get rid of all that old worn out foliage.

-Babka

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:50PM
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don_in_colorado

That's what I do too, Babka. It stays evergreen here but like you said, it gets worn out/beat up, so snip snip snip, and all the new leaves look so fresh and nice!

Don B.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:01AM
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bernd ny zone5

My green liriope was expanding via underground runners, which was too much work for me to contain.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 12:12PM
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bettylu_zone6a

Don't laugh, but I found a unique way to have my liriope and not worry about it "walking"....

I took some cheap bags of topsoil and laid them on their side around a tall urn planter on a pedestal and made a circle of bags. I then cut open the tops of the bags and planted some white flowering, spreading-type of liriope (gifted to me) inside the bags. I arranged a 4" high concrete edging around the perimeter, spread mulch over the topsoil and that was it!

My reason for doing this was simple.... I had created a gravel path that I wanted to put an accent planting in the middle of where two paths intersected (kind of like a roundabout), but was not 100% sure it would be permanent, and thought I would transplant it into the ground once I determined it was a good fit. Even though it does look great, I didn't want to be constantly digging runners out of the path, so I left the liriope in the bags!

This was about 6 years ago, and the liriope still looks great and is still contained!

I'll bet you could do the same with any plastic sheeting you have, just lay it in the trench where you want to grow your border, fill with soil and plant!

Sometimes, you just have to think "outside the box" LOL

BettyLu

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 3:39PM
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don_in_colorado

'Mini donkey', Faye? Cool!

Don B.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:06PM
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almosthooked

Yes we have a mini donkey , a mini horse and a mini hinny. Also 4 standard donkey and a retired race horse. Talk about donkeys ! But they are fun and enjoy the critters even if they just are field ornaments that cost us $$ but much pleasure. This is Charlie
( butter ball) and named after the prince lol . And his partner in crime Flash

This post was edited by almosthooked on Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 23:41

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 11:34PM
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don_in_colorado

Cool, thanks for the pic!

Don B.

This post was edited by Don_in_Colorado on Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 23:44

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 11:41PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

aw, Faye, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence! I'm an animal; lover too and find your equine babies adorable.

My purchase of some wide blade liriope muscari was from Plant Delights Nursery. It and the other big kind I got there wind up as tall as my knees. It is as tall as the dwarf nandinas planted behind it. Sort of a miscalculation on my part, but the nandinas are rather gold and red leafed, always leafed out, and then there is small boxwood dark green too behind that. My idea of a rather formal bed style in a basically undisciplined garden. This was for my New England husband's benefit. He loves it. ''Let me see if I have that picture of it. The liriope is the clumping kind. In parts of my Back40 space, the orphiopigon/monkey grass is the spreading kind. I don't mind it there. No lawn in that area. Keep the lawn mower out of the way. I can set pots of hosta down in it, not worry about the pots getting hot since they are shaded by it. But, this is almost the tropics here, and I just let it go. Other parts of the garden have the landscape fabric laid beneath the carnival midway shredded cypress mulch, because it is pathways and rows of potted hosta. Occasionally something persists to grow through the mulch, but it is easily eradicated.
Here is the latest picture of the rows of really tall and wide bladed liriope.

and here is signs of the spreaders, in a small area of the Back40 not covered by mulch

oh yeah. On the right of that 2nd pic is some of the really big clumpinl muscari. Quite distinctive. I planted some of it in a pot with some tropicals ...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:19PM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

It pains me to see the "spreaders." It is very difficult to remove once it has evaded the garden - trust me!

DD

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:32PM
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almosthooked

One never knows what they find when looking around and surprise surprise, I found one. It says it is a Silver Dragon on this tag but it is all green so someone goofed at the nursery. Not sure if it gets the stripe later or if it could be a nighmare . I found it in a first season garden so time will tell . I think maybe I bought too many at once to know what I really do have. Oh well Myrle , I am almost out of room

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:56PM
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almosthooked

duplicate posting for some unknown reasoning . I noticed a few others besides mine and wondering why this is happening?? Sorry

This post was edited by almosthooked on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 0:50

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:57PM
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DelawareDonna(7A)

Ugh! Silver Dragon is a variety that spreads like groundcover - be afraid, very afraid!!!!

DD

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 4:05PM
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