Mondo Grass vs. Monkey Grass: What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between mondo grass and monkey grass?

mondo grass | Plant Gardener

You can tell the difference by looking at the growth habit and the appearance of the plants.

Both mondo grass and monkey grass are members of the Ophiopogon genus.

While they are similar in appearance, mondo grass has a more rounded shape and is easier to cultivate than monkey grass.

They both need regular watering and proper soil conditions to grow, and the plants only need minimal care.

Monkey grass is a tropical plant that has been widely used as an ornamental since ancient times.

The foliage is deep blue and resembles a fountain, and its flower stalks and leaves are often lost among the dense foliage. The variety that has dark foliage is called black mondo.

This type is slow to establish and is often used as a specimen plant. However, it can be damaged by cold during bad winters.

Mondo Grass vs Mokey Grass: Leaf Identification

Mondo grass is often confused with liriope or Aztec grass. The difference between mondo grass and monkey grass lies in its leaves.

Mondo grass leaves are narrower and contain fewer fruits. Once established, mondo grass is very low-maintenance, so you should only mow it once a year in late winter or early spring.

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This will keep it looking nice for years to come.

Monkey grass is an evergreen perennial plant. Its scientific name is ophiopogon, meaning snake. Its leaves are fine to medium in texture and erect.

The flowers of monkey grass are typically white or lilac and appear from July to September. If you’re not sure which one is which, just remember that monkey grass is generally the less attractive of the two.

While mondo grass is often considered to be superior to monkey grass, it is not. The former has more vibrant foliage and is better suited to coastal gardens.

Its flowers are smaller and hidden under its leaves. Both are edible and suitable for a wide range of landscape uses.

This species is native to East Asia and is widely distributed throughout the continent. It is native to many regions and is commonly cultivated in the United States.

Despite their similar names, they are quite different. Both species are popular for their contrasting colors and textures.

Compared to monkey grass, mondo grass is darker and shorter. It also grows faster than monkey grass and grows faster.

It is more difficult to grow mondo grass in temperate regions. It is best grown in zones 4 to 11.

There are many differences between the two. Its leaves are larger and narrower than monkey grass’s, and it has a softer texture than liriope spicata.

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Is Mondo Grass Invasive?

Mondo grass is a native of the woodlands of Korea and Japan. It can grow in zones seven to ten of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It prefers moist soil that drains easily but must be protected from extremely low temperatures. It also thrives in partial shade but spreads quickly in full shade.

It is not harmful to landscapes, but it can cause problems if you don’t know how to properly manage it.

Mondo grass is invasive in the southern states. It’s not a problem in the Pacific Northwest, where it is a native flora.

In areas of the world with cool climates, it’s a great choice for landscaping. It grows through sods in sods and doesn’t spread by seed. However, some people find it highly invasive in other locations.

Mondo grass is a perennial, evergreen plant in the lily family and is one of the easiest plants to maintain. It thrives in humid environments and will tolerate full sun or full shade. If it’s exposed to dry air, it may become brown, or die, but it will survive.

Regardless of your climate, Mondo grass is a great addition to the garden and is often a welcome accent plant.

Controlling Mondo Grass from Spreading

The best way to control Mondo grass is to plant it in the rich soil and protect it from erosion. It is easy to propagate by division, but it needs a lot of water once it has established itself.

Mondo grass is also tolerant of most soil conditions. The foliage is long-lived and has a clumping habit.

Its glossy black fruit is often produced in the summer. Mondo grass is very hardy in areas with adequate moisture, so you can safely ignore it.

Mondo grass is not a weed, but it does need to be kept moist during the dry season. It needs little maintenance other than weeding and watering.

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To keep the greenery looking beautiful, trim back its leaves regularly. Its only pests are slugs and snails. It is highly invasive in urban areas, so it is important to use a fungicide that will kill off any invasive Mondo grass.

Once established, Mondo grass is easy to care for. It prefers filtered sunlight, but it does not tolerate excessive sun. In hot climates, Mondo grass will need shade. The plant will not grow well in sandy soil.

A shaded location is best for it. If it is grown in a sunny area, it will grow well in a sunny area. But it does not like very high temperatures.

Although it is invasive in some areas, it does not spread fast in urban areas. It is not a threat to buildings or houses. Its growth rate is slow and it is tolerant of damp conditions.

A large-scale installation may take up to two years. And it is an excellent choice for coastal gardens. You can buy a flat of mondo grass for as little as $95 and it ships for free.

How to Use Mondo Grass For Landscaping

Mondo grass is a versatile ground cover that requires minimal maintenance. This perennial grass will thrive in moist, well-drained soil and requires no irrigation during the growing season.

It is best planted in the early spring when temperatures are warmer and it will have time to establish itself before the winter frost.

Mondo also tolerates drought, which means that you can use it in areas where moisture is lacking.

Read on to learn more about the advantages of Mondo grass and how to install it in your garden.

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Mondo grass is very low maintenance.

When planted in the spring, it sends out shoots and will spread slowly, eventually forming a dark, lush lawn.

Depending on the variety and spacing, this type of grass may take two to four years to grow to full coverage. This low-maintenance alternative to grass is also suitable for areas of low foot traffic and can serve as a border around a garden feature.

Mondo grass is tolerant of full sun to partial shade.

It grows best when planted a few inches apart and is suited for gardens that receive a lot of sunshine. This grass needs regular watering and fertilization. It will also tolerate partial shade.

Mondo grass is best grown in slightly acidic soil, so you can add compost and fertilizer to the soil before planting. Keep in mind it’s easy to maintain and does not require much care.

Mondo grass grows best in full sunlight, but it can also tolerate full shade. If you want to enjoy deep-black foliage, make sure you plant it in full sun. Mondo grass can tolerate low amounts of water. It will tolerate more sun than any other grass and will not tolerate a lot of shade.

For a lush green carpet, a few inches of rain is sufficient. For a lawn that is both aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance, a mounded bed of mondo grass can be an ideal solution.

Its leaves can vary in color depending on their exposure. Some varieties are light green and others are deep black. For a lush green lawn, you should plant the grass in well-drained soil.

In well-drained soil, this particular grass is highly resistant to drought. If it receives too much water, it will die. Mondo grass is a perfect choice for gardens.

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In this blog, explore the differences between mondo grass and monkey grass, two popular ground cover options. Discover their unique characteristics, growth habits, and ideal growing conditions. Whether you’re planning a garden or looking to enhance your landscape, understanding the distinctions between these two plants is essential. From foliage appearance to maintenance requirements, delve into the nuances that set mondo grass and monkey grass apart. Gain insights to help you make informed decisions for your landscaping projects.


Having learned the differences between Mondo and Monkey grasses, which one should you plan then?

Mondo grass is best suited for gardens in full sunlight. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate partial shade. It can also tolerate shaded gardens.

Mondo grass is an excellent choice for borders and under-planting shrubs. It’s very low maintenance, so you can plant it anywhere. The grass will grow best in garden beds and containers.

The plant has tuberous roots that store water and nutrients.

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