Mondo grass (Ophiopogon Japonicus and other species) in all of its varieties has been one of the favourite low to medium growing grasses or ground cover plants with landscapers for a number of years.
Although most used widely as a ground cover it is also suited for planting between pavers (see picture right) as well as for use as an edging plant. Mondo Grass with its green or black strappy leaves is a low maintenance easy care plant.
Mondo Grass growing between pavers
Loved by landscapers for its ‘low care’ characteristics and the fact that it grows in shade, Mondo Grass is one of the few ornamenatl grasses that will reach its best height and stop.
This is a strapped leaf plant that is available in the common green form, black as well as a variegated form that is a little more difficult to find.
With a number of varieties available ranging from mini mondo to taller cultivars you can select a height of between 30cm tall to around 10cm.
- Ophiopogon japonicus the common type of mondo grass. Dark Green Foliage to 10 -15cm
- Ophiopogon japonicus var. nanus a variety dwarf mondo grass. Dark Green Foliage to 5cm
- Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Kyoto-dwarf’ ( ‘Gyoku-ryu’) or ‘ super dwarf’ mondo grass Dark Green Foliage to 2-3 cm
- Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Silveredge’ a new cultivar with silvery foliage best suited for shade areas. Foliage to 15 cm
- Ophiopogon jaburan ‘Variegatus’, or aztec grass. Nice variegated foliage.
- Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens‘ or Black Mondo Grass 25cm, deep purple to near black foliage, contrasted by lilac pink flowers in summer followed by small deep red berries.
- Ophiopogon jaburan ‘Evergreen Giant’ a larger clumping form growing to 30cm
- Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘haku ryu’
Mondo Grass Care
Mondo Grass requires little care, although it does not like frost so plant in frost free areas. All varieties prefer a moist but well drained soil and actually do better in part shade than full sun.
Best grown in an open free draining loamy soil which allows easy natural root growth and therefore faster establishment of good sized clumps. Soil does need to be able to retain some moisture, so prepare well by adding some well rotted compost before planting.
Mulch around individual plants and water in with a liquid seaweed fertilizer when planting.
Annual Top dressing of Mondo Grass with an organic compost will help promote growth. A slow release fertilizer is best.
Mondo grass works well as an underplanting for small shrubs in containers, it does require a good quality potting mix to thrive.
- Dwarf Mondo Grass
Dwarf species of Mondo Grass such as Ophiopogon japonicus var. nanus and ‘Kyoto-dwarf’ will be longer than a normal”cut lawn’
- Mondo Grass as a Ground Cover
As a ground cover Mondo Grass is usefull in preventing weed growth
- Planting Mondo Grass
Mondo Grass is best planted in late winter. Seperate into individual plants and make sure that the roots are adeqautely covered with soil. Water in well/
- Mondo GrassSpacing
Larger growing species can be planted 20 – 30 cm apart. Dwarf Species 7-10 cm apart.
Mondo Grass Alternatives
- Themeda australis var. Mingo
- Dichondra repens
- Lomandra filiformis
- Dianella longifolia
- Dichelachne crinata
- Liriope muscari