Black Mondo Grass- Ophiopogon planiscapus nigrescens
Growing, selling and propagating Black Mondo Grass.
I’ll give you a little inside baseball. This is a hot, hot seller in our members area, but I rarely see it offered there. Inside the Members Area We have a Buy/Sell Area where members buy and sell plants to and one another. I have no idea how many plants have been bought and sold in private little area, but it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars worth. That I know for sure!
But this plant? More people should be selling it, that I know for sure.
This plant has huge selling opportunities on the wholesale market because there just aren’t that many people offering it wholesale.
It does okay in zone 5 but should thrive in zones 6 through 10 for sure. It grows for me in zone 5 but winter is always a bit iffy. The ones in the ground, in grow beds seem to do fine. That means that I’ll leave in the ground until spring then dig and pot and sell them both retail and wholesale in spring summer and fall.
Propagating Black Mondo Grass is easiest done through division and it’s done exactly the same way that we do Variegated Liriope. I did a tutorial on propagating Variegated Liriope, You Can Find that Here.
I like this low growing easy to care for plant. Since it only gets about six inches tall and wide it can be used in a lot of places where other plants can’t.
I really like Black Mondo Grass but I’ve yet to use it properly in my landscape. Because it’s so dark in color it tends to get lost in the bed. Unlike Variegated Liriope that you see planted in this same bed the Mondo Grass does self propagate. That can be good thing or a bad thing, depending on where you use and what you are using it for.
I thought that by mixing it with the Liriope I’d get a nice contrast and I have. But as is often the case when you mix plants they grow to different sizes at different rates and it’s just not keeping up with the Liriope which had a head start. So . . . since this stuff likes to self propagate I am going to buy more of it and plant it all in a large bed at the nursery. That way I can dig and divide and always have an Endless Supply of Plants to Sell.
Black Mondo Grass really works best when planted in mass plantings or used as a border. And since it does spread keep that in mind as you decide where it is going to be planted. The tiny lavender flowers appear in mid summer. They are not prominent but they are so delicate that you can’t help but appreciate them.
Black Mondo Grass is not really an evergreen, but the foliage does last all winter until it is replaced with new growth in the spring. It’s said to be deer resistant, likes some shade, and it’s not real fussy about soil conditions. It seems to do well in zones 5 through 10.
If you had a bed of Black Mondo Grass you could simply dig them, divide them and Sell the Divisions in Our Members Area, pot some up in a small liner pot and offer them to other wholesale growers, or pot them in one gallon containers and sell them to landscapers and garden centers.
Hi I am disabled with FSH muscular dystrophy and had cancer 15 years ago and was wondering if anyone has any small plants I could get reasonable also looking for any succulents thanks
I tried to buy 1 flat (18) plants just recently. The nursery didn’t have and said they could order it if I paid the shipping. It came to $145.00. I told them nevermind. I found some in the backyard growers members area and the person happened to live about an hour from me so I drove to pick it up. I’ve only ever used it sparingly in Japanese style gardens. I’ll usually have some moss areas under a Jap Maple and plant it in there. The bright green moss makes the black stand out more.
It certainly can be pricey. Glad another member, http://backyardgrowers.com/join, had some for you.
Madeline Almony says
Mike, I hate to tell you but this Black Mondo grass is not even close to deer proof!! I have both the variegated and the dark green planted along my driveway here in Maryland and the deer prune it back for me every fall and winter. Sometimes they will eat it while it is in the growing stage also.. We have a herd of deer in our area that will eat ANYTHING if they are hungry. I have to use deer guard stinky spray or put up fishing line fencing if I want to keep them from eating anything I plant. They will even come right up and eat foundation plantings around my house.
I love all the information you share with everyone. I have learned a LOT from you. Thank you!!!
I’ve quit using the phrase “deer proof” and instead refer people to plants that are deer resilient. In other words, even if they eat the Black Mondo Grass to the ground, it will come back since it is pretty much a perennial.
Madeline Almony says
Thanks for your reply.
Yes it does come back every year. I wonder if Black Mondo Grass and Liriope is actually what I have growing here. Mine looks exactly like your pictures and has purple blooms on stalks in midsummer. But the Black Mondo Grass is the fastest growing for me and spreads very quickly. Seems to be much more hardy than the green and white variegated (Liriope) grass.
Sounds about right. Black Mondo does spread. Not invasive, but it does multiply.
Billie Taylor says
I’m quite fond of black mondo grass (the dwarf variety). It makes a beautiful ground cover when planted by itself. I was all set to buy a tray a few years back until I heard the cost. Very expensive. When will you have plants for sale? Interested.
Billie, I won’t have any for a while, got a bit too cold for it here last year.
Marilyn Swanson says
This is very nice and the flowers look a lot like hosta flowers. I’m going to try this grass if I can find it in northern wis.
Why can’t You research plantsa that are beautiful & native? Our wild areas,what’s left of them are full of crap plants from china & japan that don’t aid wildlife at all! if You lived in Miami,You would see the devastation that has been caused by people who are all about who has the latest trend in foreign plants.To hell with a healthy world.Japenese yews have tons of ticks on them.I hate to work anyones garden who has them.wake up America & garden intelligently.stop the greed!!
dot schlegel says
Mike,I thank you for all your information,I love plants may someday sell them myself, you seem so helpful I really appreciate that
I planted black mondo grass in some shaded landscape beds, because I read that they would do well in shade. They have not done great, but they have survived, and all of them are propating. I suspect in a few years I could have beds full of nothing but black mondo grass, if I gave it free rein. It’s an interesting plant, but I’m not sure yet that I have maximized its potential.
Jeannie Winlock WA says
I have a question for another posting. Living in Washington State we have lots of slugs. Are there any plants that they don’t feast on? I’d like to plant some. They are better than goats at clearing a flowerbed, sometimes. Thanks for any information you might share.
Jeannie Winlock WA says
I actually have Mondo Grass and it is in bloom as I write this. Not all the sections of it are in bloom. It was planted around a pond that I removed. It does have a very delicate lilac colored bloom against the black spears of leaves. I never noticed the blooms until today. Now I believe I’ll divide it and grow more. Yay! Thanks for all the suggestions.
Robin, Robin's Bloomin' Butterflies says
I noticed the black mondo in the last email. I had a customer who just loves black and ordered these. Here in Fla. it does better in some shade and it is very slow growing. My customer paid a good deal more for hers–more like $10 each and so when a couple of them died, it was a bit of a crisis. I was able to divide some from the others for her though. No worries.
does anyone know how to get rid of ground wasp?
they are digging tunnels in my flower bed.
brett sandberg says
ground wasp and any other critters, spray apple cider vinegar on your garden it will get rid of all your pest and will not harm your plants, and to best of my knowledge it does not kill a number of beneficial insects. As for Black Mondo I love it. I am a big fan of monkey and mondo grass, even though blk mondo is extremely expensive for a grass the cheapest I have seen it is 9.97, I am on a great number of nursery and plant sights. Back to apple cider vinegar, it is the absolute best thing on the market for anything questions just ask I will explain [email protected]
Dave Lang says
When ground hornets or “bees” are swarming like crazy locate the specific hole and keep your distance until nightfall. Then I use a long pole usually with a can tied to the end and filled with gasoline. I sometimes add other insect solutions as well and then approach the nest and pour the solution down the area hole. Generally that does the trick. A neighbor riding his lawn mower was stung 90 times in a single event where he had mowed many times. It was a path in a wooded garden he maintained on a lot next to his. He passed away within a year of respiratory failure. Be careful. The next there btw was about 4 X 4 feet and deep.
how do monkeys do???????
Germaine Morel says
My black Mondo grass is not as black as yours. I don’t know if it’s the climate and soil type that makes mine a deep green. the flowers are the same as yours
I’ve tried growing Ophiopogon twice, a few places in the garden (zone 7a), and indoors in pots. Both unsuccessful, in spite of my attempts to give it the right conditions. Found this to be slow-growing and and very slow spreading. Also expensive ($15 at the nursery). Definitely beautiful plant. Perhaps best suited for a container garden. On the other hand, I have varigated liriope under a tree and it is much easier to grow, and seems to thrive on neglect.
Sandra Mullins says
I like the black mondo grass. I haven’t seen it before. Thanks for letting us know about it.
If it’s deer resistant,we could plant it in our garden. We do have that problem.
And you can just mow this when it gets ratty. It’s a great groundcover that soaks up runoff water. A landscape co. planted this around the school where I taught, with the understanding that they could come back and thin out when they needed some.
Pam, this plant that soaks up runoff water. is the black mondo? I need something to soak up runoff.
COY HELMS says
mike i like all the things you send me thank you for shareing them with me
Great stuff, fairly pricey in these parts, though. Did a border with this and and Huechera “Citronelle” behind it, nice contrast.
It is suppose to be shades of orange.
Ross Munro says
There are some some heuchera cultivars that are almost orange. “Marmalade” is one I’ve seen.
Ruth Longfield says
Did you start these from seed?
thats a great plant….. now if I could only find a plant that is all orange…
JT you must be from TN!
My favorite orange plant is the exbury azalea. It comes in many colors, but has a very bright orange variety.