Variegated Liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’) is one of my all-time favorite plants to use as a border around a planting bed or along a sidewalk or even a driveway.
They are colorful, low growing and they flower in mid-summer with purple flowers on short spikes about 12″ tall. Probably closer to 8″ tall. Unlike hosta, the flower spikes look like they belong to the plant.
They are super easy to maintain and they are tough as nails! They like any kind of soil, tolerate wet conditions or drought conditions and they are even somewhat salt tolerant.
I’ve been using them as border plants for years in many of the landscapes that I’ve done. Over the years I’ve tried all kinds of different border plants.
I’ve landscaped over 500 homes in my earlier life so I have experience trying to find a good border plant. Variegated Liriope has outperformed and outlasted them all.
When used as a border you can plant them as close as 12″ and as far apart as 24″. I often used them at 24″ apart I have been very happy with the result. They are almost semi-evergreen.
They’re not really an evergreen, but the foliage isn’t harshly affected by a frost or a freeze. The foliage actually looks okay throughout most of the winter. Then come spring the old growth starts to die back and new growth emerges from the crown.
To maintain them all I do is go out in late fall or early spring, pull all the top foliage into a “pony tail” and clip it off right above the crown.
Then all you have left is a little stump of a thing, but as soon as the new growth appears they look great again for another growing season.
This is also a great plant to grow and sell!
Really good seller.
And that’s what I like about growing and selling plants. You don’t have to do any selling. As soon as people find out about a plant that they’d like to have they go looking for it and buy it on sight.
They don’t have to be sold. When you have small plants for sale, people get excited as soon as they find out what you do. They want to see what you have for sale!
Check out the Backyard Growers in your area here.
Check it out. I let my Backyard Growers advertise on this website. We need more backyard growers across the U.S. and Canada.
There are People in Your Town that Would Love to Buy Plants Like this from You!
Thank you for your article on liriope, Mike. I live in England, and had never heard of them, but they look ideal for my borders. I’m a novice gardener, and couldn’t think what to plant. I’ve managed to track some down, and they are being delivered early August. I can’t wait!
They are a great plant!
Joe t says
I agree the Liriope is a great plant to fill and balance an area. I am inquiring about that plant you have in the foreground of the picture in front of you house. It is red and is in some kind of low hanging pot. Real pretty and gives a real nice touch of color. I could not focus the picture to get a clear look at it. What is that plant?
That photo was taken a long time ago and I honestly don’t remember what we had in that pot. Some kind of an annual is all I know.
Are these the same as spider plants?
No they are not, they are very hardy even in cold climates.
Virginia M says
We just bought a place on Lake Norman in North Carolina. The geese are a huge problem, leaving copious amounts of goose poop on my lawn every day. My dog chases them when she’s out, but they keep coming back. I read that they don’t like to step over plants or have their view of the water obstructed. I want something that doesn’t require upkeep, looks pretty (I like pinks and purples), comes back every year, and is only 12-18″ tall. Would variegated liriope work as a low hedge of sorts along the edge of my property? Or do you have suggestions for other plants that would be better? Thanks so much!
The lirope will not be tall enough to block their view of the water and they are pretty soft to walk on or through.
amy toth says
Will Liriope Variegata Lilly turf clump or spread?
Flax lillies might be tough enough.to deter the geese. Only grow about 2’tall and sturdy stems. Not sure they will survive in your zone tho. They die down in cold weather but in NW Florida come back in spring.
Hello. I have varigated liriope that I planted probably 14 years ago. I noticed yesterday that the middle of some are dead at the crown and look hollow. How can I fix this and how do I prevent is from happening again? Your guidance is appreciated!
Pretty typical with all perennials. It’s probably time to divide them.
Thank you. That is what I was thinking.
Barbara Dahl says
I have two plants here in zone 6 and they do come back each year but have not grown much. If I were to divide them, when is the best time of year and how many cuts should I make?
Divide them in the spring just before they start growing. I tear mine into pretty small pieces.
I have Variegated Liriope Lilyturf all over my front yard garden beds. Unless they are 20+ yr old plants (like many I have) they are fairly easy to divide/separate with the shovel and then you’ll have 2 plants :>)
They are super tough here in north Georgia and even survive drought conditions. My friend has also found them to be just as hardy in Madison, IN. where they were exposed to numerous snowfalls & single digit temps during winter mths.
I have found them to be are as hardy as a weed, yet thankfully are not one!
And since we do get some winter-like weather here, they are not invasive here.
Only thing is they will not grow in wet/soggy soil; well-drained soil is ideal.
I never bother to trim anymore as I have @ least 50 of these now not to mention all my other plants.
They look a little scruffy in early spring as the new “grassy” spikes start peeking over the old brown ones, but within a month or so the new growth overtakes the old and soon there is no sign of spent spikes from the previous yr.
Each year they get a little bigger until they are about a 24″ round clump and just as high.
Their striped lime green leafy strands will pop with almost every mulch available. The purple spikes that arise up their middles in mid-summer are just a little bonus!
Varigated Liriope are probably the most maintenance free plants I have.
They look fantastic with Viking Begonia planted between them!
Mike if you or anyone else knows of a perennial that looks great growing between them, PLMK!!!
Mike, funny you mentioned Phlox!
I recently purchased some medium size striking coral Phlox that I couldn’t resist from a big box store and within ONLY a couple weeks the leaves were all dry, curling some & brown.. Don’t think I over or under watered but we did get a lot of rain for a couple days.
Definitely planted in a location with @ least 4 hours of direct sun, in good, fertile soil that wasn’t soggy (I always remove most the native soil and typically dig wide and slightly high when I plant down here in Georgia as it is rock-hard clay with lots of gravel. In fact if one digs a hole & fills it with water it will likely stay full for hours on end).
As a teenager I helped my Mother plant in the Midwest every season and don’t recall this hard of soil being up there as I have had to deal with down here.
The good news is that once that rock-hard-clay soil is amended most my plants (except that darn Phlox LOL) seem to be happy campers 🙂
So for me, after initially having various plants fail, good soil has become a worthy investment. One of my personal fav’s BTW is Blackow mixed with some Soil Conditioner (pine bark fines). When planting flowers I usually add some decent Garden Soil, esp when one of those holiday sales are going on 🙂
Anyway, do you have any tips in getting Phlox to thrive as I absolutely love them!!!
The Phlox should be easy, we planted hundreds this spring and they are doing fine. Both in containers and in the ground.
You are on track with ensuring your plants have good soil with lots of organic matter that holds water and still drains well. The problem might be that your phlox was from a big box store. In my experience gardening on the west coast, I find that many big box store nurseries have problems with sanitation and much of their offerings are diseased with things like mildew and root rot. I believe this is because the plants are managed from a retail perspective instead of a horticultural perspective. These plants are shoved too close together, watered based on schedules not plant needs, and sickly individual plants get overlooked or knowingly sold anyway. My $0.02.
Chauri Hendrickson says
I have big blue Liriope, we live in West Texas. This spring I cut back all of them…probably at least 20 plants. Then new shoots started coming up and the. We had a really bad freeze a lot of those new shoots have died. Will we it get more shoots?! I’m really worried that they will not come back this year and I’m trying to sell the house.
They should be fine, happens all the time.
It’s May 2nd and my lirope are t coming up yet!! Is this normal?
Not normal for most years, but probably normal for this year.
I have not been able to find any in my area. I would love to find some this summer and get it started.
Liriope looks nice, but is not hardy enough to be dependable for the Northern tier of states, but we have Carex which looks very similar and is much hardier.
I’ve found Lirope to be more than hardy here in northern Ohio, zone 5. Carex is what I’ve had problems getting through the winter.
I live near Catskill NY. Deer are a real problem and at age 80 unable put up any fences. I can however really plant this plant to keep my veggies, flowers and low apple branches from being desimated.
Where can I buy this plant to keep my sanity? Please help.
Have used some of your suggestions. Thank you for your work and God bless you for doing it.
Variegated Lirope should be readily available in your area. Check with all of your local garden stores.
I hear you.. I am 71 and still gardening.. did finally give up tomato plants.. the only veg I planted are some bush beans this year. Figure at my age, it’s time to buy at the farmers’ market and let others deal with the deer.. The one plant you need not to plant if you have deer are hostas.. They are like cheesburgers for deer! Best ground cover they don’t like is perwinkle..
Dianna B. says
Are there any good ideas for getting rid of groundhogs who are living under a deck near our garden and have just about destoyed a good part of our garden? They moved in last week. I have a live trap out there and so far, no one had gone inside. Any way to discourage them from going into my garden? Thanks
I think the only way to discourage them would be trap them. Make sure you are using an appealing bait to get them in the trap.
Phyllis poole says
Put a water hose in the hole that they go down in. May take time to find it. But let the water go down and fill the run it will kill the babies they have down there and eventually anything living will go. There is a product called mole relief that they don’t like and they will move on. I like killing them better!
People say Irish spring soap drives them mad!
Maudelle carlson says
I’ve dumped Ammonia in the holes and worked
I have the dark kind with lavender flowers. They are very OLD have been slit and we do trim them back in the spring but by July they are growing over the side walk. I live in Alabama. What I need to know is can I trim the shoots back so as in the south it doesn’t look so “snakie”. They are prim areas for snakes to bed. Please help. Like I said very old very established plants!!!
Sure you can cut Lirope back, but they would look a lot better if you split them into smaller pieces this fall, that way they won’t have to be cut back. I’m afraid that cutting them back will make them not look so good.
get Snake away at hardware store..
I really want to buy Lirope spicata ! But I do not know where can I buy it. PLease help me. I live in Canada.
I am so happy with this plant, it is no trouble at all and I grow it in a container. It is so beautiful. I enjoy it and love to admire its beauty.
I absolutely love the variegated liriope! I have about 7 of these plants. You plant them and water them and thats it. Beautiful plant!
I live in San Francisco and have two of these in pots getting morning sun. Almost every leaf is brown from the tip to half-way down. I’ve tried varying the watering to see if they’re being under or over watered, but there’s no difference. Any ideas? Maybe they’re not good plants for pots(?)
1. Do not fertilize them.
2. They need water but will not tolerate wet feet.
It sounds like yours might have dried out one time.
I just wanted to say a that couple years ago, i watched a couple of your vids and now im addicted to gardening. I have never sold anything, but i give away tons to friends and family. Well, last week i found your backyard business article, lol, and was like “thats a great idea, SELLING plants”! So next week im ordering your system, if i make a little $, my wife will quit complaining about me taking over her kitchen & dining room (great southern windows!). Shes forcing me to build a greenhouse (Dang it!, lol) right now. I just wanted to say thanks, you are absolutly brilliant!
I live in Arkansas, and i think in the south, we call all of it “monkey grass”. Kind of like all sodas are called coke. “What kind of coke do you want? Dr. Pepper or Sprite?”, Lol!!!
Again, thank you for inspiring me to get dirty and growing, plants are alot nicer than alot of people! Im ready to get started, as soon as the weather figures out what it wants to do. Last week was 78-82 all week, today we have 2-6″ of snow falling!
You’re welcome and welcome aboard. Some of my most successful growers and sellers are in Arkansas. Not sure why, but we have a number of really good people in your area!
I have just planted some new loriope and it is not yet established. Should I go ahead and trim the old growth that was on it when I bought it or wait a while. There is no new growth yet
Ann, I think it would be fine to trim it now, it should be just fine.
I love these. I’m in the process of redoing my front and back yard. I broke my leg three yrs ago and have had a difficult time bouncing back and am hoping this year will be a good one for gardening and getting my yard into shape. These will go nicely with my other flowers. I have some grasses from other friends and these will fit in quite well. I have a nice spot that I’m looking at for some cuttings, etc and am looking into buying your backyard growing system. My front will have most of my flowers and raised bed veggies. Easier to take care of. I’m so looking forward to spring! Happy Gardening to you all.
I live in Kansas and have about 100 of these in my yard. I would like to trim them back if necessary. When is the best time to do this. Any suggestions would be much appreciated since these are all over I don’t want to ruin them. thanks
Lindsay, I trim all of the variegated liriope in my landscape at end of the growing season, or early spring before the new growth appears. You can also dig them up and divide them if they are too large.
Judy Ryan says
I have just planted a hillside with Knockout Roses, two rows of blocks and monkey grass below. It was really looking good until the nutt grass grew larger than my monkey grass. Is there anything I can kill the nutt grass with but not the monkey grass or do I need to kill everything in the grass area and start with something else? What would I use.
Dorothy Scott says
How do I get grass out of monkey grass
You probably have to pull it.
Patty Murphy says
What is Monkey Grass? Can I grow it in NE Ohio? Thx Mike!
I have no idea. I hear the term all the time but I think it is often applied to a variety of different grasses.
Will these grow in northern Minnesota? I went to a few garden centers around here and none of them carried these plants because they said that they will not grow up here. Is this true? We do have a long winter season.
Laura, here in Ohio zone 5 they do fantastic and we often get winters that get down to or below zero. I’ve got these in landscapes that have been there for 15 or 20 years and they look fantastic. There are a lot of different varieties of Liriope, some may not be as hardy. There’s also a variegated mondo grass that is not winter hardy here.
Anita Kefgen says
Monkey grass becomes invasive here in southern Ohio, crowding other plants out
Anita, there are well over 60 varieties of ornamental grass, many are not invasive at all.
Shirley Bossbach says
I find the dark green to be invasive but not the variegated.
Melissa A Moore says
Don’t plant border grass in your landscape until you watch this! // Liriope/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIhFssLcQ6Q (There are 2 types of Liripe..Spicara and Muscari…,,one is invasive.)
Melissa M says
Donna Thomas says
Marsha, as a general rule most perennials do not do well in hanging baskets only because there is not enough room for root growth and they dry out faster than annuals, if you have a large size basket you could get away with it for a season, but I would put them in the ground before winter. They would do fine in a large container on the patioor porch. Regarding use as a house plant, perennials need to rest and go through a dormant/winter stage or they will ‘run out of steam’ so to speak. Hosta’s are a bulb, they must have a dormant period to reenergize. You could try them as a house plant and give them a rest in a cold area for couple of months. Hope this helps!
Are you able to grow the liriope in just plain water or does it have to be in dirt.
Mike always has excellent information. You can get answer to many of the questions asked above at: http://www.learn2grow.com/gardeningguides/perennials/featuredplants/LiriopeLovelies.aspx
Thanks, Mike. Always enjoy all of your garden postings. You are such a blessing!! I have one variegated Liriope plant in my front yard. Pulled all the dead leaves before spring, and it looks great. Will that one spread (heard it’s good ground cover) or should I buy more to make a border around other plants? They look so much like spider plants. Would it do OK in a hanging basket outdoors since it can take lots of sunlight. My south-facing front yard has strong sunlight, and any house plant (spider or otherwise) dies outside because light is too intense. Also I just purchased hostas and told they can be grown indoors. Never knew that could be done. Read in Internet that they “have to take a winter rest (dormant) when weather is cold.” Instructions also said “to put in a garage (unheated) and allow plants to go dormant”. “Give very little water and keep cool”. That’s good if grown outside. Mine will be kept indoors with my other houseplants, and the house is warm, so shouldn’t they be OK as the others for the entire winter season. Thanks, Mike. Can always count on you for great plant/flower advice!! Have a great week, you and your family and try to stay cool and be careful when working outdoors. Marsha
Marsha, I’ve not had Liriope spread on it’s own like Mondo Grass does. I’m not sure about the hanging basket, they’d really like to be in the ground for the winter. They’re just happier there.
Laura Whitcomb says
Hi! Mike I wanted to find out if Variegated Liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’) prefer full sunlight or shade?
Laura, they do really well in the sun. They might tolerate some shade but they’ll stay smaller and lose that yellow color.
ANN GODIAH says
Hello Mike thanks for the help you give to me.i have learned about the boarder plant i shall be using variegated liriope.
i had liriope when we first built our house but it didnt do well in the cold of iowa winters… my sister in missouri had better luck. but they spread with runners and i hated that
Variegated Liriope doesn’t have runners, but the solid green type does and will spread.
Joe Donato says
Mike, How do you propagate the variegated lirope ?
Cut it in half and plant each section. It will take off pretty quickly.
Joan, SC says
I live in zone 8, coastal SC and have lariope in my yard. The plants in the sun do not survive our hot, humid summer, in fact everything seems to “cook” during July & Aug. My plants that live in the shade thrive nicely with or without water.
I am looking for a plant that has purple flowers in the fall. Does anyone grow this VL in the heat of zone 9??? The LSU Tigers wear purple and gold colors and this would sell like crazy. Yea money does grow on trees, and shrubs and grasses……
Rita Griebel says
Hi Mike, Can the lirope live in zone 4?
Would like to put it under a tree at our
campground as it needs little care.
Germaine Morel says
Are Liriopes the same as the ones they call Daniella? If so, I have the variegated ones as well as the plain green ones.
the Daniella bears little purplish flowers and the leaves are quite long whereas the liriope has narrow elongated leaves and the green version bears small white flowers that sprouts very near the roots
This is a nice looking border variety. I have to admit, though, I am addicted to Monkey Grass. We live in central NC, and I planted two clumps on either side of my mailbox 20 years ago, and now I have hundreds of linear feet bordering my front lawn. I have become convinced that I could plant a divided clump on my head and have my ’60s look back.
In late fall I just drive my mower over them and leave them with a crew cut. By spring, they are bigger, thicker and taller than ever. My wife thinks I am obsessed- who knows- the rest of the yard looks puny in comparison. I wonder if she would notice if I started to fill in…
This is a good shot of monkey grass.
I have this in my garden and I love them.
Thanks for keeping us informed
dawn parris says
Love the emails…. This REALLY is a good plant choice, unlike the UNvariagated variety. (which will take over your garden quickly!!:( ) This nice VL will stay compact and need not be divided for several seasons. No outrageous spreading!!
Thanks Mike. I really enjoy reading your e-mails. Lots of great ideas and information.
Sharon Hayes says
Thanks Mike, I look forward to all the e-mail Helps. You do a great job to help us in growing things without the fancy words and the expense in helping us save what we do have. Sharon
mike i use to have beautiful “Mums” and carnations along my walk, this year they died out,, I planted again and they died also,can you tell me why
Thanks Mike, I have those to. I really do like them, I bought more this year.
Ron Kiecker says
Mike, you are correct, They make beautiful border plants and easy to control. I’ve been growing them for several years.
They are easy to seperate and they do well year round, thay do produce beautiful flowers
Love your messages, keepem coming!
Want to ask a question…I have wisteria in a pot and it will not bloom. Is it because it is in a pot? How do I get a red running honeysuckle to bloom; same thing with a clemantis?
Valerie Szlatenyi says
I have had VL for 26 years. It has had snow and ice on top of it and has lived through hot weather with no watering. It hasn’t been touched by deer (and we have lots of them…RI is the Lyme mecca of the planet with lots of deer ticks), and it is still one of my favorite show stoppers. When I do designs I will use this plant to lighten up a small area that is otherwise boring and dark. Be sure to use 3 or more to make a statement. I highly recommend this one and agree with Mike.
Elizabeth Hollingsworth says
they don’t appear to do well in florida, tho, or at least not the ones i’ve seen.
Marilyn Janzen says
Will it last the winter at 30 below, and
come bacl in the spring..
Madeline Dill says
Just starting and learning.. Thanks
My variegated liriope plants are not growing and I planted them in the spring. What am I doing wrong? I was told they do not withstand much water so I only water them weekly.
Once a week is probably pretty good for water. I’d just leave them be, let them establish more roots over the winter and I think they’ll look great in the spring.
Mike is right, the Lirope can grow anywhere
and don’t need much water. I like to plant
them in groups, make a great show.
Are they good in “empty” spots? I have blank spots along chain link fence in back yard.
Absolutely they are!
Ann Bianco says
I’m in Boise, ID. Planted my VL last fall. It wintered well, was pretty in spring. But then it barely flowered and has now turned completely yellow and brown. We haven’t even had a frost. So sad, I think I killed it! i had water issues, possible it didn’t get enough water. Might it come back next spring? I don’t know if I should wait or just get started on a re-do.
Sounds to me like it dried out. Will it come back? Probably not.
I,m getting black from my pool screan on my plants how can I get it off
Folks, great chat. … There are two (or more) varieties of what are both commonly called monkey grass and what, more widely, is called “border grass” or lily turf.
And herein lies the difference between what some experience as a polite, contained liriope and others as a spreader: different varieties:
Liriope muscari (Z6 or Z7-Z10), This is the clumper. There are solid dark green-bladed varieties and variegated forms — some with white, some with cream variegation. ‘Monroe’s White’ has solid, darker green foliage and white instead of lavendar tiny flowers.
The variegated form Mike mentions is l. muscari. L. muscari tends to be the most commonly sold form, countrywide.
Lirope spicata (Z4-10): This is the spreader! More cold hardy than l. muscari. Commonly also called just plain lily turf and, yup, monkey grass, and creeping lily turf. Just to keep us confused. Spreads quickly by underground rhizomes, though may not spread so quickly in its northern reaches. Its foliage is narrower and a somewhat darker green when mature than l. muscari. Far as I can see, there’s no variegated form of l. spicata-the-creeper.
Both varieties seem to prefer acidic soil. Maybe that’s one reason the l. spicata I have hasn’t spread much in the more balanced soil it’s now in, and because of our MA Z6a/b coastal location.
— Also: there’s a related (not) “grass” — mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)– very narrow, fine textured foliage and usually tends to be shorter than liriopes. There’s a near-black mondo grass that’s really fascinating to use next to chartreuse foliage, but it’s only marginally winter hardy in Zone 6. And there are varieties of both the green and black mondo grass that are teensy-short, and we wish our lawn grass wouldn’t grow any taller.
— Also: Love liriope’s 3 to 4 seasons of interest, with the small, pea-sized black or sometimes white berries along the upright flower stems in the fall! … I’m from Savannah, and all my family members back to ought-one had liriope in their yards. Glad when it began appearing in Boston-area some years ago.
When can you divide the plants?
Best to do so in late January or early February, before Spring.
I divide every season except dead of winter and hot summer(July-early Sept here in Z 7a). I use it to line my sidewalks. I have both plain and Variegated Liriope, if anyone is interested.
I would be interested buying some of these plants.
I don’t sell online but our members do and we have a ton of wholesale sources for members. http://backyardgrowers.com/join
Kitty E says
I call this plant border grass and have it extensively in central Florida. The variagated
variety doesn’t do as well in winter. I would never cut the tops off as they automatically mulch themselves. I do have a problem with rabbits eating the blades in winter but other than that, their perfect.
Fran, can’t get more eastern KY than Ashland and it’s a prolific grower in my yard. Last year was first time I trimmed them back in the fall. Spring growth was beautiful!
We have varigated and solid green liriope. Our green, well established before we moved here, Is NOT valued because it spreads so fast it is invasive! The VL in different part of yard, is not thriving at all.
I believe there are such different opinions due to everyone’s different conditions.
ONE GARDNER’S WEED IS ANOTHER’S SPECIMEN!
I started to appreciate Green Liriope when I found that in the shade, it would grow as an isolated plant and/purple blossom is beautiful against the lush green.
Some parts of my yard clearly doesn’t have all the nutrients/conditions that cause this plant to grow out of control. MULCH CONTROLS SPREAD TOO. While weeds are thwarted, so is some of the spread of our desired plants: conditions!
As a rule of thumb I have been told that higher shade tolerance is generally–generally–indicated by a darker green leaf. Following this I would say VL is less-tolerant of deep shade than is the standard.
When is the best time/method to divide them?
Thanks, Mike, for your emails and advice. Can’t wait to get started with my own backyard nursery! 🙂
This can be separated, pulled apart and replanted just about any time. It’s pretty much indestructible.
I have this plant as well . I really enjoy it . I do have problems with deer in my plants, but they do not eat these. It grows great here in virginia .
Jill Ann says
I just bought 4 of these plants on clearance at a local greenhouse. I can’t wait to plant them.
I have used variegated liriope for over 30 years in landscaping and on my own property. One of the easiest to care for, hardy, and it’s contrast to a red bark or a darker bark is spectacular. One of my all time favorites also.
Tom Windsor says
Mike is right. I have used this for years – in fact in some way, manner or form this VL creates a boarder feature throughout my front, back and “behind the fence” areas of my property. Hence it does well in all variations of light, soil and water environment. The only place I have found that it is a very marginal performer is heavy North side shade.
I divide every couple of years as my long term landscape plan called for this as a boarder plant throughout. Has always been deer and rabbit proof for me.
To Chuck, CArol and Bernice. I have plant that looks like this, but it is called Ribbon Grass, and it has been known to spread if it is not in an isolated spot. I think it may have purple flowers. I don’t let the new plants grow, i just pull them out in spring and it doesn’t seem to be too bad. Google Ribbon Grass and you can read all about it.
Mike — How would this plant do in Colorado? In full sun — which can cook most anything? Plant it in mile-hi full sun or partial shade?
Shirley Bossbach says
The dark green spreads all over but the variegated does not spread. I have had it for years.
My variegated HAS spread, an after 10 years occupies a strip 5 feet wide and almost 20 feet long! It started out as 7 small plants, evenly spaced along a bed edge. Now it and the .variegated Periwinkle vie for control of the bed! Lol!
hi i m living in an apartment in new delhi and i have a balcony,where i want to develop a garden so i cannot use this plant for border plant as i have only choice to grow plants in pots,please give me some tips to enjoy my hobby
Will they grow well in hypertufa pots?
Is this also known as Aztec Grass?
that’s what we call it in New Orleans. Aztec.
Thanks Mike for all the wonderful information about plants and how to take care of them. I am really glad I found your website 🙂 I live in zone 4, would this plant lives through the winter in zone 4?
Dolly S. says
Mike I have this same plant and it is growing in almost all shade. I think those that are saying it spreads have some other plant than monkey grass. I have had mine for about 5 years and it has not spread.
Liriope and monkey are two different species.
Since it does look like spider plant, can spider plant babies be planted to grow outside? Guess winter will kill them? Spider plants are tropical plants?
Dudley Louvier says
Varigated liriope is a great border. It stays where you put it and does not run out of control like the common green “monkey grass (which I HATE.) You can divide the liriope every few years for more clumps.
Dudley Louvier says
Varigated liriope IS a great border. It will not run out of control like the common
green monkey grass more. It stays where you put
it, and you can easily dig and divide it every few years if you want more.
Carol J says
Can this plant be planted in full sun?
Hi Mike..thanks for all the helpful info. I have something very similar which DOES spread, and no flowers on it. Do you know what I might have?
I have this plant in shade & in sun in southern Iowa & also grew it in Florida – as you say its a great plant. It doesn’t flower frequently – maybe would if fertilized? You’ve inspired me to divide & use mine for border plantings – thanks for your always great advise! 🙂
I’m agreeing with Carol. I love this plant. In Alabama, we call it monkey grass. But it does spread like crazy. Not the same as spider plant. There is also a non-variegated variety.
Tom Windsor says
As mentioned in a previous post – Monkey Grass is NOT the same thing.
Susan Sendelbach says
It may be another version or laripope or monkey grass that we have in our yard, but it is definitely invasive. It shows up in the lawn and perennial beds uninvited and has deep roots so it has to be dug out. Can Mike clarify the different types so people plant to friendly version?
Here in Southern Cali it works great in semi shaded areas and is evergreen. Glad to finally see a plant for my climate =)
why dont you have a facebook site?
clyde holmes says
mike i am familer with this plant it is not spider grass i have heard it called monkey grass, mike i wish i was able to work outside but cannot, i ordered me some clam shells and i already have me an apple tree i love sprouting buds putting out where the leaves were. i can do some work on my back porch my wife helps me some ,do’nt know what would
without her. enjoy all your emails keep them coming an have a good summer my wife will not let me out in this heat we are having at this time.good luck an god bless.
I love these and planted several for borders. However, the rabbits (or something) ate them clear down to the ground. Quite upsetting!So I am hesitant about even trying them again. I have found this year that rabbits are eating things they usually don’t!
I had miles of dark green liriope in our house in Atlanta. It was a great border and always looked good. I moved. Is it appropriate, ie will it grow well and easily in Los Angeles?
Barbara McKinley says
Where do I find someone in California?
Linda Erman says
These are lovely shade lovers – drought or “whatever” tolerant plants for borders. I thought they were deer resistant – NO. We live in deeply, shaded woods in So. Indiana and the deer are eating everything – Liriope, hydrangea plants, lilies, yews, and, of course, hostas & English Ivy to the point that over the past 3 years it has not come back! Our yard is a mess.
LOVE your emails and advice, Mike!
PATTY Ising says
Thanks for the suggestion. Since deer eat just about everything we plant I put lambs ears down the driveway and
they are doing fine. Growing big and tall and the deer hate them. Finally, not another salad bar!
Have a question and don’t know where to ask. Was given a rose tree for mother’s day but don’t know how to take care of it for the winter. Live in Massachusetts and it is very cold and snowy here. Does anyone know how to take care of a rose tree?
I have that in a few places. It’s NOT a take-over plant and has pretty purple spikes. I wish the spikes lasted longer because between them and the nice foliage, it’s a nice plant. Doesn’t even need tons of sunlight.
Definitely NOT a spider plant either. That’s not tropical in zone 5 but the lirope is.
And it’s deer resistant.
DO THEY NEED ANY KIND OF FERTILIZATION OR DOES ANYTHING MAKE THEM A BETTER FULLER PLANT,I HAVE OVER 200 THAT i HAVE PLANTED RECENTLY AS BORDER PLANTS AND REALLY WANT THEM TO FILL IN THE SPACE,ALSO I HAVE A BOUT 1/ FLAT LEFT AND THE ROOTS ARE BECOMING HARD AND ROOT BOUND SHOULD THEY BE CUT BEFORE PLANTING?
Similar questions as previous:
1) Is Liriope the spider plant?
2) Can this plant cope with the winters of the Northeast?
Thanks Mike for your informative emails, keep them coming you are providing and excellent service.
Dolly, no it’s not spider plant and it is very winter hardy here in zone 5.
What is the larger plant that resembles these called? They have white flowers
Erika Buck says
What a great looking plant. Thanks Mike! Along our driveway we need something tough as nails. We have been looking for options and this looks like the type of plant we are looking for. My husband and I really enjoy your emails. Thanks so much!!!
don henderson says
how do you propagate liriope? Can you take a plant and break it up into smaller clumps?
Don, yes you can divide them.
Sreah Kelley says
Hi Mike…I have a different type of these, and the deer eat them to the ground. Are these deer-proof? THANKS
Sreah, I don’t know, but most deer damage is done during the winter so that kind of pruning would probably be a good thing since I cut mine back anyway.
Linda Erman says
Yes, I agree they’ve eaten mine in the laate fall, early winter. They don’t eat all three of my plants. Only thing I can come up with is that this one plant is in the deer path. Any comments you can pass along??
where we live the deer eat up every thing winter or summer. Just worse in the winter when snow is on. Missouri has a major deer problem.
They seem to spread way too easily thru-out the perennial bed.
Carol, are we talking about the same plant? I’ve never had a problem with them taking over a bed or spreading much at all. Mondo grass is a different story.
Darlene McCluskey says
We have had three of these in our flower bed for the last eight years and they have never spread out or taken over. They have never been eaten by the deer and do well in our crazy Leavenworth Kansas weather from one extreme to the other. It’s a great plant and I love them!
I also live in Kansas. Do you cut yours back? If so when? I probably have about 100 of these planted in my landacapig and need to know what to do with them.
Your thinking about what they were calling “monkey grass”
Is this the spider plant? Can you clip off the babies from a houseplant and use them outside like this? Thanks, Mike.
Karen Smola says
Nope. It is commonly called “Monkey Grass,” for some reason. It is a perennial; the spider plant is basically a houseplant. The Liriope does not shoot off “babies.” It does, however, have pretty little purple, bead-looking flowers at one point in the growing season. KS
No, it is not a spider plant. Spider plants are truly evergreen and don’t grow to a specific maximum size whereas Liriope are often perennial plants and generally reach a specific maximum size.
no these are not spider plants different plant all together
Different plant. The one you’re thinking of won’t make it outside in the winter in most areas.
Cajun Dave says
I live in South Louisiana and have spider plants in the ground. They die back in winter but in spring they pop back and grow great
I live in CA and I received a spider plant and placed it outside on the ground to water and it rooted. I have 1/2 acre and they grow everywhere now. And it looks just like the pictures. They have tube roots and can be thinned & placed somewhere else. It also grows a long stem and flowers on the end….and when that end touches the ground it starts another plant. I love it because it takes NO care & looks pretty. I planted it around a tree and it looks great and grows well…..even tho the tree absorbs alot of ground water. This is a plant for shade, sun or anywhere you want it.
Elizabeth McCapes-Livingston says
I have also had Spider Plants in central CA for many years and love them. The tubers will increase as well as the “spiders” making new plants when rooted. A very hard freeze will kill the tops but it comes back from the tubers.
Doris Hopper says
Thanks Mike for all your advice. I enjoy your email so very much. Keep them coming
Fran Smith says
I love them as well but will they grow in south eastern Kentucky?
Jeannie Carnes says
I live in northern KY and they grow beautifully.
I also use them as my favorite border plant.
Karen Smola says
I have used both the green and variegated in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama. With the exception of Florida, the soil was mostly red/clay. It is the most durable and versatile plant, and as such, it is the first plant I use when landscaping in a new home. In Oklahoma, it doesn’t snow, it ices; and it can stay frozen on the ground for days.. The Liriope may look dead, but trim it like Mike says (or use the “Weed Eater” trimmer on it), and it will come back thicker and prettier each year. It does spread, and it can become a solid border. You can also divide it and plant new plants.
Trevor Hays says
Living in London, KY, I have tons of this stuff that thrives.
You should be fine in southern Kentucky. I live in metro Nashville and they grow beautifully
Just a short note to let you know in Georgia we called this “Monkey Grass”.
In Alabama too, variegated “monkey grass”
Tom Windsor says
IMHO I disagree. Monkey grass is similar in growth pattern, flowering characteristics and hardiness. But monkey grass is more dense in leaf folliage and spreads more rapidly. VL is more confined and can be maintained as a separate plant entity before growing together. I have both and have had so for years.
Monkey grass is shorter in stature, has stiffer blades and tends to be darker green than ever the non-variegated liriope. In my experience, very dark green, actually. And tough as nails!
Patty Murphy says
I’d love some
Monkey grass in NE Ohio. Where can I plz get some?
I don’t know about monkey grass, but I do have Variegated Lirope.
Rita Winn says
In Arkansas it is Monkey Grass, much easier to remember!!!
In Florida we also call this Monkey Grass. Its sometimes green.
I’m in Ga and monkey grass I seen here everyone call is the dark green incolor and variegated liriope here in central Ga i’ve noticed people call all kinds of plants with a different name.
sonj gurian says
Is this plant somewhat deer proof?
the deer love it…will eat it to the ground
Do you have a picture of variegated liriope with flowers on it? I have plants in the yard that look like this but the white parts of the leaves is less pronounced than what you show here. They have purple flowers so maybe with a picture of the flower I can identify them.
Chuck, at this time I don’t have a photo with blooms, but google will turn up all kinds of images. There are a lot of different Liriopes.
I have planted these now for the past three years. How do we keep the rabbits from eating them in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Mary Hook says
I was a dog groomer for over 30 years and I would always keep my “dog hair garbage” bagged alone, and not with the other “garbage” because I knew that starting in late winter or early spring I would have clients asking for dog hair to mulch around their veggies. I never tried it myself, but apparently just a whiff of dog kept the bunnies away. However, if you try it under something you want to look nice, I would highly recommend a thin layer of something on top of the fur that doesn’t have much of an aroma of it’s own. Maybe even sand or small pebbles. Because when the dog hair is dry, not only is it unattractive, it’ll blow about in the slightest breeze.
I was having trouble with bunnies eating my grasses and when I cleaned out my spice cupboard I had lots of chili seasoning and paprika. I sprinkled it on and the bunnies stopped eating. It washed off in the rain and I reapplied and after a couple times the bunnies decided to stay away and I don’t have to reapply. It helps to do it after a rain so the spice will stick.
Marge S says
Mike I’m looking for a vinning
Any idea;s for me?