Dwarf mondo grass, also known as “Monkey Grass,” is a robust ground cover that handles various weather and soil conditions without requiring much maintenance.
While there are many varieties of Mondo Grass, the dwarf species only grow up to two to four inches in height. Its leaves are slender and make the plant look petite, which can improve the looks of your garden.
Contrary to what the name suggests, mondo grasses are members of the lily family. The plant grows in clumps and spreads under ideal conditions, but it might need some time.
You can use dwarf mondo in your flower beds as it can make an attractive backdrop to your plants. But can you grow dwarf mondo grass as a lawn? Keep reading to find out!
Dwarf Mondo Grass as Lawn: Can You Do It?
Dwarf Mondo grass makes for the ideal ground cover: it is easy to grow and doesn’t require much attention from your side. If you don’t have the time to maintain a lawn but still like the idea of adding green coverage around your property, these plants might be your best option.
You won’t have to mow them, as dwarf mondo only grows to a certain (low) height. Plus, you don’t have to spread it with pesticides and other chemicals to keep it healthy.
That might sound too good to be true! Indeed, things are not as attractive as they seem. With dwarf mondo grass as a lawn, you might experience some issues.
These plants grow slowly, meaning that you might need as long as a couple of years to fill empty spaces in. Also, mondo grass is delicate: it doesn’t withstand heavy foot traffic and won’t survive if you have kids or pets running around your garden.
If you have dogs that urinate or like to dig holes, ditch the idea of planting mondo grass as your ground cover: your plant will struggle under such pressure and won’t look as attractive as you imagine.
If the idea of having dwarf mondo grass instead of turf still sounds appealing, consider installing stepping stones to create a path to prevent it from suffering damage from foot traffic.
Otherwise, if you like how the plant looks, you can grow it indoors in a container. Dwarf mondo grass can make your interiors look more colorful as a houseplant: place it in a pot with drainage holes and potting mix.
Alternatively, you can grow it as an ornamental plant and make a soft border between garden beds or your walkways. Because of their tolerance to salt, these plants are perfect in coastal gardens.
Plus, they are relatively resistant to deer: if you live near a forest, consider adding them as a hedge.
Dwarf Mondo Grass Care
One of the best things about Dwarf Mondo grass is that it is relatively easy to care about if you know what to provide it. Because it thrives in filtered sunlight, consider locating it somewhere the rays of the sun don’t hit harshly.
If you live in a hot region, where summers get warm, do not plant your dwarf mondo under direct light. In general, the more sun these plants get, the paler their leaves will become. In such conditions, move it somewhere shady.
Also, don’t forget to ensure you provide your dwarf mondo grass with well-draining soil. To improve your soil conditions, you might have to add some organic matter (in the form of compost or manure).
Mondo grass is generally picky about watering. Give water to your plant at least once a week to keep it healthy. However, avoid over-saturating the soil, as you might cause its roots to rot.
Fertilizer is not essential when growing this plant. However, you can add a slow-release product rich in nitrogen once a year to boost growth.
While you can grow these plants from seeds, you will get much better results buying smaller plants for a quick start. Alternatively, you can create new plants by propagating an established one.
Propagation by division can help you make an entire border from just one plant. However, you will have to be patient: the process can take several years!
Dwarf Mondo Grass as Lawn: The Bottom Line
Dwarf Mondo Grass is an attractive ground cover. While it might not do the job a turf does, you can still add it to your garden to improve its looks and add an appealing texture that creates a perfect backdrop to most lawns.
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