Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Liriope


Liriope muscari


This low maintenance plant is also known as lilyturf or monkeygrass. It is an evergreen, slow-growing, clump-forming, plant.

My original plant was a division from a neighbor. I have 3 clumps now. There are only a few things to do to keep them tidy.

Each spring, before new growth starts, the old, tough-as-leather leaves need to be cut back. I missed this step a few times and it didn’t seem to make much difference. Some experts say to set your lawn mower to the highest setting and run over it. I think the easiest way to trim it is with a weed whacker. Trying to trim the tough leaves with a hand pruner or scissor is frustrating to say the least.

If you don’t have a weed whacker offer your neighbor a beer to come whack them down. Each plant takes about 45 seconds. It’s worth a beer (or a case of beer if you have a lot of Liriope).

If the clump starts to get too wide, dig it up and divide it immediately. An 18” wide root ball can weigh a ton and will need to be divided with an axe or a large saw. I’m talking from experience here. (Judging from the size of the lirope pictured above, I haven't learned this lesson.)
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Liriope muscari 'variegata' is a more striking plant. The picture is from my daughter’s garden. I like the variegated leaves. Someday I may replace the solid green with the variegated variety. Or, if I wait long enough, I may get a division from her garden.
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Liriope muscari seems to grow anywhere. Mine are planted in part shade. It blooms in late summer and produces black berries for the birds in fall. And it really can be ignored – somewhat.



More information from Fine Gardening here.
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2 comments:

donna said...

Another plant for my garden that can be ignored. I like your daughter's plant, too.

I better run out now and get the beer. ha-ha

donna

Marie said...

Donna,
I like the variagated leaves on my daughter's plant too. I have some beer here - I think I'll drink it and let the liriope fend for themselves.