Does monkey grass need to be pruned? If so, when and how should I trim it back? -Ben
Monkey grass (Liriope sp.) is a wonderful border grass and groundcover that’s perfect for hard to mow spaces and provides an excellent border to separate planting beds from lawns. Trimming monkey grass isn’t mandatory; but as the leaves age, they start to brown on the tips and eventually can look pretty ragged.
Each spring, monkey grass grows a fresh set of leaves, so it can easily recover from an annual pruning. By trimming back your monkey grass, you get rid of the old growth and have a fresh, green border.
Here are some tips on how to cut back the monkey grass in your yard:
- When to Trim Monkey Grass: Like other types of ornamental grasses, the best time to cut back monkey grass is in late winter or early spring. That way it will stay green all winter and insulate its roots from the cold, then after trimming the monkey grass only be bare for a few weeks while new leaves grow.
- How to Trim Monkey Grass: You can go over monkey grass with a lawn mower set to the highest setting, or use a string trimmer or clippers to cut it back to about 3” high. If your monkey grass has already sprouted, you’ll probably need to cut it by hand, so you don’t cut the nice rounded tips off the new shoots.
- Tidy Up Your Border: This is also a great time to pull any weeds and shape up your border by digging away clumps of monkey grass that might be straying where they don’t belong.
- When to Cut Back Ornamental Grasses (article)
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