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How to Thin Out Monkey Grass

Monkey grass is a fairly common name for a grass named Liriope or Ophiopogon. A native of Eastern Asia, monkey grass is used in many cases as a border plant or filler in landscaping to give a green color that lasts most of the three seasons. Monkey grass gets thick over time as it grows and spreads, and it can be invasive. It can, however, be thinned out without damaging the plants.

Dig up the monkey grass using a hand trowel. Dig about 3 inches away from the base of the plant to get as much of the root as possible. Monkey grass is hard to kill, so the time of year that monkey grass is divided is not a concern. Spring probably is the best time because it will give both halves of the plant enough time to grow roots and re-establish.

Slice through the grass and roots with a hand trowel to divide the grass.

Plant half of the plant back in the holes and fill in with soil. Add more soil to the planing hole to fill in the gaps. Push the soil into the ground to pack it around the roots.

Plant the other half of the divided grass in a new location. Repeat until the grass is thinned to your liking. Spray the roots with water and place them in a plastic bag if they are going to be transported.

Water down the replanted grass halves to dampen the soil.

Monkey Grass

Monkey grass makes an excellent ground cover for shady areas, as these plants grow well in areas where other types of sun-loving grasses will not grow, such as under trees. It fills in slopes and its dense roots that spread underground grow in clumps that help prevent run off. It is a decorative, low maintenance grass. Monkey grass is an attractive plant for edging walkways and creating borders for flower beds. Planting monkey grass divisions 6 to 8 inches apart is best for lining walkways and defining or adding texture to flowerbeds. When planning rock gardens or geometric gardens, you can use monkey grass to accent the area between rocks and stepping stones. Whether grown in pots or outdoors, monkey grass requires division when clumps appear overgrown. You can can repot plants in 3- to 4-inch pots or replant outdoor divisions 6 to 8 inches apart.

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