Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Thin Out Monkey Grass

By Tara Dooley

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.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Topsoil
  • Spray bottle

About the Author


Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.