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How to Prune Black Mondo Grass

Black mondo grass adds interesting foliage to your home landscape. Mondo grass tolerates most soil conditions and full to partial shade. Black mondo grass is something of a misnomer, since this perennial grass often colors to a dark green. Mondo grass requires minimal care, although a plant's health can be improved with regular pruning. This plant spreads with a rhizome root system to create a beautiful, simple garden of ornamental grass. Learning how to prune black mondo grass offers the beginner gardener the opportunity to practice pruning on a very forgiving plant.

Schedule your pruning session for the early spring. Part the brown leaves of the mondo grass and look for new shoots protruding from the ground. Don't wait too late or you'll risk cutting new growth during trimming.

Prune the black mondo grass to 4 to 6 inches from the garden surface using lopping or pruning shears. Blades should be sharpened to make clean, even cuts. Avoid cutting any new growth since this will create a jagged appearance to the plant leaves.

Set your lawn mower to the highest setting possible and push the mower over mass plantings of mondo grass. Make sure new growth is just an inch or two from the ground to prevent any damage to new shoots. Trim any errant leaves with hand-held pruning clippers to create a uniform clump of black mondo grass.

Remove all clippings from around the plant to discourage rodents and disease as well as prevent smothering of new growth.


As with most ornamental grasses, black mondo grass benefits from regular raking. Raking removes dead foliage from inside the plant and allows plenty of room for new shoots to uniformly grow.

If you choose to divide your black mondo grass, perform this task in the spring after pruning to make the job easier.

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