Dwarf mondo grass, also known as little monkey grass, is an evergreen perennial plant often used as ground cover, particularly in shady areas of the yard and garden. The tufted foliage reaches up to 4 inches in height and the plant also produces small flowers in shades of white to lilac. Once established, dwarf mondo grass requires very little care. The plant is resistant to pests and tolerant of drought-like conditions. Gardeners value dwarf mondo grass for its ability to thrive in the shade, between stones or pavement and beneath trees and shrubs where turf grass cannot grow.
Plant dwarf mondo grass during late spring to allow the plant to become established before winter. Choose a location that receives partial shade throughout the day for optimal growth. Apply a 3-inch layer of organic compost to the planting site and use a garden tiller to incorporate it into the soil to a depth of 12 inches.
Use a shovel to dig a small hole in the ground, slightly wider and the same depth as the root ball. Space dwarf mondo grass plants 6 to 8 inches apart. Insert the roots into the hole and cover lightly with soil. Water thoroughly after planting, and once every five days for the first two months.
Water dwarf mondo grass once every 10 to 14 days during spring, summer and fall after the first two months to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Do not water during winter months, when active growth has ceased.
Feed once per month with a granular 5-10-15 NPK fertilizer to maximize the growth of the root system and foliage. Apply a liquid fertilizer once per month in addition to the granular fertilizer for the first six months of growth. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.
Mow dwarf mondo grass once per year during late winter to remove damaged foliage. Fertilize immediately after mowing to help the plant recover. Rake the grass after spreading the fertilizer to knock it off of the foliage. Water thoroughly afterward to release the nutrients into the soil.
Things You Will Need
- Organic compost
- Garden tiller
- Granular fertilizer
- Liquid fertilizer
- Use the same 5-10-15 NPK fertilizer for monthly applications and after mowing.
- Dwarf mondo grass is most economically grown from bare-root plants, which can be purchased from lawn and garden stores and plant nurseries.
- Manually remove all weeds as often as possible to eliminate competition for nutrients.
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