Despite its name, mondo grass is a top decorative grass.
However, before you contemplate adding a dramatic flair to your garden with this amazing grass, you should consider the various types of mondo grass and thoroughly understand them to make the best choice.
Mondo grass is an excellent ground cover that outperforms border grass regarding insect resistance and drought tolerance.
Several forms of mondo grass have diverse features that look good in different areas. For example, some cultivars look great in container plantings, landscape borders, and rock gardens.
Types of Mondo Grass
1. Dwarf mondo grass
The name says it all, dwarfed grass. This type of Mondo grows low, hugging the ground and reaching only half the size of other types of Mondo. It reaches a height of two to four inches.
Dwarf mondo grass has a petite look, and the leaves have a dark green hue. An evergreen carpet will bring your yard to life by putting out small white flowers and blueberries.
Despite its height, the dwarf mondo grass is another variant of the Mondo grass. It is resistant to diseases and pests and does well in dry areas. But compared with other variants, the dwarf mondo grass has a moderate tolerance to foot traffic, making it an unsuitable candidate for a lawn that children frequently play on.
Dwarf mondo grass has the best look at the borders and edges while providing the best ground cover with its width of eight inches wide. In addition to its creeping nature, it will cover an expansive area of your yard and slender leaves will give your outdoor space the matchless aesthetic look it needs.
However, this variant needs well-drained soil that holds moisture well, so ensure that the soil is kept moist during the summer for the mini mondo grass to be at its best. Still, you will have to stop watering during winter to prevent the roots from rotting.
Although the dwarf mondo needs little maintenance, mowing it once a year in the early spring or late winter will keep it in good shape. However, ensure your mower is at a lower setting to avoid damaging it.
2. Black mondo grass
It is not like other normal mondo grass; my friend came over and gazed at my black Mondo with an awesome face and questioned if it was real. If that is the kind of effect you want from your guest, then the black Mondo is the one for you.
As the name implies, the black Mondo has thin black to purple-black arching blades spread out about 12 inches. Due to its outstanding color, this type of Mondo has also been dubbed fancy names like the black dragon or ebony knight.
Black Mondo flourishes under full light, reaching 10 inches high, producing bell-shaped pinkish-white flowers that emerge on its dark stems. As the bloom fades, you will have lovely dark-colored purple berries.
Before falling head over heel in love with the black Mondo, you should note that it is a notoriously slow grower than other variants; you will have to wait years for it to fill your bare yard. But on the plus side, it is easy to grow and does well in zone 6 to 10.
Picture the striking black leaves of this mondo variant with background forages of golden or yellow hue; what a startling effect.
The black Mondo thrives even under an oak tree, but its leaves will be lighter. To get the most out of it, grow it under full sunlight; the leaves will have that deeper color you want.
Like the other mondo grass, the black mondo grass also needs little maintenance.
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3. Variegated mondo grass
Another form of mondo grass popular in Japanese gardens is variegated mondo grass. It has long, wide leaves with an outstanding appealing mid-green strap accented by creamy white stripes, making it a suitable grass for adding a low care colorful border, rock gardens, and pots.
The variegated mondo grass creates a dense tuft with tall leaves that can reach a height of 24 inches, making it the tallest mondo grass with a moderate growth rate.
Most folks mistake this wonderful mondo grass with the lilyturf, and its arching ribbon-like blades resemble that of lilyturf. Still, the Ophiopogon jaburan is not in the category of liriope. But with a keen eye, you can easily note the difference.
However, you will notice that the variegated mondo grass produces little violet or white flowers hanging from an arching stalk.
See also: Why does my grass turn yellow in winter?
Slugs may attack a young variegated mondo grass and become greener and less variegated as it matures. Thankfully, like other mondo grass, it is also a hardy perennial grass that creates a carpet of green foliage even under shade.
See also: Best grass seeds for poor drainage
What is the best way to care for mondo grass?
All varieties of Mondo grass are tough grass that requires considerable maintenance to reach its full potential. Mondo grasses don’t require much care; all you have to do in the spring and summer is water the tuft blades to keep the ground moist.
All Mondo grass requires well-drained soil that retains some moisture. Winter can be harsh on your Mondo’s health; avoid watering over the winter months to keep the roots from rotting.
See also: Can grass be overwatered
When mowing the Mondo, use the highest setting on your mower and mow in early spring when the grass is not stressed.
See also: Differences between Liriope and mondo grass
Many lawn care experts will agree that mondo grass is the greatest option for garden turf.
The many types of mondo grass listed above have varied physical characteristics, regardless of which variety of mondo grass you choose. They all have the power to bring additional awe impacts to your guests’ faces with minimum care.
Whether dwarfed, black, or variegated mondo grass, they will amazingly retain their rich green hue even in tough conditions all year.
Therefore, when choosing between these three mondo grass, you will have to go with the appearance, “The beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”