Black Mondo Grass : How to Grow & Care

Gardening has always been a part of human life as a hobby or income source. Even now, when we look for houses, we try to find one with green space or an apartment with sufficient lighting for us to grow and care for a couple of plants and often find peace and joy working on them. To call plants, a wonder would be a good simile considering all the shapes and colors they come in.

One of these wonders is the black mondo grass. With its unique color scheme and tufty appearance, black mondo grass is something everyone will want in their gardens. If you, too, want to grow black mondo grass and use it around your living space, you are in the right place. In this entry, you will find everything you need to know about the marvelous black mondo grass, including how to grow and care for it.

What is Black Mondo Grass

With many sub-types and variations, black mondo grass or ‘ophiogophon planiscapus’ is a flowering plant that grows in thick tufts of arched leaves with a dramatic coloring ranging from bright green to deep purple-black. From late spring to early summer, it is highly possible to see pink bell-shaped flower clusters in black mondo grass.

This magnificent plant species is great for ground cover, spooky decoration, or Asian-style zen gardens. Landscapers, gardeners, and newbies often prefer black mondo grass in gardening as it is not tricky to grow and take care of. Also, this plant is quite resistant to drought. It’s durable and evergreen, and on top of that, it is deer-proof, so you don’t have to worry about your grass drying up and being mauled.

A fun fact about black mondo grass is that it is not actually a grass. Earning the name because of its appearance, black mondo grass is actually a part of the Asparagaceae family. This makes it a lily. 

How to grow Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass Flowers

Black mondo grass is a favorite in gardening for many reasons. From covering large areas to being planted at the base of a bonsai tree, it is possible to make countless designs with it. But before getting to the design stage, you need to know how to take care of it. So, if you decided to grow black mondo grass but you have no idea where to start? Don’t worry because I’ve got you covered. Black mondo grass grows slowly, so you need to be patient and follow a few simple caring steps:


Obviously, the first step is planting. Black mondo grass should be planted in rich and moist soil with good drainage in early spring, where it gets both shade and sunlight. After picking the place and preparing the soil, you get to the planting stage. As your grass will need space to grow, you should make sure to plant the tufts of black mondo grass at least 6 centimeters apart. This will enable the plant to grow freely and allow you to see the growing process. 

With a good care regimen, your black mondo grass can grow up to 30 cm long and 25 cm wide looking. It is possible to plant it in summer or fall, but if you decide on these seasons, you should be aware that your black mondo grass will need a little extra care.


Black Mondo Grass

For black mondo grass, it is important for the soil to be moist, so you should find the line between soaking wet and desert drought. Since the planting will be in early spring every 2-3 weeks for large areas and 1-2 weeks for smaller ones should be sufficient. But always make sure to form a better schedule to fit where you live. As the summer approaches, the weather will get warmer, and the soil will be dryer so take more frequent watering to your care. And with the colder seasons rolling in time between the watering will be longer.


The black mondo grass has successfully been planted and kept alive, so now it’s time to spread it. After a maturing period, which usually lasts for about three years, your black mondo grass will start to grow baby plants. The best way to propagate the black mondo grass is by separating the baby plants and planting them wherever you want to spread your grass.

But you should keep in mind that the baby plants will be delicate, so be gentle. Another option is to just let baby plants grow and form a thick coverage, but this way, your black mondo grass will mostly remain where it’s originally planted. And even if it spreads, it will be in a close area by 1-3 centimeters.


Lighting is an integral part of plant care. Knowing the light needs of the plants you are growing will sure give you an upper hand in gardening. Black mondo grass likes the sunlight but not to the point that it needs to be exposed to the sun all day every day, so you should find suitable lighting for its healthy growth. Half shady and half sunny areas are good for black mondo grass because too much sun will cause the leaves to dry up, and no sun will cause the leaves to be dull in terms of color.

If your black mondo grass is growing in a terrarium or a flowerpot, it is easier to meet the sunlight needs. If you are confused about the light it gets in your garden, you can also get caring tips from your plant as the black mondo grass and a large sum of other plants will grow towards the sunlight. All you have to do is watch your grass, and I can assure you, with its look, you will have no problem doing that with black mondo grass.

 Black mondo grass is native to Japan, so it first caught the world’s eye in Asian-style gardens. But over time, with its fascinating look, black mondo grass won over people’s hearts, and now it is possible to see it take its place in gardens and indoor arrangements all around the world.

How to Take Care of Black Mondo Grass

Decorative Black Mondo Grass


One of the best things about black mondo grass is that it does not require a complex care regimen and is easy to grow. But just because it has easy care steps does not mean it should be taken lightly. If you are dedicated and truly want the black mondo grass, you still need to know how to grow and care for it. As mentioned above, black mondo grass best grows in moisturized and rich soil that has good drainage.

The properties of the rich soil in this content include for it to be slightly acidic and a mixture of sand, clay, and humus-rich silt. You can either mix it yourself or buy it from your local plant nursery. When planting your black mondo grass, do not press the soil tightly. Because jammed soil will turn into mud, and we don’t want that to affect our black mondo grass’s growth. While the black mondo grass loves good-moisturized soil, you should be careful not to overwater it.

Leaf Care

With an unusual color to it, black mondo grass sure is a sight for sore eyes, and in order to keep it that way, you should remember to take care of the leaves as well. If you see dry leaves or leaves that obviously are sick, you should pick them to prevent them from hurting the plant. You can put them under your black mondo grass and use them as fertilizers for the soil. For the mowing part, you can trim your black mondo grass if it has grown past the height you expected it to. Taking care of black mondo grass is easy and does not take much effort, so don’t be lazy and go look at your plant.


Since the soil you will plant your black mondo grass is already quite nutritious, fertilizing may seem unnecessary, but it is not. Soil care is essential in gardening and plant care. But how will you know you need it? The seasons and the ever-changing weather take a toll on the soil, so at least every two years, you should buy a good fertilizer and feed your soil.

Other than time, if you notice that your plants have lost their shine or if your garden feels dull and dry even though your caring regimen was proved effective, you can take an example of your soil and get it checked. After that, you will know if you need to fertilize or not. Like every part of gardening, it is important to observe your plants and soil when caring for them, so take a breath and look at your green space.

Where to use Black Mondo Grass

After learning the proper care tips for growing your black mondo grass now, it’s time to run your imagination and use this magnificent plant in your life. The widest usage of the black mondo grass is the ground coverage. If there is a spot in your garden that just cannot be used, or if you don’t want normal grass, black mondo grass will do just fine with its exotic look and color.

It will give your garden a dramatic flair and a nice fragrance. One other great usage of its look is drawing lines and separating different areas. If you want something distinctive to divide your garden into sections or form a shape in your garden, black mondo grass is very suitable. You can separate flower beds or cover the edges of your garden. You can even draw a motif using black mondo grass.

 But of course, it can be used inside as well. In terrariums and little ecosystems, black mondo grass will not only look great but will also fit well with other plants you put in your containers. The already easy-to-care plant will need the bare minimum in these planters. Black mondo grass, no matter where you use it, will give you a mysterious vibe, and its easy-for-caring nature might result in all the plant parents around you swooning over your gardening skills.

Types of Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass, Blue Flower

Just like all plants, black mondo grass also has many types and relatives. This enables you to choose the best and most suitable type of black mondo grass to grow and care for in your living space. 

‘Ophiopogon Planiscapus’- Nigrescens

The ‘black’ in the black mondo grass comes from this type. With a deep black color and arched leaves, nigrescens grow bell-shaped flowers in lavender color. By the end of spring, these flowers turn into berries that hold seeds. Even though the leaves first bloom green, with the effect of sunlight, it turns black.

‘Ophiopogon Intermedius’ Aztec Grass

Aztec grass does not grow as dark as its family members, but it grows slightly larger. With pale green and white stripes and long leaves, Aztec grass is just as beautiful as others. But be aware that it is quite invasive and can easily give you trouble for it.

‘Ophiopohon Japonicas’ Mondograss or Fountain Plant

In contrast to Aztec grass, mondograss is smaller than others. Mondo grass has wider, green leaves and larger flowers, and it is mostly used in fairy gardens. 

‘Ophiopogon Planiscapus’ Little Tabby or Silver Ribbon

Also called ‘lily turf‘ and ‘monkey grass’, these plants are commonly used in garden spaces. They have green leaves, and they grow in tufts, so they are very similar to the other types. They grow white flowers that turn into purple berries, but they are inedible. Little tabby is often confused with its cousins, but it is possible to distinguish it by the fact that it stays close to the ground.

How to Get Rid of Black Mondo Grass

Black Mondo Grass

We talked about how to plant, grow, and take care of black mondo grass, and now it’s time to learn how to get rid of it. Don’t worry; removing the black mondo grass will not be difficult. In order to get rid of the black mondo grass, you should remove it from the roots. Clean your area best you can, and after a while, if there are roots that escaped you, they will grow and enable you to do another removal session. Since your removal will discourage the black mondo grass, the second growth is unlikely, but nature is full of surprises, so we can never know for sure. 


A little green in your home, workplace and common spaces will undeniably uplift your mood. But how about a little black? Black mondo grass will give you a sense of amazement with its look and aura. Black mondo grass is an evergreen plant that is very easy to take care of, and in addition to that, it is durable. So, it is safe to say that once you plant and start taking care of your black mondo grass, you will be seeing and taking care of it for a long time. With a little determination and imagination, black mondo grass can give your life a fairytale-like feeling. Go on and start your journey in gardening and start your journey with black mondo grass.

In this entry, we talked about the black mondo grass. Among the mentions, there was information about its origins, how it needs to be cared for, what type of soil it requires, in what areas it’s used, various types of it, and finally, how to remove it. I hope you enjoyed reading and were able to find what you were and were not looking for.

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