Asked on Jan 23, 2012

Planting mondo grass

Melissa G
by Melissa G
I would like to plant mondo grass in a very large section of our front lawn as a way to shape the grass and create a nice landscape. Would buying such a large amount of mondo grass be expensive? Would I have to plant the mondo grass very close together in order to achieve a lawn-type look, or could I plant them separately, maybe six inches or so apart, and let them "grow in"? The effect I would like is similar to this picture.
  23 answers
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Jan 23, 2012
    You'll go broke trying to plant it close together. I hired a high school kid to separate a big clump and plant individual plant 6" apart. That was last summer and they have just started to expand a bit. Might take 3 years to get good coverage at this rate.....but in shade, it's worth it.
  • Melissa G Melissa G on Jan 23, 2012
    Thank you, Walter. Perhaps I'll start small. How would I get a big clump to separate -- can I buy it somewhere?
  • Walter is right on as always.... just feed well and routinely and they will eventually grow in and be a great lawn replacement. You may want to consider some variegated clusters of other plants just to make it more interesting and appealing.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jan 24, 2012
    Patience is definitely required with mondo grass. At least around me, it's commonly sold in 1-gallon pots, but I was at one nursery recently that sold flats in about 2 inch squares at a reasonable price.
  • Mike and Anne Mike and Anne on Jan 24, 2012
    Mondo is sold in 1-inch plugs in some nurseries and a flat of it is a little bit more than the gallon pot price. However, it is not that difficult to pull the sprigs out of a gallon pot and sprig it on 6-inch centers. To cover a large area you can always start in a section of the area you want to cover and mulch the rest of the space. Then as money, and your back, allow you can enlarge the bed.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jan 24, 2012
    I sell 2" plugs (72 per tray) here. Call me for price and avail. :)
  • Melissa G Melissa G on Jan 24, 2012
    Thank you, everyone. I'm inspired to start this now!
  • I just pulled out about a trash can full for a client. I gave them away to some neighbors. Mondo grass looks great to define an edge or border, and as a lawn replacement. The dwarf mondo also makes a great stand in for a lawn, but probably will cost more.
  • Ricardo B Ricardo B on Jan 24, 2012
    Mondo is hearty and looks great planted as you intend. Would you believe I've actually just taken an broad pick-axe or shovel and split out plugs to expand the band. I think what stays actually likes it so it can continue to expand to close up the spaces left.
  • Robin F Robin F on Jan 26, 2012
    I have tons of mondo, and you are welcome to come and dig up all you like. I live in lawrenceville - this is the 3rd house I have brought it to - each time I moved, I dug up some, placed it in a black plastic bag, w/ a little moisture and it kept great until I got around to planting at my new house.
  • Ann W Ann W on Mar 13, 2012
    it is expensive but each purchased plant can be immediately divided into 3-4 plants ---taught to me by a landscape architect from univ fl--I was using them in between pavers for a soft patio look in FL
  • RArt RArt on Dec 30, 2013
    I planted my entire yard in dwarf mondo. I planted about 3 inches apart to reduce clumping. I had to weed by hand the first 2 years but after 4 years it is VERY dense. I suggest looking at several nursery's and counting the number of plants in each container. This is important because in a 2 inch pot I found the count to vary from nursery to nursery from about 10 sprigs to 35 sprigs. When separating, this becomes important. My yard is green year around and I never mow, hardly water and very seldom find any weeds. Another thing, I killed all of the grass several months before planting mondo and I tilled the yard throughly then planted each sprig by hand about 3 inches apart by hand pushing the dirt against the roots. Lots of work but I am very glad that I did it. I have almost no maintenance on it now...
    • Stefan Stefan on Oct 19, 2014
      this is exactly what i want to do too! i have a large dense 15x15 patch of dwarf mondo in my backyard which i want to propagate to cover my shaded lawns in front back and side yards. low maintenance and evergreen is my goal. im very encouraged to hear this worked out for you!!
  • Karen B Karen B on Dec 30, 2013
    Will it thrive in full sun?
  • Sue-a Sue-a on Mar 31, 2014
    I want to use dwarf mondo to outline paths of a labyrinth in an established back yard. Do I need to keep them spaced away from the grass to get them to multiply?
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Apr 01, 2014
      @Sue-a If you have St. Augustine grass you need a barrier between it and the dwarf mondo.
  • Clare Olson Clare Olson on Sep 04, 2014
    I live in Northern California, the East Bay and it can get pretty hot. I have a small back garden and am thinking Mondo over sod,,,,is this a good choice?? And where should I buy it to get the most for the least amount of $$$$
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 05, 2014
      @Clare Olson Mondo grass would not be a good choice if you intend to walk in that area, and it can be relatively slow to fill in.
  • Clare Olson Clare Olson on Sep 05, 2014
    We don't intend to walk on it actually....and I'm not even worried about it filling in. I like the look of the tufts with mulch around it. Is it less water than sod?? and what is the cheapest way for me to buy it?? Thank you!!
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 06, 2014
      @Clare Olson It certainly requires less water than sod. Check with your local nursery to see if they sell it in flats. That would be the cheapest way to get it.
  • Tom Mitchener Tom Mitchener on Sep 05, 2014
    could this grow in Ontario, Canada?
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 06, 2014
      @Tom Mitchener In the US it would be considered hardy to zone 6. I don't know what the equivalent of that would be for you in Canada.
  • Helen Helen on Sep 07, 2014
    Mondo grass down south takes over fast. I just pulled out a whole bed and it's still coming up. I guess I don't understand why anyone would want the stuff. It was in a contained bed with big rocks and it went in between the rocks and out in the gravel driveway. Besides it's a great place for snakes and spiders to hide.
  • Cubasian Invasion Cubasian Invasion on Oct 14, 2014
    We put in a pool last year and killed all of the grass we had ( which wasn't much). Have a lot of shade and a lot of traffic through my yard because of kids and pets. Would love to plant mondo to eliminate the desert look, and all of the dust from the dirt. Just don't know where to start, can mondo even be purchased and planted during the fall season? Pretty new to this
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Oct 15, 2014
      @Cubasian Invasion Fall in general is a good time for planting. Check with a local nursery to see if it is available in your area. Mondo grass is tough after it gets established, but you will have to find a way to keep kids and pets off of it until that happens.
  • Hong Hong on Dec 22, 2014
    I am in Philadelphia area. I just picked some Mondo grass seeds from my friends yard yesterday. Any one know what should I do with them? Plant it right now? I have temperature at 30 here. Or save it for next spring? But I hear Mondo grass can not store for long. Maybe plant it indoor, such as basement?
    • See 2 previous
    • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Dec 22, 2014
      @Hong You will have a much better chance of getting a quantity of mondo grass if you divide a clump into plugs. Germination of seeds is highly variable, and those that do germinate may or may not resemble the parent plant. I simply meant planting the seeds in pots.
  • Pat Nicholson Pat Nicholson on Jan 24, 2015
    Please advise me on using mondo grass (mini or regular) as a lawn alternative for my mole invaded neighborhood. Treating the mole crickets in my yard will work for a couple of years, but the moles just move to neighboring yards. Then they return and wipe out the lawn every three years or so. Thanks so much! Pat in Charleston SC
  • Jenny Troitzsch Jenny Troitzsch on Apr 03, 2015
    We just moved into a new house in Atlanta. The grass that is in the garden behind the house is a lot like Mondo, but I'm not sure. There are some parts that are not grass that had a dog track and would like to fill them with the same type of grass. It's evergreen dark all year round and strong. I let them been growing to see if flowers for seeds. So far there is no sign of flowering. Could I send you some images?
  • Jenny Troitzsch Jenny Troitzsch on Apr 03, 2015
    It is a Fescue Grass... I don't know yet what type.