Liriope Summer Colour lilyturf Dry Shade Gardens

Liriope Shade Drought Tolerant

Liriope – A Popular Border Grass

Liriope summer colour lilyturf dry shade gardensAre you skeptic about growing border plants in your garden? Do you want to grow plants that need very less maintenance as ground covers? Well, one of the best plants you can try out as a border grass in your garden is the Liriope. This plant is a grass-like flowering plant that is neither a true grass nor a lily. They are commonly known as monkey grass or lilyturf or border grass. The Liriope is commonly used in lawn areas or gardens as they have evergreen foliage and are perfect groundcovers. They are ideal plants to use for garden landscapes.

More about Liriope and Its Varieties

There are two varieties of Liriope: Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata. The Liriope muscari are the most common type, commonly grown everywhere in Australia. It has tiny violet flower colours that appear on the grass during late summers. The L. muscari is a bigger plant than the L. spicata. They will reach a height of 18 inches and 12 inches in width whereas the L. spicata grows about 9 to 15 inches tall.

The Liriope muscari is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant that has evergreen foliage and purple and lilac coloured spike flowers. They are tufted and are grass-like perennials that have arching and glossy dark green leaves about ½ inch width. Their clumps expand slowly and do not spread very quickly. The flowers grow on erect spikes and look like grape hyacinth and hence are called muscari.

The Liriope spicata are known as creeping lilyturfs and these grass-like perennials form clusters of arching, glossy, dark green leaves that are just ¼ inch wide. They grow to a height of 9 to 15 inches. Their leaves are often variegated. The plant has erect flower spikes with small white to light lavender flowers arising from the spike during the late summers.

How to Plant Liriope?

If you are skeptical about growing Liriope in your garden, then you need not worry at all.

Plant Liriope plant in sun or shade – This perennial loves to grow in partial shade in hot climates, but technically will accept being exposed to the early morning sun.

When to water the Liriope plant? – Liriope need to be watered only when planted in the sun but can live without expected watering if planted in the shade.

Liriope plants thrive in well-draining soil, when grown in the shade this makes them naturally drought tolerant. My Liriope plants are grown as a border in front of oyster plants in the shade and I never ever water the liriope plants, this certainly makes them fit for xeriscape gardening. 

As they are ground covers, they will spread very easily and quickly.

  • Liriope plants are best planted in the ground during spring or autumn.
  • Prepare the soil where you are looking to plant Liriope first. It should have good drainage and if the soil is heavy, then add peat moss to lighten it.
  • Dig a hole in the soil using the trowel wide and deep enough so that the root ball of the young Liriope easily sits in it.
  • Once you place the root ball in the hole, backfill the hole with the soil. Ensure the soil is packed firmly around the root ball.
  • Water the soil so that the plant is kept moist for six weeks.
  • Water the plant less frequently until it can defend on its own, this should take six months.
  • Adding a layer of mulch around the plant will help in retaining moisture.

Care for Liriope

The Liriope can be lifted, divided and transplanted with care whenever you feel like it has overgrown. The brown foliage that you see on the Liriope needs to be cut back before the new growth. Adding a little bit of fertiliser once in a while will encourage its spreading.

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