Intro: Mondo grass and dwarf mondo grass are grown as ground covers, and if you want to cover some bare space in a plant container (such as underneath a tree), mondo grass is a great container plant choice. This “grass” never needs to be mowed, and it grows in little round mounds. Mondo grass grows to about 8 to 10 inches tall, while dwarf mondo grass grows to 2 to 3 inches tall. In the spring and summer, you may be able to see tiny purple flower clusters on stems. Mondo grass is native to Japan and comes in many varieties, such as black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’).
Scientific Name: Ophiopogon japonicus and the dwarf variety, Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’
Plant Type: Evergreen perennial flowering plant
Light: Part shade to full shade. Mondo grass can tolerate full sun, but it grows better in shade.
Water: The great thing about mondo grass for lawn-owners is that it doesn’t need to be mowed, and it doesn’t need as much water as regular grass does. Mondo grass lawns are a great way to be eco-friendly and use less water. When keeping mondo grass in plant containers, make sure you do not overwater it.
Zone: Zones 7 to 8
Fertilizer: Fertilization is unnecessary, but for best growth, fertilize lightly throughout the spring and summer.
Pests and Diseases: Root rot often affects the dwarf mondo grass plant. Slugs and snails may be a problem, and scale insects will cause unsightly spots on the mondo grass leaves.
Propagation: Propagate the mondo grass plant by division.
Misc. Info: Mondo grass, even dwarf mondo grass, is not appropriate for fish aquariums. Even though they are often sold as aquatic plants in pet stores, these are not aquatic plants, and they will not survive for long in an aquarium.