The liriope plant (Liriope Muscari), which some call “giant evergreen lily turf,” displays gorgeous lavender or violet-purple flowers and helps bring more color to any garden.
Liriope, or lilyturf, is a hardy perennial plant. The Liriope grows easily and features dark green leaves and grass-like foliage.
‘Royal Purple’ has deep purple flower spikes, and the plants mature at 12 to 15 inches tall.
After the flowers die off, Liriope produces small, blackish berries that remain in the winter.
Thanks to the late summer flowers, winter berries, and evergreen leaves, this plant offers year-round beauty and is often used for garden borders.
Liriope Muscari pronounced [lir-RYE-oh-pee] [mus-KAR-ee], is also known by the common names:
- Monkey grass
- Lily turf
- Big blue lilyturf
It is native to Taiwan, Japan, and China and belongs to the Liliaceae family of plants.
- Liriope Care: Caring For Lilyturf Grass
- Liriope Plant Propagation
- Evergreen Giant Liriope Pests, Diseases, or Problems
- Other Liriope Grass Varieties?
- Best Uses For Evergreen Lily Turf?
Liriope Care: Caring For Lilyturf Grass
How Big Does Liriope Evergreen Giant Get?
Lilyturf plants have long flower stems up to 20” inches long. The leaves typically reach 12” to 18” inches with interesting fountain-shaped growths.
The Liriope plant is a perennial recommended for growing in USDA hardiness zones 5-10. However, Liriope tolerates a wide range of temperatures, soils, and light conditions.
When mature, the plant looks like a tuft of grass. It features clumps of thin and fresh foliage. Eventually, the flower stems start to spike and grow past the foliage.
The most eye-catching of ornamental grass-like plants, this one has heavily variegated leaves that remind many Northerners of the variegated houseplant spider plant.
With a grass-like appearance, lilyturf plants produce a profusion of short white flower spikes to lavender flower spikes.
The Giant Lily Turf Flower
Liriope tend to blooms in summer. However, most people grow these plants in the garden for their leaves.
When the flowers bloom during summer months, they arrive in a cluster around a central spike. They also produce a sweet fragrance.
Once the blooming has completed, the spent flowers are removed, and the vibrant evergreen foliage continues to grow throughout fall.
The violet-purple flowers eventually die out, giving way to black berries that remain throughout the winter.
Can Giant Liriope Lilyturf Grow In Full Sun?
Full shade to partial shade conditions is recommended for lilyturf plant. However, Liriope grows in almost any area, from full sun to deep shade.
In warmer climates, these plants are appreciative of some afternoon shade. This would be best in a part of the shade location.
In full sun, it requires 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, while the plant only needs 2 to 6 hours of direct sunlight for a part of the day in partial shade locations.
The only “lighting” issue you need to worry about is the direct late-afternoon sun when placed indoors.
What Is The Cold Hardiness Of Liriope?
Liriopes can remain outdoors all year. However, it does not tolerate freezing temperatures well.
Plants may not make it through the winter if temperatures drop below 35° degrees Fahrenheit if kept outdoors.
During the summer, Liriopes prefers moderately warm temperatures. The recommended range is 68° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering and Fertilizing Tips
Throughout the summer, you will want to give these drought-tolerant plants adequate water to maintain healthy growth. They need about an average of 1″ inch of water per week.
Mature and clumped Liriopes require less water, although they will benefit from additional watering during dry Summer months.
In the winter, the plant goes dormant and does not need frequent watering.
Regular watering is a must, but with enough time for the plant to dry out a bit between waterings.
A light fertilizer application of 10-10-10 is recommended during the growing season but not during the winter.
You can use a liquid fertilizer with each watering to provide your plant with more nutrition.
There is little need for additional fertilizer at planting time, as plants are extremely low feeders.
Best Soil For Evergreen Giant Liriope Lilyturf?
The Liriope Muscari grows well in soil with good drainage. You may use fresh potting soil if you prefer or healthy topsoil, whether mass planting indoors or outdoors.
As with many other ornamental plants, they do not like constantly soggy soil conditions or wet soil, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.
Weeds can easily overtake this plant. If you intend to grow Liriope outdoors, you should eliminate the weeds. Pull the weeds by hand to avoid using sprays that may harm the lilyturf plant.
NOTE: Although Liriope grows in a wide range of soil types, if the soil is too compact, consider adding a little bit of peat to help with drainage.
The hardy perennial can survive and grow in either heavy, clay, or light, sandy soils. The only “must-have” is that it is well-draining soil.
With potted, it is best to repot with fresh and neutral soil in the early spring.
Does Liriope Grass Need To Be Cut Back?
After the flowers die, most growers prefer to remove the flower stems. They also remove withered foliage to clean up the plant.
When planted outdoors, many people trim the foliage in late winter before new growth starts.
This helps maintain a neater appearance, but it is not a required step for your plant’s health.
Liriope Plant Propagation
Propagating the lily turf plant requires you to either divide the root mass or germinate the seeds. However, reproducing from seed is not easy. Growing liriope from seed is a multi-step process.
If you want to try propagating the plant from the root, carefully remove the plant from the soil and divide the root mass. When dividing, plants can easily be split to form new starts for additional planting.
You can perform this step every two to three years to ensure that you always have plenty of lily turf grass to go around your garden.
Check out these small Liriope-type grasses:
- Ophiopogon planiscapus (Black Mondo Grass)
- Ophiopogon jaburan (Green Mondo Grass)
Evergreen Giant Liriope Pests, Diseases, or Problems
There are several potential threats to pay attention to if you want to protect your lovely lily turf. These common plant pests include:
- Crown Rot from the fungal disease (Phytophthora)
- Brown patches on the leaves
- Brown leaf tips
- Brown spots
- Sticky leaves
The brown patches are often due to overwatering can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.
Scale back on the watering and remove the dead foliage. However, brown leaf tips typically indicate that the air is too dry.
Brown spots may be insects and not a sign of rot. One trick for getting rid of insects is to dip a cotton swab in alcohol and rub the spots to remove insects.
Sticky leaves indicate an aphid infestation. Treat with an insecticide like Neem oil.
Other Liriope Grass Varieties?
The two most popular species of the liriope genus are the Liriope muscari and the Liriope spicata.
Muscari has thinner leaves and longleaf and lavender flowers, while the Liriope spicata has narrow leaves and lilac flowers that grow in clusters.
The flowers are smaller and lighter in color. ‘Silver Dragon’ has slender, highly variegated green and white leaves and lavender flowers.
A variegated Liriope variety is called – Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’ and is suitable for growing in USDA Hardiness Zone: 6 – 11.
Related: What Are Good Liriope Companion Plants?
Best Uses For Evergreen Lily Turf?
Liriope muscari is an evergreen plant and a great choice for growing in containers but it excels when used in the landscape as a ground cover, as a border plant, or in large beds. Monkey grass liriope is also drought tolerant and deer resistant.