Liriope Muscari, some call “giant evergreen lily turf” with it’s gorgeous lavender or violet-purple flowers can help bring more color to any garden.
The plant grows easily and features evergreen foliage.
After the flowers die off, the plant produces small, blackish berries that remain into the winter.
Thanks to the 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 commonly called lily turf or the big blue lily turf.
It is native to Taiwan, Japan, and China and belongs to the Liliaceae family of plants.
Caring For Lilyturf Plants
How Big Does Liriope Get?
Lilyturf plants have long flower stems that can reach 20” inches in length. The leaves typically reach 12” to 18” inches with interesting fountain-shaped growths.
Giant evergreen lily turf is a perennial growing in suggested USDA hardiness zones 5-10. However, the Liriope plant tolerates a wide variety of temperatures, soils, and light conditions.
When mature, the plant looks like a tuft of grass. It features clumps of thin foliage. Eventually, the flower stems start to spike and grow past the foliage.
When Does Giant Liriope Flower?
Liriope plants tend to bloom at the end of the summer. However, most people grow these plants for their leaves.
When the flowers bloom, they arrive in a cluster around a central spike. They also produce a sweet fragrance.
The violet-purple flowers eventually die out, giving way to black berries that remain throughout the winter.
Can Liriope Grow In Full Sun?
Full shade to partial shade is recommended for lilyturf. However, Liriope plants grows in almost any area from full sun to deep shade.
The only “lighting” issue you need to worry about is direct late-afternoon sun when placed indoors.
This plant can remain outdoors all year. However, it does not tolerate freezing temperatures well.
If kept outdoors, the plant may not make it through the winter if the temperatures drop below 35° degrees Fahrenheit.
During the summer, the plant prefers moderately warm temperatures. The recommended range is 68° to 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips For Watering and Fertilizing Liriope
Throughout the summer, you will want to give the plant lots of water to maintain healthy growth.
In the winter, the plant goes dormant and does not need frequent watering.
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.
What Soil Does Lilyturf Grow Best In?
The Liriope Muscari grows well in soil with good drainage. You may use potting soil if you prefer or healthy topsoil, whether planting indoors or outdoors.
Weeds can easily overtake this plant. If you intend to plant it outdoors, you should eliminate the weeds. Pull the weeds by hand to avoid using sprays that may harm the lily turf.
NOTE: If the soil is too compact, consider adding a little bit of peat to help with drainage.
With potted plants, it is best to repot with fresh soil in the early spring.
Does Liriope Need To Be Cut Back?
After the flowers die, most growers prefer to remove the flower stems. They also remove withered leaves to clean up the plant.
When planted outdoors, many people choose to trim the foliage back in later winter, before new growth starts.
This helps maintain a neater appearance, but it is not a required step for the health of your plant.
How Is Liriope Muscari Propagated?
Propagating the lily turf requires you to either divide the root mass or germinate the seeds. However, reproducing from seed is not easy.
If you want to try propagating the plant from the root, carefully remove the plant from the soil and divide the root mass.
You can perform this step every two to three years to ensure that you always have plenty of lily turf to go around your garden.
Pests, Diseases, or Problems the Plant Encounters
There are several potential threats to pay attention to if you want to protect your lovely lily turf. These threats include:
- Crown Rot from the fungus (Phytopthora)
- Brown patches on the leaves
- Brown leaf tips
- Brown spots
- Sticky leaves
The brown patches are often due to overwatering. Scale back on the watering and remove the dead leaves. 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.
Are There Other Liriope Varieties?
The two most popular species of the liriope genus are the Liriope muscari and the Liriope spicata.
Muscari has thin, long leaves and lavender flowers while the Liriope spicata has narrow leaves and lilac flowers that grow in clusters
There is also a variegated variety called – Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’ suitable for growing in USDA Hardiness Zone: 6 – 11.
What Are The Best Uses For Lily Turf?
Liriope muscari is a great choice for growing in containers but excels when used in the landscape as a border or in large beds.