Ophiopogon jaburan [oh-fee-oh-POH-gon, JA-bur-an] is part of the Ophiopogon genus and the Asparagaceae family, native to the tropical regions of southeast Asia.
Mondo grass is the common name for this hardy perennial grass-like plant with a tufted growth featuring an abundance of leaves.
It may reach up to 18” inches long and grows in almost any environment.
It’s one of the least demanding houseplants and outdoor plants, surviving periods of neglect and extreme temperatures.
Ophiopogon Jaburan Mondo Grass Care
Size and Growth
Mondo grass produces thin, grass-like leaves. The leaves appear thicker near the base of the plant and grow thinner near the tips with an average width of about half an inch.
The leaves eventually reach up to 18” inches long and typically feature white or yellow stripes.
Flowering and Fragrance
The plant produces small little flowers hanging from arching stalks.
The flowers are typically violet or white and appear in the summer.
Light and Temperature
The undemanding Ophiopogon jaburan survives in extreme conditions.
It tolerates low light and full shade, allowing it to grow almost anywhere.
It’s also winter hardy in USDA zones 6 to 10 and can survive freezing temperatures.
It grows well indoors at average room temperature. In the winter, it benefits from slightly cooler temperatures.
While Mondo grass tolerates a variety of conditions, the leaves may turn brown in severely dry air.
Watering and Feeding
Water the plant regularly throughout the summer and cut down on watering during the winter.
Don’t allow the soil to dry out, especially during the summer months.
Feed the plant every two weeks between March and August. The plant doesn’t need any fertilizer in the fall or winter.
Soil and Transplanting
Plant Mondo grass in regular houseplant potting soil. Repot each spring, moving up to a larger container as needed.
If the pot is too small, the root system grows around itself and creates a thick root ball in the soil.
Ophiopogon grows well even in poor soil but repotting each spring helps provide the essential nutrients to the root system.
Remove the withered leaves to allow room for new growth.
Other grasses you may like:
- Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus)
- Liriope muscari care
- Common Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)
How to Propagate Mondo Grass
Propagate Mondo grass from seeds, as runners, or by division.
Propagating by division is the easiest method. Healthy Mondo grass tends to form in a dense clump near the base.
Eventually, it may outgrow its current container.
- Carefully loosen the soil and lift the plant from the container.
- Gently break up the clumps of root and dirt.
- Divide the plant into two or more sections and repot each portion in its own container.
- Water and fertilize the divided plants normally.
Watering is especially important during the first few weeks until the plants become established.
Propagating with seeds is a little tricky. The seeds dry out quickly and may not germinate.
For the best results, harvest seeds from the plant after flowering.
- Collect the seeds from the flowers and sow them immediately.
- Place the seeds in regular potting soil and keep in a cool area.
- Moisten the seeds occasionally to keep them from drying out.
- The seeds should germinate within two weeks to six months.
- After the seeds sprout, wait for them to become hardy enough to handle.
- Transplant the young plants into new containers and begin watering and feeding normally.
The plants grown from seed may need transplanting the following spring.
Some varieties of mondo grass produce runners while others don’t.
For example, when planted outdoors, dwarf Mondo grass produces runners near the mother plant.
The runners remain attached to the central root system.
- Dig up the runner and cut the root connecting the plant to the mother plant.
- Plant runners in their own containers.
- Place the containers in bright locations and water frequently until the plants become established.
Mondo Grass Main Pests or Disease Problems
The main threats include dry air and a lack of sunlight.
Without sunlight, the stripes may disappear from the leaves.
When this occurs, move the plant to a brighter location.
Dry air causes the tips of the leaves to turn brown. It also encourages spider mite infestations.
The spider mites tend to create yellowish patches on the leaves.
Small, delicate webbing may also appear.
Wash the spider mites away using tap water from a spray bottle.
Misting the leaves occasionally also helps maintain a higher humidity level, keeping the tips of the plant from turning brown.
While the plant isn’t severely toxic, keep it away from children or pets which may attempt to chew on the grass-like leaves.
Mondo grass has a low level of toxicity but may cause mild gastrointestinal distress when ingested.
Suggested Ophiopogon Jaburan Uses
Thanks to the ability of this plant to survive low light conditions, it works well almost anywhere.
Grow the undemanding ornamental grass-like plant behind smaller, more colorful plants in a garden or use it as a border plant.