Log in Sign up
Log in Sign up
Since 1988, THE source for buying native, rare, and unique perennials.

Black Mondo Grass is one of the Most Unique Ground Covers for the Woodland Garden

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Kokuryu' (Black Mondo Grass) aka Ophiopogon 'Nigrescens', is a part sun to shade ground cover growing to 6”. It spreads slowly by rhizomes and a single plant will become an 18” wide mat in about 3 years. They have berries which carry a single seed. Black mondo grass is very easy to care for as well as durable and perfect for lining a shaded pathway as a ground cover .

 Each leaf is .25” wide and sweetly fragrant. New foliage emerges dark green in spring then changes to dark purplish-black by summer. Loose spikes of small, light pink or white, bell-shaped flowers appear in midsummer, followed by small black berries. The distinctive black foliage makes this an excellent plant for rock gardens and border edging. Perhaps you'll want to grow it in a planter on your patio or use black mondo grass in a perennial shade garden to highlight lighter colored plants.

 Divide black mondo grass in spring. You may wish to trim off any leaves which have become unattractive over the winter. It is a slow grower, so have patience.

 A tricky issue for beginners with black mondo grass is its sunshine requirements. In the South it should be treated as a shade plant due to the intense sunlight in a warmer climate (it could cause the trademark dark foliage to fade). Northerners can opt to grow it in full sun. This ground cover prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil but, once established, it can tolerate some drought. It is also deer resistant.

 If you have a designer's eye when it comes to gardening, the dark color of the plant's leaves will bring out the artist in you. The design possibilities are endless, but if you garden in the South, you might want to pair the black mondo grass with variegated hostas like Hosta 'Pineapple Upside Down Cake' or Hosta 'Zebra Stripes' in your woodland garden. Not only will you have an interesting color contrast, you'll have different textures, too. So bring out the artist/gardener in you. Think outside the box and plant some black mondo grass today.