Join Tony Avent as he discusses techniques for propagating ophiopogon or mondo grass. By learning ophiopogon propagation techniques, you can take one plant and turn it into a hundred.
Okay, today's project is dividing mondo grass. Mondo grass, or monkey grass, is very close to liriope, its first cousin. These are formally in the lily family, now separated out, but they're great woodland perennials. Some of them will grow absolutely in sun as well as they will in shade. Some run, some clump.
Dig Up a Clump
Today we're dividing the clumping form, and this is one called 'Seoulitary Man'. So, we're going to come in first and we're going to dig up one clump. Let's get it out of the ground. They like to be in the ground. That's what happens when you have really good soil. We’ll figure out how to get it out. When all else fails, get a bigger shovel but we're there now. Alright, so first thing I like to do, when you divide these in the wintertime, is look for the fruit. The fruit is hidden on these at the base of the plant and the really neat thing about the fruit is this bright blue. So, these will all grow. You can actually go around your mondo grass this time of year and collect the fruit. Beautiful, beautiful cobalt blue. It’s the bluest fruit [that] I'm aware of on any winter hardy plant and these you can just basically stick right in the ground. They will grow. They really prefer to have a winter chill, so you don't want to sow them inside, sow them out in a cold frame and they'll start coming up in spring.
Tease Apart the Mondo Grass
All right, so we have our plant up, or almost up. Now we're going to divide that. At the base, you see, we've got lots of little plants. Sometimes, you can tease these apart and I like to use a back-and-forth motion to just pull them apart. We've taken one clump and look how many we have. Let's just keep teasing those apart so we've got now one. Let's see here, we're not going to get too carried away with this. There we are two, three. Now this one right here, even though it has no foliage, you've got the new growth there so that will come up in growth. Don't throw that away. That's four. And here you are with five, six. All of these will grow, if you put them in good soil, that's the key. Number seven, number eight, number nine, number ten, and then we continue to pull those apart. Again, back and forth motion really brings them part better so number eleven. There's twelve.
Plant the Divisions
Now here, all right, so here's an interesting one. This will happen sometimes. You pull it apart, but you lose the roots because you're not being careful enough. That will actually grow. Now what I would do on this, is put that, and treat that as a cutting. So put a little rooting hormone [on the cutting], put that in a pot, and then that'll easily sprout. Probably won't have as much luck if you put that right back in the ground. We're just going to continue to pull apart. Got roots on that. There's one for the cuttings but that will absolutely grow. It's another one with no roots. But again, very easy to get these to grow. So, that's probably about twelve or fifteen. There's another one, lots of growth there, that'll come up and grow. And you can almost just continue to tease them off as small as you want to get. So, easily out of this clump, we're going to wind up with about thirty-five pretty easy.
But Wait, There's More
Now, if that's not enough, there's something else you can do. So, if you take a, let's just find one right here. Alright, there's nothing we can do to really divide that further. That's one division. But there is. If you actually own liriopes and ophiopogons, you can come in with a clipper, and let's clip like this, and you can actually clip right there. Right up through the middle. And then just plant it right back or you can take it as a cutting and that will produce two more. So, everyone we have now of our thirty-five plus, you can now divide further if you willing to put roots on them, into seventy. From one little clump, we've got at least 70. Now if we were really careful, we could probably get maybe even up to a hundred out of a single clump. A lot of times we would like to be able to afford more plants than our budgets allow, but if you learn propagation techniques, you can take that one plant and turn it into a hundred and fill a large area for very little money.