Ornamental grasses are a great idea for diversifying your landscape design, and Monkey grass is an attractive and easy-care choice. Native to China and Japan, it’s a shade-tolerant flowering plant that is an evergreen perennial in zones 7 to 11. It’s also known as Liriope or Lilyturf, as it is not a true grass, but rather is a member of the lily family.
One of the ways in which Monkey grass is easy-care is that it doesn’t have a huge need for water. In the absence of adequate rainfall, you should give it 1 or 2 inches of water a week throughout its growing season to ensure strong, healthy growth.
How to Tell if Monkey Grass Needs Water?
If the leaves of your Monkey grass are turning yellow, check and see if the soil is dry. If it is, then give the patch a good soaking.
How Do You Know When Your Monkey Grass is Sufficiently Watered?
When you set up your sprinkler to water Monkey grass, set a container in the midst of the plants. When there’s an inch or so of water collected in the container, you’ve given your Monkey grass enough water for the week. Feel free to touch test the soil to see how deep the water has soaked into the soil to be sure.
Can You Overwater Monkey Grass?
Monkey grass needs loose, well-draining soil that will retain enough water to remain moist, without becoming soaking wet, as that will lead to root rot. Watering too often or for too long will be detrimental to your plants’ health.
What are Signs of Overwatered Monkey Grass?
When the soil stays soaking wet without draining away excess water, the roots cannot breathe and they are likely to start to rot. When Monkey grass has root rot, the leaves start to turn yellow and then brown as they die.
How Long Can Monkey Grass Go Without Water?
Monkey grass is fairly drought-resistant, so it can go for a week or so without water in dry weather. When you do water it, make it a deep watering so that the moisture soaks the soil down below the root level, to encourage deep roots to increase their drought tolerance.
Should Monkey Grass Soil Be Moist?
Monkey grass will do very well in soil that is consistently moist but never soaking wet, as the roots need a well-drained soil that will let them breathe. Before planting monkey grass, work a fair amount of organic matter into the soil to help it retain moisture.
Why is my Monkey Grass Turning Brown/Yellow?
Your Monkey grass may be turning brown or yellow because of a couple of diametrically opposed causes: the soil may be way too dry, or way too wet. If you see the foliage suffering, check the soil moisture. If it’s dry, give it at least an inch of water. However, if the soil stays consistently wet, you may have to dig up the clump and prepare a new planting bed with loose, well-draining soil, especially if you are gardening in an area with heavy clay that retains too much water.
Why is my Monkey Grass Droopy?
Your Monkey grass may be drooping because it is getting too much water, or not enough. If the soil is too wet, cut back on your watering frequency, and if it’s dry, give the soil a good soaking.
Does Monkey Grass Need Fertilizer?
Monkey grass is not a heavy feeder, but giving it an annual application of either well-rotted compost or a balanced granulated fertilizer in spring will keep it growing at its best. Water the soil thoroughly after spreading the fertilizer to let the nutrients soak down to the roots.
How Much Sunlight Does Monkey Grass Need?
Monkey grass is very easy-going when it comes to sun exposure. It will grow in any location from full sun to deep shade. Because it only needs to be trimmed once a year in late winter or early spring, it’s perfect for growing under mature trees where mowing/trimming is difficult and little else will grow.
Will Temperatures and Humidity Affect Monkey Grass?
Monkey grass is tolerant of high temperatures and humidity. Its ideal temperature range is between 68-75°F (20-24°C), but will continue to thrive at higher temperatures, even in the humid conditions of the southern states.
Will Monkey Grass Survive in the Winter?
Monkey grass is a tender perennial, and will only survive winters in zones 7-11. While it is an evergreen perennial in warmer regions, at the north end of its range the foliage may die back in winter. However, after being cut back in early spring, fresh new growth will soon come back.
Will Monkey Grass Survive in Direct Sunlight?
Monkey grass will survive in direct sunlight, although the leaves may be bleached to a lighter shade of green in the full afternoon sun. Planting them where they get some filtered shade in the afternoon will help them retain their best colour.
Monkey grass is a great ground cover in problem areas such as deep shade under mature trees, and its evergreen foliage and summer flower spikes will add interesting texture and colour to your landscape. Because it doesn’t require a lot of watering, it’s also low-maintenance!
Let’s not confuse Monkey grass with Mondo grass, as they can look similar. If you don’t know the difference check out our related post Mondo Grass vs Monkey Grass here to determine the differences.
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.