Liriope Grass Horror Story – Be Careful What You Wish For

By Nikki Tilley | July 29, 2021
Image by seven75
by Nikki Tilley
July 29, 2021

When ornamental grass sends you running for cover, you simply start all over. There’s a lesson to be had here. Unfortunately, I’ve learned it the hard way.

Lawn vs. Garden Beds and Ornamental Grass

I don’t care about lawn grass. Sorry, but it’s true. While nice as some may be, and ours isn’t horrible, I just don’t think they’re natural. Unless it’s covered in white clover or dandelions, a “perfect” green lawn isn’t welcoming to pollinators. Yes, that’s my opinion and we all know what they say about that. The lawn is the one thing my husband and I disagree about most. I’ll take the weeds that naturally come up. He wants to destroy them. I’d rather have more garden space or natural growing areas, like a meadow in the yard. He wants a golf course replica.

I’ve slowly hammered away at the outermost parts of the yard, turning areas along the perimeter into beautiful, thriving garden beds chock full of plants, pollinators and small wildlife. He can have his stinking green grass everywhere else”¦ for now. I must admit, however (and please don’t let hubby know), that there can be downsides to taking out lawn grass and replacing with other lawn alternatives. Case in point – liriope.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to know exactly which type of liriope plant you’re adding to the landscape. Yes, there’s two different types, clumping (Liriope muscari) and misbehaving (Liriope spicata). So if you’re wanting to take out the lawn completely, this last one is what you want. It will quickly cover the yard. Be warned, though, that it will also take over your garden beds once it’s had a chance to get in.

I found this out the hard way and totally by accident. I wasn’t trying to cover the lawn with it. Nope. I used the liriope grass as edging around one of my smaller flower beds. It was given to me. I hate to see people toss plants and at the time thought it would help keep out unwanted weeds (long before hubby decided he wanted the lawn to look like a pristine golf course). I had no idea which type of liriope I was planting. They were given to me in large clumps so I naturally assumed it would be suitable for the area I was installing it. To say the liriope grass thrived is an understatement. Not only has it flourished here but it’s been spreading exponentially, now nearly engulfing my flower bed and threatening its very existence. I’m at the point of no return, having to make the decision to remove this ornamental grass in an effort to save my other plants.

Liriope Control

Digging it all up is not an option. There’s simply too much of it now. No, this is going to call for something bigger, a tractor with a scoop perhaps to lift the grass completely out of the terrain. Again, I hate tossing plants. Maybe I can find a more suitable locale instead and simply relocate it there”¦ in the wildlife habitat perhaps? Along the hillside where lawn grass doesn’t grow well? Anywhere but my garden bed. And all the while I can hear my husband laughing. “You should just let lawn grass grow there and get rid of the bed altogether.” Not happening dear!

When ornamental grass sends you running for cover, adapt and overcome. I may have to rip everything out now and start over, but to me, having a blank slate is like a future masterpiece in the making. This time I’ll make sure my edging doesn’t include grass of any kind.

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