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Caring for Groundcover Grasses

Written by: PBM Team



Time to read 2 min

Groundcover grasses like liriope, carex grass, and mondo grass are versatile, low-maintenance options to enhance your garden. They provide texture and color that fills in gaps between other plants. Here’s a step-by-step guide on planting and caring for these groundcover grasses:

liriope groundcover grass

Planting Groundcovers

Choose the Right Location

Groundcover grasses are versatile landscape plants that provide low-growing texture to borders, along sidewalks, and around trees.

Check out our four favorite ways to use groundcover grasses in your landscape.

Select an area with the appropriate light conditions for the specific grass variety. Some tolerate shade, while others prefer full sun.

Mondo Grass, Dwarf Mondo Grass, and Carex (sedge grass) do much better in the shade and woodland settings.

Liriope grass, such as Variegated Liriope, performs best when planted in full sun to partial shade areas.

Soil Preparation

Ensure well-draining soil by adding compost or organic matter to improve soil structure. Try out our Instant Compost Tea for a quick boost to your soil. You’ll add valuable micronutrients that will give your grass the boost it needs to thrive.

Loosen the dirt to a depth of about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) to encourage root growth. Make sure the rootball is flush with the surrounding ground level. This will prevent root rot from occurring.


Follow the spacing recommendations for the chosen grass variety. Generally, plants should be spaced according to their mature size, allowing them to fill in naturally. You can plant your grass closer to create a dense bed or border. Or, you can space grasses a little further than their mature width to allow their mounding habits to shine.

Many people use dwarf mondo grass to control erosion or fill a large space. Plant dwarf mondo grass about 5-6″ apart to create a lush texture carpet.

Image by 현국 신 from Pixabay

Groundcover Care


Water the plants thoroughly before planting. After planting, water deeply to help settle the soil and establish the plants.

After the plants are firmly in the ground, water as needed. Most of these grasses are very durable and require little care to sustain. During drought, water your groundcover grass when it shows signs of stress.

Liriope grass goes dormant in the winter. This means the foliage will droop to the ground, and tips may start to brown. This does not mean that the liriope needs more water.


Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain even soil temperature. We recommend natural mulches such as pine straw, pine bark nuggets, or slightly decomposed leaves.


Groundcover grasses generally require minimal fertilization. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to encourage healthy growth. Avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to excessive foliage growth and weak roots.

Trimming and Pruning

Regularly trim or mow groundcover grasses to maintain their desired height and shape. For liriope and mondo grass, cut back old foliage in late winter before new growth emerges. Carex and sedge grass may benefit from an occasional haircut to tidy their appearance.


Over time, groundcover grasses may become overcrowded. Divide them every few years to rejuvenate growth. Spring or early fall is the best time for dividing. Dig up the clump, separate into smaller sections, and replant.

Pest and Disease Management

These grasses are generally pest and disease-resistant. Please be sure to look for signs of pests like aphids or grasshoppers and address the issue promptly if detected.

Groundcover Grasses Mentioned in This Article

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