• Welcome to Japanese Gardening Forums 日本の園芸フォーラム. Please login or sign up.
April 13, 2021, 01:45:43 PM


NOTICE:  JGO online resources will now be hosted by North American Japanese Garden Association. Learn more at https://najga.org/

Don Pylant, April, 2021

Dwarf Mondo Grass:

Started by Steve, January 30, 2009, 01:40:55 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


I'm wondering if anyone has ever landscaped an entire yard just with dwarf mondo grass? It only grows about 2" tall and never needs to be mowed. I have a heavily shaded backyard, where St. Augustine just will not grow, so I'm thinking of planting this grass. I know it will be expensive and that it is a slow grower, but after trying to sod 3 times and all the tree trimming bills, it is starting to make sense? Any thoughts or ideas would be welcome? My area is about 20' x 30'. The rest of my Japanese is rock, gravel, and ornamentals, so I really would like to have some grass. Thanks.


January 30, 2009, 03:04:25 PM #1 Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 09:38:54 AM by don
Solid sod dwarf monkey grass doesn't sound like a good idea to me, Steve.  It is summer dormant (green, but not growing), doesn't stand up to traffic at all, has a shallow root system, doesn't like full sun in Texas.  If you want a turf lawn, you need to apply chainsaw at ground level, or do some heavy pruning to provide enough light.

If you have so much shade, why not put in a Japanese garden?   ;D

david daniel

 Steve,                                                                                                           There are nurserys in the northwest that grow ground covers called steppables that tey claim you can walk on with out damage. Maybe a combination of these would work. I do not know if they will work in your climate. How about these Don , will they work in texas?          David


Not familiar with that term.  Can you find out what they are referring to?


In Portland, Oregon, Dwarf mondo grass does very well for me. I found on line from dealer in Calif.  Was shipped bare root from grower in Georgia 10 yrs ago.  Planted in improved soil prepared bed 1 leaf by 1 leaf about 1.5 inch spacing.  Took about 1 season to begin to fill in and has stayed in same area without much lateral growth over the 10 years.  Stays green the year around and I just leaf rake it clean a few times per year. It gets no direct sun, but is not really shaded either.


Does anyone know who sells dwarf mondo grass at a good price? Does anyone have a photo or know of any links with good photos of a large area of mondo grass? My area is about 20' x 30' in shade. BTW, Calloways Nursery is offering free soil test test through February.


Steve, have you been to Ft Worth's Japanese garden?


Yes I have been there many times, but it has been awhile. My students used to perform martial art demos. and my good friend Stan Richardson plays shakuhachi out there yearly. But, I would still like to see a photo large area of dwarf mondo grass.


For the quantities you need I would contact your local John Deere Wholesale Nurseryman. Color Spots used to grow dwarf mondo in 2" cell liners. They are easy to plug in. The dwarf variety grows very slowly so plant close and tight. Water well until established and keep clean of leaves and debris to prevent rotting out. You may need to increase the organic mater to counter tanic acid in the soil beneath oaks to get dwarf mondo to esteablish quickly.

Little Prince Nursery of Oregon is the originator of Stepables. http://littleprinceoforegon.com/webapps/jsp/Static/index.jsp
(paste in your browser address bar) Little Prince will contract grow quantities.




Hi Steve
There two kind of dwraf mondo grass.  One is regular dwarf mondo grass, other is called super dwarf mondo grass which is 1/2 to 1/3 size of regular dwraf mondo grass,  John Deere buy from growers and sell it. normaly  cost 30~ 40 % more than growers.
Classic ground cover, Tidewell nusery sell mondo grass, Both nurseies locate in Georgia.


Steve, just got back from visiting the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego, it looks like they are doing what you are questioning, perhaps someone out there could help you....scott


You can use growit.com to find local venders in the Gulf States that grow/sell mondo grass. Look under botanic name Ophiopogon japonicus near the bottom of the page the following link will take you to.



Thanks for the information Gini.


Steve, I saw a program on HGTV and they had a large lawn that was all mondo grass.  The gentleman that had the garden said it was expensive but for him worth it because it grew well never needed mowing and was soft to walk on.  I record a lot of the Gardeners Diary shows and I think that is the program it was on.  I will do some checking and find out what the guy's name was and where he was from.  The lawn was beautiful and I think he used the super dwarf variety and was extremely pleased with the results.