Growing Mondo Grass: How To Care For Ophiopogon Jaburan

Ophiopogon jaburan (oh-fee-oh-POH-gon JA-bur-an) is a herbaceous perennial native to Korea and Japan.

The genus name Ophiopogon comes from the Greek words “ophis” (snake) and “pogon” (beard), giving the plant the common name of Snakebeard.

Growing Ohiopogon JaburanPin

It is a grass-like groundcover, growing up to 1′ tall, and has a dwarf mounding form. The leaves of this plant are very narrow but long.

The inflorescence, or flower head, is hidden, and the stalk is flat. The fruits of the plant are cobalt blue.

While it’s best outdoors in zones 7-10, it can survive periods of extreme temperatures. It is a versatile plant, either outdoors or as a houseplant.

It is a perfect entry into gardening for beginners, as it’s one of the least demanding plants. 

Popular varieties of Ophiopogon jaburan include:

  • Black Dragon
  • Fuiri Gyoki
  • Nana

If you have curious cats or playful puppies, you may want to keep this plant away from them. While not severely toxic, it can cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested.

Ophiopogon Jaburan also goes by several common names, including:

  • Mondo grass
  • Snakebeard
  • White Lilyturf

Quick Facts On Ophiopogon Jaburan

  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Light: Low light to full shade
  • Temperature: 41° to 59° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Water regularly
  • Fertilizer: 15-15-15 NPK liquid fertilizer twice a month during the growing season
  • Propagation: Seed, division, or runners
  • Common Problems: Spider mites, brown-tipped leaves

Ophiopogon Jaburan Care

What Does The Mondo Grass Plant Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

The Mondo Grass plant has narrow, grass-like leaves. The leaves are usually green and white striped, with spikes of small white flowers in the summer and purple fruit in autumn.

The long and narrow leaves of ophiopogon jaburan appear thinner near the tips and thicker near the plant’s base. They can reach up to lengths of 18″ inches. 

When Does The Mondo Grass Bloom? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The Mondo Grass plant produces long-lasting, showy blooms hanging from its arching stalks. The flowers are typically purple or white and bloom in the summer.

The blooms offer a faint yet sweet scent. 

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

The Mondo Grass plant tolerates almost any lighting except the full direct sun. It can survive in extreme conditions, including full shade.

This flexibility makes it a carefree plant for beginners as it can grow almost anywhere.

While it is best for outdoor planting in zones 6 to 10, it can survive freezing temperatures.

You can keep it indoors at room temperature, about 41° to 59° degrees Fahrenheit in other zones.

However, while your Mondo Grass plant is straightforward to maintain, be careful of super dry air.

If you notice your leaves turning brown in the winter, move the plant away from any drafts or vents.

How And When To Water And Fertilize The Mondo Grass?

The Mondo Grass plant likes consistent watering during the spring and summer, but like most plants, be careful not to overwater. Water your plant when the top layer of soil is dry.

Your plant will do well with feeding 15-15-15 NPK liquid fertilizer twice a month in the spring and summer.

You can reduce watering and stop fertilizing in the winter months.

What Is The Best Soil For Ophiopogon Jaburan, And When Should You Transplant?

Mondo grass does well in standard potting soil.

While the plant does fine in poor soil, repotting it every spring provides more nutrients to the roots, stems, and leaves.

In addition, if ophiopogon jaburan is in a pot that is too small, the roots grow around itself and create a thick root ball in the container.

Moving the plant to a larger container every spring avoids the growth of a thick root ball.

Does Ophiopogon Jaburan Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

While pruning is not required, removing any withered leaves is an excellent idea to allow for new growth.

In addition, pruning back your Mondo Grass plant at the start of spring makes the plant look more appealing.

Many gardeners will divide their ophiopogon jaburan after 4 years to maintain vigor.

How To Propagate Snakebeard Plant?

You can propagate your Snakebeard plant from seeds, division, or runners. However, propagating by division is the easiest method.

You can divide your Snakebeard plant by dividing the dense clump near the base.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Carefully lift the Snakebeard plant from the container.
  • Gently remove the dirt surrounding the roots.
  • Divide the plant into two sections.
  • Place each section in a small container.
  • Water and feed the plants on a regular schedule.

During the first few weeks, watering is essential. After that, keep watering consistently until the plants are established.

While propagating by division is easy, seeds are a little tricky. The Snakebeard plant’s seeds dry out quickly and don’t usually germinate.

If you have a Snakebeard plant variety that produces runners, you can propagate with runners. The runners are attached to the central root system.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Pull up the runner and cut the root connecting it to the mother plant.
  • Plant the runner in its own container.
  • Place the container in a sunny location and water frequently.
  • You can reduce watering when the plant is established and move it to its permanent location.

White Lilyturf Pests And Diseases

The main threats to your White Lilyturf plant include a lack of sunlight and exposure to dry air.

The stripes may disappear from the leaves if the plant does not have access to sunlight. If this occurs, move your plant to a location with more sun.

In addition, if you notice the tips of the plant’s leaves turning brown, it’s likely caused by dry air.

You can move it away from drafts or air vents and mist the leaves with water to replicate a humid environment. 

Dry air also invites spider mites onto your plant, which leave yellowish patches on the leaves.

You may also see tiny white webbing on the leaves. If this occurs, you can wash the spider mites away using a spray bottle filled with water.

Suggested Ophiopogon Jaburan Uses

The ability of this plant to survive in low light conditions makes it a versatile and easy plant for beginners. The Ophiopogon Jaburan can be planted almost anywhere with success.

Many people use the plant for a dry stream garden, water feature, Japanese zen garden, or shaded patio garden.

In addition, you can grow the grassy plant behind more colorful plants in a garden. You can also use it as a border plant.

This Ophiopogon Jaburan plant is a turf alternative for shady areas underneath large trees.

Dwarf varieties are slow-growing and can be planted in edging beds and as houseplants to show off the ornamental blue fruits hidden in the foliage.