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Gulf Coast Gardening: Hardworking Liriope Grasses

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Learn how to get the most from these sturdy Aztec grasses, or liriope, in your garden.

green grass

One helpful thing I've learned from gardening in Florida is that "sturdy" is a characteristic that will take a plant through occasional frosty winter days as well as guaranteed hot, humid summers with equal strength and performance.

green garden

About a decade ago I began my quiet admiration for Aztec grasses, or liriope. Not only are they hard-working through every season but they also can be divided and transplanted readily. These factors make them durable as well as economical. It was from this perspective that I started using Liriope muscari 'Variegata' and Liriope muscari 'Evergreen Giant' in curvaceous sweeps as edging plants.

I recommend both varieties for container plants and also as low to medium filler in large perennial beds. 'Evergreen Giant' is a slow-spreading herbaceous perennial here. It clumps densely to create a groundcover suitable for lawn turf replacement in shade and partial-sun situations.

green grass

As a border plant the variegated liriope makes a wonderful contrast to the numerous shades of green in my year-round Florida garden. One of the advantages to using low grasses as edging is the way they can hide a multitude of garden sins behind them. Temporary bare spaces, fading annuals, leggy perennials or a spent tropical are not nearly as noticeable when the repetition of one plant, such as liriope, gives continuity to the entire space.

purple flowers

I consider it a bonus that these understated grasses put forth an inflorescent spike that blooms all summer.

Have you also discovered the value of these evergreen favorites of mine in your garden?


See more Gulf Coast gardening articles.