The Lilyturf (Liriope Muscari) Care Guide


The Lilyturf, otherwise known as the Liriope Muscari or Lily Turf, Blue Lily Turf, Monkey Grass, Big Blue Lilyturf, Liriope platyphylla, Ophiopogon graminifolius, is a rather well known perennial plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance, this perennial will likely liven up your house (or wherever you decide to place it) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

Fortunately, this is exactly what we’ll cover in this Lilyturf Care Guide. So let’s dive in.

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Lilyturf are the following:

  • Water: The Lilyturf prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Liriope Muscari in an environment where it can receive partial shade to partial sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Lilyturf in soil with moist but well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of sand, loam, and clay.

That’s it – sunlight, water and soil! The basic 3 fundamentals for all plant care, and with the Lilyturf this is no exception. With these three elements, your leafy friend will live healthy and happy.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Lilyturf belongs to the Asparagaceae family, the genus Liriope and the species Muscari, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Liriope Muscari (lir-EYE-oh-pee mus-KAR-ee).

As with other Liriope’s, the Lilyturf is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Lilyturf is native to China, Vietnam and eastern Asia.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Lilyturf is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Liriope Muscari will be most used to the heat zones in the 1 – 11 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a and the ideal climate zone is between 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2.

Growth and Size

So, how big does the Lilyturf actually get? What should you expect in terms of size? Let’s dive right in…

The Liriope Muscari can grow up to 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) and 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm) in 1′ – 2′ (30cm – 60cm). 

These dimensions make the Lilyturf a relatively medium perennial compared to others, so it’s best to keep this fact in mind since it will affect where you want to keep yours at home.

Also, expect it to grow in a wonderful spreading shape, which is something worthwhile to remember when making your garden landscape plans.

This is why experts recommend keeping an area of approximately 12″ – 18″ (30cm – 45cm) free so the Lilyturf can spread to its best extent.

Watering

In terms of watering, the Lilyturf is a fairly simple plant to take care of.

This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Liriope Muscari prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Lilyturf in soil with moist but well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

But, if you want a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to watering your Lilyturf then you should consider the famous ‘finger’ test. To perform this test, you just need to put your finger in your plant’s soil and determine if it’s moist or not. If it is, then don’t water; if it isn’t, then please do. In any case, this test will allow you to know if your Lilyturf needs or does not need water, every time.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Lilyturf prefers to have soil with good drainage, moist, and occasionally dry properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of sand, loam, and clay.

This is why most experts agree that the Lilyturf requires soil with clay, loam (silt), sand, and shallow rocky, which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably neutral to acid soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Lilyturf requires partial shade to partial sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this perennial will do well as long as you keep it in shade, or partial sun to full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Liriope Muscari in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).

Season

Being an evergreen plant, the Lilyturf will be present year-round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the summer (late), and during the fall.

Flowers

You can expect your Lilyturf to flower around the summer months from July to September (summer). In particular, this perennial is well known for its flowers for cutting and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Lilyturf produces some beautiful purple, or lavender and white flowers around this time of year.

Foliage

The leaves from the Lilyturf have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

You can expect the leaves from your Liriope Muscari to be around (> 6 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Lilyturf is well known for its tolerance to drought and animals like rabbit and deer, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Liriope Muscari will be fine.

Garden

Does your Lilyturf have any garden recommendations? Does it serve any gardening purposes? Here’s how you can get the most out of your new plant.

Most Liriope Muscari owners agree that this perennial will look great in most contemporary, asian/zen and cottage gardens of all types

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of informal and cottage, city and courtyard, gravel and rock garden, and in japanese garden styles. 

In particular, the Lilyturf’s best location within your garden is in edging, banks and slopes, patio and containers, beds and borders, ground covers, and in underplanting roses and shrubs, others use it for landscaping in a coastal exposure, ground cover, mass planting, border, edging, urban garden, cutting garden, container, erosion control, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Lilyturf’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Trachelospermum, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Bergenia will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!

Conclusion

And we’ve come to an end. Fortunately, that’s everything you need to know about your Lilyturf to keep it safe and sound in your garden or home. Enjoy planting!

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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