Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus) is an excellent place to start with growing indoor ornamental grasses. It’s a low-growing grass that stays less than 5 inches tall. It is tough and drought-tolerant. Healthy mondo grass has a deep green hue and somewhat resembles turfgrass. It’s an excellent option for a decorative, contemporary container or to be used as a ground cover in a larger container.
It is less common for people to grow ornamental grasses as containerized houseplants. It is hard to understand this because grasses have so many desirable qualities. They are beautiful, hardy, not too discriminating, and can be easily replaced. It’s true that ornamental grasses can be “dirty,” dropping seeds and seed pods. But if you simply snip off blooming stalks, you can deal with these issues easily.
Keep your mondo grass happy with these guidelines:
- Light: It does best in filtered sunlight, although it can tolerate partial shade and even direct sunlight.
- Water: Mondo grass does best with regular, even water, but it is somewhat drought-tolerant and can handle periods of extended dryness.
- Temperature: Room temperature is good. Mondo grass is not particular in regards to the temperatures, but cannot withstand freezing.
- Soil: A regular, well-drained potting soil should be fine.
- Fertilizer: For the best results, use a regular controlled-release fertilizer at the beginning and middle of the growing season.
Propagation and Repotting
Mondo grass is a spreading grass that can be divided into clumps to create new specimens. It’s not particular to repotting needs as it is a low-growing plant with a relatively shallow root system. Instead of repotting you can simply divide the existing plant, thereby giving the potted specimen more room to fill in the container. If you must repot, give it new soil.
The main species is the best one and should fit most uses. There is a dwarf variety if you have limited space. There is also a larger variety that grows a bit taller than the standard but is still much smaller than liriope or other ornamental grasses and grass-like plants.