2021 | How to Grow and Care for Lily Turf

The Liriope muscari, also known as the Lily Turf plants, Big Blue Lily Turf, Border Grass, and Monkey Grass are beautiful herbaceous plants. The Lily Turf plant is a flowering plant species and produces beautiful purple flowers during the blooming season. Lily Turf plants are perennial and grown outdoors mostly on the boundaries of gardens. Their beautiful appearance and flowering nature make them a beautiful choice for your garden. But in most parts of North America, the Lily Turf plants are considered an invasive species.

The Lily Turf plants are native to China and Japan region in East Asia. It grows natively in the forests at elevations of 330–4,600 ft (101–1,402 m). These plants occupy the land where they grow and cover it with their seeds, it keeps emerging again and again and causes native species to die because of the lack of nutrients and space to grow. The Lily Turf plants can grow up to 18 inches high. Each plant grows a clump or cluster of plants that share the same root ball. Each stem has multiple leaves and produces flowers during the blooming season. Its leaves are elongated and have a pointy end. Below is a complete guide about growing and taking care of the Lily Turf plants.

OVERVIEW

Common NameLily Turf plants, Big Blue Lily Turf, Border Grass, and Monkey Grass.
Scientific NameLiriope muscari,
Genus, FamilyLiriope, Asparagaceae.
Size, TypeMedium size, Grass.
Color of stem, leaves, and flowersLeaves are dark green. The stem is also green. The flowers are purple.
Flowering SeasonFlowering starts in late summer.
Perennial/Annual.Perennials can regrow on their own.
HardinessUSDA Hardiness Zones 6 to 10.
Temperature range68 to 75 °F – 20 to 24 °C.
SunlightFull sun to Partial Shade.
Growth RateFast (among grass species.)

Lineage

The Lily Turf Plants belong to a group of plants called Liriope. The Liriope genus belongs to a plant family known as the Asparagaceae. It is a family of flowering plants, known for their regeneration abilities, and beautiful flowers. All plants in this family are monocots. Which means they have one cotyledon. The Liriope genus has 5 different species, and multiple subspecies and varieties of plants in it. It is cultivated for the food of animals in most parts of East Asia.

The roots of Lily Turf Plants are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Other uses of the Lily Turf Plants include its use as an ornamental plant for covering the landscape with beautiful flowers and green color. In the United States, some conservationists worry about its impact on native species. But due to its beautiful flowers, colorful leaves, greenery, and easy-to-grow nature, most people prefer growing it over many other native species.

Appearance

The Lily Turf Plants mascara have a beautiful appearance. They have multiple thin stems that erect from the same root ball and form a cluster. This cluster is surrounded by multiple other clusters of similar plants. The Lily Turf Plants have very thin and long leaves. These leaves are only 0.5 inches wide and 6 inches long. These clusters or clumps of leaves start to grow around the plant and can make up to 12 inches in width. They grow elongated round flowers in the late summer season. These flowers grow on erected spikes that emerge from the stem. After pollination, these flowers turn into small black-colored berries. These berries contain the seeds for the next generation of Lily Turf Plants.

Flowering

Flowering in the Lily Turf Plants starts at the end of the summer from August to September. The Lily Turf flower grows on a separate spike-like stem. These flowers are small and grow on the sides of the stem creating a swirl around the stem. The color of these flowers’ ranges between white and purple. New flowers are whitish, but as they age and mature, they turn purple. Purple flowers last for a month, before turning into black-colored berries. These small berries are eaten by a lot of wild birds. These barriers fell on the ground. Inside these barriers are the small seeds of the Lily Turf Plants. These seeds regenerate into a new plant.

Natural Habitat

The Lily Turf Plants are native to the elevated areas of Eastern Asia. mostly they are found in countries like China, Korea, and Japan. But they are also grown in the outside world as well. In its native regions, it is used as food for animals, cover for the landscape, and medicine. Its roots are a part of many Chinese and Asian medicines.

It likes to grow in meadows, at high altitudes between 330–4,600 ft (101–1,402 m) above sea level. It is not an invasive species in its native regions. But outside its native regions, in countries like the United States, where conditions are favorable for evergreen growth, it can prove to be an invasive species. That is why if you are growing it outside its native region. You must make sure to control its spread. Although it is considered to be invasive, it does not impact the local biomes.

Facts

  • The Liriope muscari is known as the Lily Turf plant, and Blue Lily Turf plant.
  • It is native to China, Korea, and Japan, where it grows at an alleviation of 330–4,600 ft (101–1,402 m).
  • It has needle-like long leaves that are very thin and only half-inch wide.
  • The Lily Turf plants are used in medicines, for landscape cover, and as food for animals.
  • It can help control soil erosion from sloppy areas, as its roots go deep down in the soil and provide a better grip during landslides and floods.
  • The Lily Turf plant has won many international awards for beauty, including the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Requirements to Grow Lily Turf Plants

SoilCan grow in slightly acidic soils, needs well-draining and nutrient-rich soil.
SunFull sun to partial shade, depending upon the season and temperature.
WaterDo not let the soil completely dry, nor keep it wet all the time. Moderate watering is required.
FertilizerFeed fertilizers to provide nutrients every once in a while.
Temperature68 to 75 °F – 20 to 24 °C.

Soil Requirements

The Lily Turf plants need well-draining soil to grow and thrive. They also need the soil to be full of nutrients that it will need for growth. They do not like the soil to remain wet all the time, that is why you should avoid using the soil that traps water inside for the long term. The Lily Turf Plants can tolerate the pH if it is neutral or slightly acidic. You should add compost, sand, and fertilizer to your normal garden soil. If you are not growing it in the garden, but growing it on a slope or a landscape cover over a larger area. You can then simply grow it in the normal soil as well. But make sure that the soil has the right amount of nutrients in it. Otherwise, before planting, you should plow the soil and add some fertilizers to it. Plowing will help make the soil arider.

Sunlight Requirements

The Lily Turf Plants need full sun to partial shade to grow and thrive. During the winter, they need full sunlight. But in the summer season, when the sun is hot, they need partial shade. The Lily Turf Plants can also grow under the shade of other trees, plants, and walls as well. Sunlight helps them make food. That is why you can’t grow them in dark places or places where they do not receive sunlight at all. They must be under the sun for at least 4 to 6 hours a day. In cold areas, they do not mind growing under the sun even in the summer as well. But in hot areas, they need protection as sunlight can burn their leaves and damage their flowers. It can result in early wilting of the flowers and damage.

Temperature Requirements

The Lily Turf Plants like to grow in moderate areas. They do not like growing in warm climates, nor they like growing in very cold climates either. They need the temperatures to be moderate to thrive. In their native regions, they grow at an alleviation where temperatures are comparatively low, but not extremely cold. They are also not capable of surviving under the snow. For that reason, you should protect them if you are growing them in your garden. They can grow very well if the temperature is in the range of 68 to 75 °F – 20 to 24 °C. According to the USDA hardiness zones, they can be grown from zone 6 to 10.

Water Requirements

The Lily Turf Plants do not like the soil to remain wet for a long time, nor do they like it to be dry. So, you will need to create a proper watering chart for your plant. This chart should be prepared while considering different factors. These factors include the age, size, and spread of the plant. You should also consider temperature, weather, and climate factors as well. Below are some recommendations for watering the Lily Turf Plants.

  • Do not let the soil be completely dry. This will harm the plant as they are unable to store water and water shortages will cause the plant different problems, including slow growth, and death of the plants as well. Only the upper layer of the soil should dry but not the lower layers.
  • Do not provide water to your plant when the soil is still wet. Check the soil if the upper layer of the soil has moisture, then you should not provide them water and wait for the upper layer to run dry.
  • In winter and cold regions, your plant will need less frequent watering and less amount of water. But during the summer, and in hot climates, your plant would need more water and more frequently. You should keep this in mind while watering the plants.
  • Smaller plants need less water as compared to larger plants. So, you should provide less amount of water to the young plant, but keep the distance between watering short.

Fertilizers Requirements

Fertilizers are also important for the growth of your plants. If you are growing the Lily Turf Plants as a ground cover, you will need more fertilizers. There are two major groups of fertilizers. One provides micro-nutrients to the plants, while the other one provides macro-nutrients to the plants. You should check your soil for nutrients deficiency. This will provide you a better insight into which fertilizers to choose for your plants. It will also help you in determining the amount of fertilizer for a specific piece of land.

There are two basic ways to feed the fertilizers to your plants. The first one requires the spreading of the fertilizer in the entire field. This is a slow and time-consuming solution. The second one requires mixing the fertilizer with the irrigation water. Water mixed fertilizer will reach everywhere and would fertilize the plants. This is a faster option to fertilize a larger area of the plants.

Repotting

If you are growing the Lily Turf Plants in a small pot, it will require repotting every four to five months. Mostly it is grown in gardens, slopes, and landscape covers, but it can also be grown indoors in pots as well. But as they grow fast as compared to most other indoor plants, you will have to repot them more frequently. Repot the Lily Turf Plants once they get big enough that they outgrow the pot they are kept in. you should prepare a new pot, and uproot your plant and repot it in the new pot. This process will take a few minutes only, but you should be careful while transferring and try not to damage the roots of your plants. Outdoor plants that are grown in landscape, and in gardens do not need repotting as they are not grown in pots instead, they are grown directly in the garden soil.

Pruning

The Lily Turf Plants grow very fast and can reach the height of 12 inches in just six to seven months. To control their spread and height in the field, garden, or landscape and maintain a proper shape, you can mow them. If you have planted them in your garden, you can mow them through a lawnmower. You can mow them once every six months to keep their size short. But make sure that you do not mow them before the blooming season, otherwise, you will not be able to see the possible blossoms.

Problems

Below is a list of a few problems and pests that your plant may face.

  • Leaf and Crown Rot: It is identified by the rooting of leaves and crown in Lily Turf Plants. If the leaves start to wilt, die, and root, it is mostly caused by a plant pathogen known as the Phytophthora palmivora. You can get rid of this by spraying a specific pesticide to kill the pest.
  • Root Rot: Root rot is identified by the sudden deaths of Lily Turf plants, and the roots of the plant turn black. You should check the roots of the plant and if you find any infestation, you should use chemical spray mixed in water.

Propagation

The Lily Turf plants are propagated by their seeds but you can also propagate them using the division method as well. The flowers of Lily Turf Plants turn into small berries of black color. These berries contain seeds in them. When these seeds fall off the ground, they regenerate and grow into new plants. You can also collect these seeds and plant the Lily Turf Plants wherever you want. Another method of planting Lily Turf Plants requires uprooting the plants and dividing them into two halves. Each half then can be planted into a different place and it will grow into a separate plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Lily Turf a perennial plant?

Yes, Lily Turf is a perennial plant. It can live for the long term. Its old plants may die, but they keep producing new plants as they die. For that reason, your garden, landscape, or slope of Lily Turf plants will always stay green and alive.

Question: When can I plant Lily Turf?

The start of the winter is the best time to plant the Lily Turf as the temperature during this time of the year is moderately cold. The seeds will sprout before the arrival of full winter. This will provide the new plants a few days to be ready to tackle the winter. In some warm areas, you can even plant it as late as by December if temperatures are still moderate in your area.

Question: Is Lily Turf an indoor plant?

The Lily Turf plant is mostly planted outdoors in the garden and landscapes to cover a large area, but it can also be planted indoors as well. It can survive indoor conditions and thrive. So, if you are looking forward to growing it in an indoor environment, you can do that as well.