What Is Monkey Grass?
Is Monkey grass attacking your precious lawn and garden while it hinders other plants from thriving? Interestingly, Monkey grass is not really grass, though its name suggests just this. Monkey grass belongs to the lily family. It is a low maintenance plant and pretty much grows in sun and shade throughout the year in any climate.
However, they may quickly become invasive so it is important to control and get rid of them. So might now be wondering how to kill monkey grass and many people share your concern.
Don’t worry! You are not alone and you have multiple options for controlling and eventually getting rid of Monkey grass.However, in order to address the situation with the most appropriate method of treatment, you have to know the different variants of monkey grass first.
Variants Of Monkey Grass
Monkey grass is popularly grown to be used as borders for gardens or as ground covers. But while some people like growing it for a specific purpose, many view Monkey grass like a weed. Therefore, they would choose to remove this plants from their gardens. Like weeds, killing or removing Monkey grass can be difficult but definitely not impossible.
Remember though, that despite Monkey grass’ similarities with weeds, you may need to employ different measures to control the latter. You can check this article on weeds for more information.
Let’s now discuss the two varieties of Monkey grass.
There are two types of Monkey grass. One variant grows long leaf blades and spreads very aggressively. On the other hand, the second variety are more clumpy and has very limited spreading.
Liriope Spicata(Creeping Lilyturf) – This variant spreads fast and pretty much engulfs everything in its path. It has a massive root system that spreads aggressively by runners. This variety is very difficult to control.
Liriope Muscari (Big Blue Lilyturf) – This variant stays where you plant them. Over time they become clumpy and are relatively easier to remove by digging. This looks beautiful and looks great during flowering time.
Having said that, here are some ideas to bring Monkey grass under control or eliminate them completely, if that’s your aim.
Applying Chemicals To Kill Monkey Grass
If you want to kill monkey grass, herbicides with glyphosate can be quite effective. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide and its application can kill normal grass and other plants too. You may need to use products like Roundup which contains glyphosate.
Rather than spraying on fully grown monkey grass, it is better to cut it first and then spray glyphosate. It may require two to three applications of glyphosate before you get rid of your monkey grass.
Applying Glyphosate is best done when the plants are actively growing. When using Roundup, apply it with a spray in a targeted manner to reduce the possibility of killing other plants.It is advisable to do the spraying or brushing on a sunny day. Spray when there is not much wind to prevent the chemical from affecting other desirable plants.
However, you need to take adequate precautions while spraying glyphosate, such as wearing a mask, since this spray can cause eye irritation. Hence, avoid contact with eyes and clothing when you’re using this chemical. As an extra precaution, you can also wear goggles when spraying.
After spraying, wash your hands thoroughly before having any food or drink.
Moreover, you should avoid using glyphosate when there are edible fruits or vegetables next to the monkey grass. Also, ensure that the pesticide does not get drained into the storm drains and other water bodies.
Please do not plan to apply the treatment when rain is forecasted in the next 24 hours.
The Natural Way – Tilling And Removing Monkey Grass Roots By Hand
Mowing doesn’t appear to affect the growth of monkey grass. It will make a comeback in a few weeks’ time.
The natural way of removing monkey grass is to till the infected area and rake it out. However, it is going to be a lot of hard work. Removing the massive roots that spread and cover a large area is quite a laborious task.
If you are against chemical treatment, you can choose this option. If there are plants that have edible fruits and vegetables next to the monkey grass you want to remove, your only option is to go the natural way.
Liriope muscari, the gentler clumpy variant of monkey grass, can be removed more effectively by digging and manually removing the plant along with the roots.
However removing liriope spicata (the aggressive variant) naturally by tilling and raking might be very difficult. The amount of effort that you will need will depend their number. You might be in for a shock after your first attempt itself.
After tilling and raking, keep the tilled area covered with plastic or newspaper. This will help choke further growth. Beware! You will need a lot of patience to do tilling and removing roots multiple times for over a few months.
It might take months and sometimes even years of patience and hard work to get rid of them completely.
Calling the Experts
When you have tried everything possible and have reached a point where you feel all your efforts appear to be in vain, then it may be time to call in the experts. When everything else fails, professional landscapers or gardeners can do the dirty work for you.
With the right tools and chemicals and their expertise and local knowledge, they will be able to address your situation. They have a good understanding of what might work and what might not work for your locality.
They will even be able to provide you additional tips also on ways to contain it in future, should there be a recurrence of monkey grass attack.
As you can see, monkey grass can be killed or controlled through natural means or by applying chemicals. It needs sustained, patient, and systematic efforts. While the clumpy variant can be naturally removed, the aggressively spreading variant is better removed by chemical treatment containing glyphosate.
Knowing how to kill monkey grass is important to keep your garden healthy and beautiful. It is a matter of choosing the right method that works for you after considering conditions and type of monkey grass that you are trying to kill. With patience and a systematic approach, your efforts in controlling monkey grass will eventually pay off.
If you have any questions or comments, please post below in the comments section.