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Kentucky Color - Monkey Grass Time of Year

It's an import from Asia. It's a low maintenance edge plant which the writer enjoys year round, though at no time more than now, giving the period the name, Monkey Grass Time of the Year
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By Billy Joe Fudge, President, Homeplace on Green River

I am generally opposed to most Asian imported plants but at least, the best I can tell, Monkey Grass is on neither the current list of Invasive Species in Kentucky nor the Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant List.

Having said that, I must say that almost all the different varieties are among my favorite landscape ground covers, edging plants and design features, especially in shaded areas.


One major contributing factor to its favorable status for me is that it requires almost no maintenance at all. The harsh winter weather will tend to brown and yellow the foliage somewhat on the exposed surfaces as we fall off into "deep freeze" weather.

If you don't want that discolored foliage dirtying the new years growth which begins in late March and early April, then trim it down to about an inch above ground level in late February or early March. Depending upon the late winter temperatures you may see new shoots beginning to protrude upward but nipping these somewhat during the old foliage removal process should not harm the new plant growth.

Monkey Grass is easily planted, divided and transplanted, and has colorful hues of green going on all year with mostly violet, blue blooms in late Summer and early Autumn. For some varieties including this un-variegated one in my yard right now, late Fall is their showiest time of year.

Inquiring minds such as mine have a need to know many things which carry very little importance to the general population. One of those "things" is how did Monkey Grass get its name? After extensive research, I've arrived at a very unsatisfactory answer, "no one knows".

At any rate, Monkey Grass is beautiful any time but for me, this is my favorite, "Monkey Grass time of year".


This story was posted on 2017-12-09 15:51:46
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Kentucky Color: Monkey Grass Time of the Year



2017-12-09 - Green Hills neighborhood, Columbia, KY - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
Monkey Grass is easily planted, divided and transplanted, and has colorful hues of green going on all year with mostly violet, blue blooms in late Summer and early Autumn. For some varieties including this un-variegated one in my yard right now, late Fall is their showiest time of year. - BILLY JOE FUDGE

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