How Do You Keep Liriope From Overgrowing?

Liriope is a gorgeous plant, but you probably don’t want it taking over your entire garden! How do you keep liriope from overgrowing? We have some tips for you!

How Tall Do Liriope Grow?

how tall do liriope grow
  • The height of a liriope is not very intimidating; mature plants generally only reach between 10 and 18 inches tall.
  • These plants grow in bushy clumps which can reach around 12 to 18 inches across, and they are a popular ground covering plant because of this.
  • Liriope will spread, if left to its own devices, and will create a blanket of covering over any and all your bare patches of soil.
  • They are ideal as ground covering, especially in bare places such as under trees, where other plants refuse to grow.
  • The flowers are pretty and attract many pollinators to your garden, and they will peep their heads up slightly higher than the foliage – this is still very far from being an enormous plant, however!
  • You can plant a lot of liriope all clumped together, which will give the effect of a very widely spreading plant, or you can dot them about for more of a feature.

What Happens If You Don’t Trim Liriope?

Liriope will not take over your entire garden if you don’t give it regular haircuts, but not trimming it well can affect the following year’s growth.

The old leaves will die back, leaving unsightly brown tendrils in between any new growth, which is probably not what you want in your garden!

Trimming the plants back well at the end of the growing season will encourage future growth, as well as removing the old, dead shoots.

If you don’t trim liriope regularly, as well as holding on to their old, dead leaves, it can encourage them to spread where you don’t want them to.

They are slow spreaders, but spread they will – and if you don’t keep an eye on them they can end up in beds where you don’t want them to be!

Another potential issue is disease – if one of your liriope plants has a fungal infection which is not removed, it will quickly spread to the rest of your plants.

Trimming is essential if you notice any black or brown spots on your liriope’s leaves, as this can be a sign of the dreaded Anthracnose.

This video will show you many different ways to trim liriope, and will also inspire your enthusiasm for this lovely plant!

How To Trim Liriope?

You can treat this plant more harshly with its pruning than you can some others; it will come back stronger and hardier too.

  1. Take the whole plant back to a height of around 3 inches – you can either do this by hand with secateurs, or use a lawn mower with the blades up high if you have a lot of liriope.
  2. You can be quite harsh with this plant; cutting it back further than you think is kind can actually benefit liriope.
  3. It might not seem a good idea, to take a lawnmower to your precious plants – but trust us, liriope will forgive you for it and will even reward you with better growth!
  4. A strimmer or electric pruner will work just as well as a lawn mower or secateurs, and it is also a much quicker way of doing it if you have lots of liriope.
  5. It will bounce back, don’t worry – even if it has been cut nearly to ground level, it will reward you with vigorous, healthy growth.
  6. Tidy up the trimmed off bits of plant, to ensure that the bed is as healthy as it can be for the following years’ growing season.
  7. Prunings from liriope, as long as they are healthy, make a great addition to the compost pile.

For a little more information on trimming liriope, check out this article.

When To Cut Back Liriope?

The best time to trim this plant back is just before it starts to begin the year’s growth. In the spring is the ideal time to trim your liriope.

If you don’t cut your liriope back, you may have to deal with leaves that flop over and start to discolor, which can affect the beautifulness of your garden.

You should time your pruning for just about when liriope is about to start its new growth for the year – spring is the ideal time.

You can trim the plant back, at the same time as tidying up last year’s old, faded growth to allow a burst of new life.

As with any pruning of any plant, make sure you are wearing protective gear – gloves and eye protection, even if you are simply mowing it.

How Do You Stop Liriope From Spreading?

how do you stop liriope from spreading

Liriope is a spreading plant by nature, and if left to its own devices it will quietly spread over your whole garden.

However, it is also a very forgiving plant, and one that will cheerfully accept being cut back until it is a more manageable size.

They reproduce by sending out little shoots that quickly become new plants in their own right, so you can fairly easily keep them under control.

Simply remove the shoots of the parent plant – you can either pull these up by hand, or sever them with a shovel.

It sounds brutal, but these severed plants can be added to the compost to make nutrients for following years!

If you have a serious liriope overgrowth problem, a good solution is to divide the plants.

Simply dig up a few of them, split the root ball, and either replant them elsewhere or give them away to friends or family (who doesn’t love a plant as a gift?)

One of Liriope’s great features is that is spreads well and can populate a garden quickly. But, if you don’t want it taking over then you’d better learn how do you keep Liriope from overgrowing!

5 thoughts on “How Do You Keep Liriope From Overgrowing?”


    • Hi Pat, yes you can happily mow over your Liriope and be safe in the knowledge that it will bounce back in the Spring. However, it may be wise to lift the blades of your mower slightly, so you don’t take it right back to the roots. Best of luck with your Liriope!

  2. When liriope spicate is a really solid mass, 40 sq. ft, and one does not wish to have any of it left, and doesn’t want to use chemicals that will inhibit the growth of vegetables, what does one do? A Mattox makes slow progress, gets a lot of dirt in a clump that gets lost when carted away, and there is no possibility of a compost area. What does an old man do? Thanks for any comment, positive or negative.

    • Unfortunately, the best way to get rid of liriope is to use weedkiller such as glyphosphate. We would NOT recommend this, so you could try covering the whole area with cardboard or old carpet. Good luck!


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