Skip to Content

Liriope Muscari Variegata – Growing Variegated Lilyturf

Liriope Muscari Variegata is an evergreen perennial that easily spreads to form a deep carpet of grass-like plants that makes a great ground cover or border plant.

This form of liriope aptly has the common name “variegated lilyturf.”

Variegated liriope is less invasive than the normal variety. Keep reading to find out how to grow and care for it.

Liriope Muscari Variegata is the green and yellow leafed version of the lilyturf plant. It is great as a ground cover and border plant #liriopemuscarivariegata #variegatedlilyturf

This interesting perennial plant has vibrant yellow stripes along the arching dark green foliage.  I love the way it adds color to my perennial garden beds.

The plant is a member of the Asparagaceae family.

Growing Liriope Muscari Variegata

Growth Habit

Variegated lilyturf grows as a clump forming ground cover, It has tuberous roots and spreads easily to cover the base of your garden. 

I like to alternate the clumps with the plain green variety of monkey grass as a border around my garden beds.

One of the nice things about the plant is that it is evergreen and will add interest in your garden all year long.Liriope Muscari Variegata before flowering


Liriope muscari variegata is a slower growing variety of the lily turf plant. Each clump grows to about 1 1/2 feet tall and about 2 feet wide when mature. 

Since it does not spread as quickly as the plain green variety, it is easier to maintain in a garden.


The plant blooms in late summer and has pretty purple flowers on short stalks that sit above the plant. The flowers have a similarity to muscari, commonly known as the grape hyacinth bulbFlowers of the variegated monkey grass plant

After flowering, variegated lilyturf produces clusters of blackish berries that persist in the autumn and early winter months.The flowers of variegated lilyturf turn into berries


The leaves of variegated lily turf have an aching habit with a medium green color.

The leaves which are variegated with creamy yellow margins that are very pretty and add lots of interest and a pop of color in the garden.Leaves of the Liriope Muscari Variegata plant

Sunlight and Uses

This perennial is remarkably tolerant. it will grow in full sun to part shade.  Full sun in the hottest zones will result in the leaves having a bit less vibrant color.

Since the plant spreads from the bulbous tubers, it is often used as a ground cover.  Another great use of the variegated lilyturf is to plant it closely along the edge of a garden bed.

It makes a very pretty garden border that grows tightly together over time and is helpful at keeping weeds out of the border.

The photo above was taken in NYC Wagner Park, in Battery Park City, NY and shows this technique beautifully.

Soil and Cold Hardiness

Liriope muscari variegata will grow in most soil types, but prefers well draining soil. I add a bit of compost around the plant in the spring and find that I don’t need to add any other fertilizer. 

The plant is also deer and rabbit resistant. Variegated lilyturf is a tough plant that is cold hardy in zones 5-10.

Share this post for growing variegated liriope on Twitter

If you enjoyed these growing tips for variegated lilyturf, be sure to share them with a friend. Here is a tweet to get you started:

Liriope muscari variegata is the striped version of monkey grass. It is more compact and not as invasive as normal liriope. Find out how to grow and care for it on The Gardening Cook. Click To Tweet

Pruning tips for Variegated Lilyturf

The plant needs little maintenance but can get a bit shabby over the growing season. I like to use sharp scissors and give my plants a “haircut” before the active growing season each year, in early spring.

New growth with sprout all over the plant and this pruning will remove the tattered leaves. 

If you don’t want to use variegated lilyturf as a ground cover, be sure to remove the small plants that will pop up from the tuberous roots near the mother plant.pruning the Liriope Muscari Variegata is easy with a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears

If you grow liiriope muscari variegata as a ground cover, just mow over it in early spring to give the plant a new lease of life and to tidy up the foliage.

Variegated Lilyturf is a great choice for problem areas of a garden, such as under the shade of a tree where not much else will grow.  The creawy striped grass like foliage and pretty purple flowers add interest year round. 

The plant is tougher than most and is a great choice for beginning gardeners. Follow these few tips and you’ll be able to enjoy this pretty perennial in your garden.

Share on Social Media

Martha Patricia Moore

Sunday 29th of May 2022

I have a bed of Liriope - used as a ground cover. However, between the plants I have weeds that I have to remove all summer. Can I use Preen weed control around the liriope plants to help? I usually put muchroom compost around the plants but still have to deal with the weeds

Carol Speake

Monday 30th of May 2022

I have not tried preen to kill weeds around liriope, so I don't know how it will work. My understanding from other resources is that some grass-specific herbicides will not harm liriope, even if the chemicals are sprayed directly on it. But as I say, I have not tried it, so I would proceed with caution.

Muffet Jones

Sunday 21st of March 2021

Do you know if the plant or the berries poisonous to squirrels?

Carol Speake

Sunday 21st of March 2021

The ASPCA lists the plant as non toxic to many animals but doesn't mention squirrels specifically.


Thursday 5th of November 2020

Liriope is such a great hardy plant and is perfect as a ground cover, or lining a yard! One of my favorite plants.


Saturday 5th of September 2020

I live in zone 4 and would like to plant Liriope on a south facing slope. Do you think it will do well there?

Carol Speake

Sunday 6th of September 2020

This form of liriope is cold tolerant in zones 5-10. 4 is possibly too cold.


Sunday 26th of July 2020

Will liriope spread and fill in as a ground cover if planted 10-12” apart?

Carol Speake

Monday 27th of July 2020

Hi Jay. Yes it will. I planted a border and spaced the plants about this distance and it was not long before they were a mass of plants. The variegated liriope is not as fast growing as the green type.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."