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Transplanting Monkey Grass – Division is Simple and Easy to Do

Transplanting monkey grass is a simple process if you keep just a few things in mind. As far as growing perennials is concerned, it is one of my favorite easy care plants.

Liriope is commonly known as monkey grass or spider grass. It is a versatile and easy to grow ground cover that tolerates heat well and can be divided easily.

Keep reading to find out how to do this.

Transplanting Monkey grass is easy. The plant spreads quickly and new plants grow from divisions.

Tips for Transplanting Monkey Grass

If you have monkey grass (liriope) in your garden now, you have the opportunity to have more of this perennial plant for free.

It multiplies readily, and runners can be dug up, and placed in another area of the garden in no time at all. The plant sends out underground runners which form into smaller new plants easily.How to plant monkey grass babies

When to plant monkey grass

The best time for transplanting monkey grass is the same as for most perennials – when the plant is dormant.

Typically this would be in the beginning of the spring before new growth starts. It is easily moved, though, and can be transplanted right through mid summer.  

It does need to establish rooting well before cold weather so it should not be moved too late in the fall.


The plant will fill in quickly so be sure to plant the babies about a foot apart or so.  This will give it room to grow without being over crowded.  

This border was planted last year at this spacing and is filled in well.Liriope used as a border plant

Types of Monkey grass

The most common type of liriope has plain green leaves – liriope sipcata, but there are also variegated – liriope muscari variegata, and pure white varieties – Liriope muscari ‘Monroe’s White’.

The green plant is easier to grow and multiplies faster than the variegated versions. All types do multiply and can be planted as divisions in other garden areas.

These two plants are the same age but the plain green one on the left is much larger and has babies growing already.Monkey grass types

Soil Needs

Monkey grass likes well draining soil, so it’s a good idea to dig around the area when you want to place it to loosen the nearby soil. Adding organic material such as compost or manure will also be beneficial to the plant.


Liriope is grown more for the leaves than the flowers but it does flower in summer. If you transplant then, cut off the flowers to encourage the plant to use its energy for developing the root system.

Flowers look almost like small grape hyacinths.Flowers of a liriope plant

Size of Transplant

Liriope multiplies like mad so if you have one plant, you will likely have plenty in no time at all.  Because of this, don’t take a clump that is too large.  

Liriope can be invasive, so starting with a smaller sized piece of it will mean that it can be more easily maintained.

If you have a large clump, gently pull apart the roots to give you several plants. Be sure each piece has a crown section and plenty of roots.  

Don’t you just love plants for free?Divide monkey grass with crown and roots on both pieces

After Transplanting

I cut back all my monkey grass early in the spring and this goes for transplants, too.  I generally do this just before the new growth starts.

The plant can get a bit ragged looking in the winter months and cutting back old growth gives it a haircut and encourages lush new growth.trim monkey grass in the spring

If you are looking for an easy care evergreen perennial plant that will give you more plants for years to come, you can’t go wrong by transplanting Monkey Grass!Variegated liriope in flower

Invasive Nature of Monkey Grass

Some varieties of monkey grass, particularly liriope spicata are quite invasive and can take over a yard. If you have more of it that you would like in your garden, see my tips for controlling monkey grass.

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Monday 24th of October 2022

My daughter passed away recently and her grave is in a spot where the water tends to run off the hill. I plan on covering g her grave with monkey grass and would like to know if there is a way to border it so as not too spread out and keep it looking nice with clean edges?

Carol Speake

Tuesday 25th of October 2022

Unfortunately monkey grass has underground runners and can't be contained. It will easily spread to nearby areas. My condolences for your loss.

Judy petty

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

Does monkey grass hav bulbs ????

Carol Speake

Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

There are no bulbs. The grass spreads from underground rhizomes.


Friday 20th of November 2020

I am going to have to transplant my monkey grass due to some excavation work I need to have done. I am in Benton, ARK (7B) and it's late November here. What is the best way of doing this with winter coming up?

Carol Speake

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

I don't give individual landscaping advice for other areas of the country since I am not familiar with all planting zones. Consulting a professional landscaper in your area is the best way to go.


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Thank you for this article! I was curious about the Monroe White variety, but it appears that with that type, the blooms are white but the leaves are variegated green & white.

Mary Raynor

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

In my daughters yard, I have transplanted twice but looks as if they have been stripped or cut, then some die. Grows poorly. No evidence of insects. One rabbit. Could one little rabbit eat all this monkey grass? Or clay soil? I have transplanted very successfully in my yard but my daughters yard is a challenge. Please help.


Monday 10th of May 2021

@Mary Raynor,

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."