How to Get Rid of Monkey Grass: Everything You Need to Know

How to get rid of monkey grass header

Monkey grass can be quite attractive. But it can also be very invasive, which is why people often want to get rid of it.

Let’s find out how to get rid of monkey grass.

How To Get Rid of Monkey Grass

The best way to get rid of monkey grass is to dig it out, and then treat the resulting area with herbicide. You can also apply a herbicide directly to the grass, but you have to be very careful to make sure it does not affect anything growing around it. Or you could poke holes into the soil and pour boiling water on the monkey grass. If none of them appeal call a professional!

What Is Monkey Grass?

It is scientifically known as Liriope muscari while also taking on the common name lilyturf. Some regions also call it spider grass, although monkey grass is more popular. 

However, the monkey grass is neither a lily nor a real grass–and obviously, it’s not a monkey either. 

Surprisingly, this grass-like plant belongs in the asparagus family–yep! That asparagus that you love to wrap in bacon. 

Most popular use:

The monkey grass is often used as a groundcover. For one, its evergreen color and nature of growth make it an attractive cover for the ground. 

In fact, during the summer, you’ll find a dash of purple in the monkey grass. It blooms spiky violet-blue flowers at this time. 


There are certain regions where it’s just quite impossible to grow turf grass. The monkey grass is a great alternative. 

Imagine having “grass” without the hassle of mowing them. It’s not a type of grass, remember? So, you don’t really need to mow it. 

It is also a good protection against soil erosion.

That’s right!

It’s a great accent for the garden, too. 

More importantly, it’s easy to grow and care for. 

But if it’s so great, why do you need to get rid of it?

The advantage is its disadvantage

Precisely because it’s so easy to grow the monkey grass that it becomes a pest of sorts. This type of plant would eventually become invasive even if you don’t tend to it that much. 

One day you will be surprised that it is already growing in unwanted areas of your garden or lawn. 

Before you know it

The plant becomes uncontrollable. 

But that doesn’t mean there is no way to get rid of the monkey grass. 

Monkey toy in grass

5 Ways to Banish Monkey Grass

Getting rid of monkey grass can be tricky because this type of plant can be pretty invasive. But it’s not an impossible task. 

There are also different ways to remove them. This way, you can choose the best method for your circumstance. Different situations require different removal processes. 

Here are some of the ways to get rid of monkey grass. 


This is the easiest way to get rid of monkey grass. It’s also the most tiring.

It’s quite physical, which can also be good. When you do this, you don’t just remove the lilyturf, you are also keeping yourself healthy. 


If the monkey grass has already spread out widely, it’s going to be a lot of work. Not to mention, it’s really time consuming. 

The key here is if you see monkey grass in a place that you don’t expect it to be, remove it right away. Don’t wait too long or you will have a hard time keeping up with the growth. 

Why dig and not pull?

Sometimes, you can pull weeds out of your lawn or garden. For monkey grass, it’s just more effective to dig it out. 

You need to dig out a whole clump of soil to ensure that you remove everything from its root system. 

After this

You can treat the hole with an herbicide to make sure there will be no more monkey grass growth. 

Person digging lawn


This is a form of prevention to make sure that the monkey grass will not crop up in other areas of the garden or yard. 

Landscape edging adds beauty to the garden while also containing the plants and making sure they don’t overgrow somewhere. 

For best results

The edging materials should be buried at least a foot down. This way, you are really barring the monkey grass roots from penetrating the other side. 

There are so many materials that you could use for edging:

  • Stones
  • Bricks
  • Seashells
  • Cinder blocks
  • Logs
  • Landscape fabric
  • Plastic

There are so many more. You can be creative about this. 

Person edging lawn

Applying herbicide

Spraying herbicides is almost always the automatic response when we have this kind of problem. But it should not be the first thing that crosses your mind. 

Leave this until you think you are already hopeless in getting rid of monkey grass at home. 

So, what kind?

Always choose glyphosate products. It’s very effective in regulating plant growth. 

However, it has a downside. It will also kill the other plants it touches. 

In other words

You have to be very accurate in applying herbicides to monkey grass. You need to make sure that other plants will not be sprayed on. 

It will take at least two applications–three would be safer–before you can really get rid of monkey grass. 

Spray coming from can

Use boiling water

This is definitely the cheapest way to get rid of monkey grass. It would take a bit of time for it to be effective though. 

It’s also very simple to do. 


You just boil water. Then, you pour it over the monkey grass. Poke holes into the soil surrounding the monkey grass so that the boiling water will easily penetrate the roots. 

The boiling water will eventually kill the roots and the monkey grass itself. 

How long?

It would take some time. But it will happen. This is best done if you are known to be a patient person. 


Call a professional

Finally, if you have extra money and you just don’t want to break a sweat by ridding your yard of monkey grass, then call for professional help. 

Professional landscapers or expert gardeners could easily do this for you. 

You know what else?

They could offer you tips and advice about your garden moving forward. 


Monkey grass can be beautiful. It has attractive foliage and it provides brightly colored flowers, too. However, too much monkey grass could also be a menace to your garden or yard. They could compete with the other plants in terms of nutrients. 

Monkey grass, also known as lilyturf or Liriope, is not actually grass, not even a lily. It is a plant that is part of the asparagus family. But just like some types of grass, this plant could be quite invasive. 

Good thing there are simple ways on how to get rid of monkey grass. They are not complicated, although some are quite taxing. Or you could simply call a professional to do the work for you. 

You Might Also Like

Perhaps your problem is with water grass and not monkey grass. We also have some tips on how to remove this type of grass

And if weeds are your problem, here are five steps to keep your plants healthy and free from weeds. 

Now, after using weed killers, you can start planting grass seeds. But how soon after can you start planting? We answer that too.

Useful Resources

  • A Guide to Growing and Caring for Liriope Muscari, Also Known as Monkey Grass – Martha Stewart
  • The Uses of Monkey Grass – SFGATE
  • Liriope Grass Edging: How to Plant a Border of Monkey Grass – Gardening Know How

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