Lily turf, Liriope muscari is an evergreen tuberous perennial with neat, low, grass-like foliage, that makes it a good choice for spreading ground cover. As an added bonus, in autumn it produces low spikes of small purple flowers that look stunning en masse.
It’s easy to grow and works just as well at the front of a mixed border as under trees and shrubs. If left to its own devices, it will steadily spread to form an attractive carpet of foliage and flowers. Many varieties also work well in pots.
Where to plant lily turf
Lily turf, Liriope muscari, grows best in well-drained soil in partial to full shade. It is tolerant of dry areas, so will suit trickier spots under trees and shrubs.
How to plant lily turf
Dig a shallow, but slightly wider hole and plant lily turf, watering in well. For more tips on planting perennials follow our step-by-step guide.
How to propagate lily turf
When lifting congested clumps, pull them apart to create new, smaller plants and pot up to grow on before planting out.
Lily turf: problem solving
Lily turf is generally a trouble-free plant, with no diseases and a small amount of bother from slugs and snails when new growth emerges in spring.
How to care for lily turf
Lily turf doesn’t require too much fuss – simply cut back old leaves that can look messy to encourage new growth in spring. If you want to manage its spread and keep plants healthy and vigorous, divide large congested clumps in spring.
Great lily turf varieties to grow
- Liriope muscari – is the species variety and The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
- Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’ – has slightly bigger flower spikes and good evergreen foliage. It grows to around 45cm and has been awarded the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM)
- Liriope muscari ‘Okina’ – has leaves that emerge almost white in spring and change colour through the summer, becoming greener and darker until they are fully coloured by autumn when the typical purple flowers appear
- Liriope muscari ‘Monroe White’ – has typical evergreen leaves but produces white flowers in autumn that are slightly larger
- Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’ – has yellowy-cream striped leaves that are slightly larger than other varieties