Winter Protection for Black Mondo Grass


Hi. I’m in Zone 5 to 6, close to Lake Ontario, so always a little warmer in the winter. I have a nice patch of black mondo grass. Some years it winters really well and some years not so much. A bad winter results in brown leaves and stunted growth into the summer. By end of summer it looks ok however. Is there any way to protect it in the winter so it makes it through without a lot of leaf damage? I always thought a layer of snow would add protection but apparently it doesn’t.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus), with its purplish-black spiky leaves, is a sophisticated addition to the landscape. Since Toronto is in the lowest zone where it can be grown, a harsh winter will cause die back. Protect the plant with leaves or a layer of compost mulch.  In the spring, remove the protective layer and shear any die back before new growth appears. For more information on the care and propagation of mondo grass click here.