How to Remove Mondo and Monkey Grass

These recommendations are primarily for homeowners and communities that would like to start working in their neighborhood greenspace. For each species we recommend herbicide-free control methods, but have added an herbicide option for some species for those who are comfortable using them. These methods were selected while keeping in mind limiting soil disturbance, reducing herbicide use, and avoiding harm to other species that may be present whether they be other plants/animals. Manual removal is possible for all of them if you have the time. If the infestation is overwhelmingly severe or these tips aren’t proving effective, we suggest you consider qualified professional services.


Mondo Grass & Monkey Grass

Ophiopogon japonicus – Georgia EPPC Category 4 (naturalized in Georgia or in need of further information)
Liriope muscari, L. spicata  – Georgia EPPC Category 4 (naturalized in Georgia or in need of further information)


Monkey grass

Monkey Grass



The most effective way to remove this invasive perennial is to uproot it; however, hand pulling will not work due to the tendency for roots and rhizomes to snap off. Similarly, using hand tools like hand cultivators can break off rhizomes as you are digging. A soil knife or shovel is needed to pop up the roots. This plant cannot be left on site, it will regrow even after being uprooted. Bag everything you pull and take off site.


Dig up the entire root system with a shovel or soil knife.


Intact roots and rhizomes.


These plants needs to be bagged and disposed of off site.



“Category” refers to description of invasiveness based on information from the Georgia and North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) and do not necessarily reflect the severity of invasions in Atlanta specifically. View our Resource “Atlanta’s Top Invasive Plants (A to Z) Expanded List” for more information.

A great opportunity to learn is volunteering with us at a Forest Restoration project. Please view our Calendar of upcoming service projects or consider enrolling in our annual Forest Stewardship training program. For other species removal, also read: How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants.

If you have any questions about this guide please email