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/large, we suggest you look into professional control.

A great opportunity to learn is volunteering with us at a Forest Restoration project. Please view our Calendar of upcoming service projects. Also read: How to Remove Our Top 10 Invasive Plants.

Removal Difficulty: Medium


Removal of this species is rated as medium because this technique is fairly strenuous.


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. You may have similar issues with using weeding tools, as you may break off roots/rhizomes as you are digging into the ground. The best tool we have tried so far is using a hand tiller. Be warned, this is quite an ab workout! Center the hand tiller over the plant and press into the earth about an inch to 2” down. Rotate counterclockwise 180 degrees, and then rotate clockwise 180 degrees. You should be able to easily pull the plant from the ground with all the roots and rhizomes attached. This plant cannot be left on-site, it will regrow even after being uprooted. Bag everything you pull and take off-site.


Digging up mondo grass

Hand tiller hovering over monkey grass


Mondo grass roots

Intact roots and rhizomes


Putting mondo grass into a compost bag

These plants need to be bagged and disposed of off-site


If you have any questions about this guide please email