Black Mondo Grass

Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'

Family: Mondo Grass

Type: Ornamental grass

Black Mondo Grass, scientifically known as Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’, is a unique and eye-catching ornamental grass. It is renowned for its striking, almost jet-black leaves, creating a dramatic effect in the garden.

This grass forms dense tufts of narrow, arching foliage, providing a strong visual contrast against green plants or lighter hardscapes. It’s an excellent choice for adding depth and intrigue to your garden design.

Hardy in zones 5-10, Black Mondo Grass prefers partial to full shade and well-draining soil. It’s a low-growing, slowly spreading plant, making it a low-maintenance option for various landscaping needs.

Needs & Preferences

Hardiness Zone: 4b-6a

Pet Friendly: Yes

Moisture Preference: Average to moist

Sun Needs: Full sun to partial shade


Growth Rate: Fast

Average Height (feet): 1.5

Average Spread (feet): 1

Average Life Span (years): 10

Form: Mounded


Flower Color: Pink

Secondary Flower Color: White

Flower Shape: Bell

Bloom Season: From mid to late summer

Foliage Color: Black

Foliage Shape: Grassy

Landscaping Your Yard With Black Mondo Grass

Integrating Black Mondo Grass into your garden can create stunning contrasts and focal points. Its unique coloration makes it a standout choice for various landscaping designs.

This grass works well as ground cover, in rock gardens, or when planted along borders and pathways. Its dark foliage pairs beautifully with brightly colored flowers or variegated plants.

Despite its exotic appearance, Black Mondo Grass is surprisingly hardy and requires minimal care. It’s an ideal choice for gardeners looking for a distinctive yet easy-to-maintain plant.


Suitable Garden Styles

Modern Garden

In modern gardens, Black Mondo Grass adds a sleek, contemporary look with its dark, uniform foliage.

Japanese Garden

For Japanese gardens, it offers a beautiful contrast to traditional green plants, embodying the aesthetics of simplicity and elegance.

Woodland Garden

In woodland gardens, its shade tolerance and dark leaves provide a striking undergrowth beneath trees and shrubs.

Black Mondo Grass Landscaping Ideas

Plant alongside lighter-colored plants. Its dark leaves create a stunning contrast that highlights both plant types.

Use as edging for paths or borders. Its tidy growth habit forms a neat, defined edge that enhances walkways and garden beds.

Combine with rocks and water features. In rock gardens or near ponds, it adds texture and a dramatic flair.

Seasonal Interest


In spring, Black Mondo Grass begins its growth cycle, with the dark foliage starting to emerge and thicken.


During summer, the grass is fully leafed out, offering a lush, dark carpet of foliage in the garden.


In the fall, Black Mondo Grass maintains its color, complementing the changing autumnal landscape.


In winter, the grass remains evergreen in most climates, providing year-round interest and color.

Planting Tips

Where to Plant

Black Mondo Grass thrives in partial to full shade, making it an excellent choice for shaded garden spots, under trees, or north-facing gardens.


It prefers shaded areas but can tolerate some morning sun. Too much direct sunlight can bleach its dark foliage.


This grass grows best in well-draining soil with a moderate amount of organic matter. It can tolerate a range of soil types.


Space plants about 6 to 8 inches apart. This allows each plant enough room to spread and form a dense mat.

When to Plant

Plant Black Mondo Grass in the spring or early fall to allow the roots to establish before extreme temperatures.

How to Plant

Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth. Position the plant, backfill with soil, and water well to settle the roots.

Plant Care Tips


Water regularly after planting until established. Mature plants have good drought tolerance but benefit from occasional watering during dry spells.


Fertilize lightly in the spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.


Pruning is not typically necessary, but you can trim back any brown tips in early spring to tidy the plant.

By Season


Spring Care

Remove any winter-damaged foliage and apply a thin layer of mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Summer Care

Water during extended dry periods. Generally, Black Mondo Grass requires minimal care in the summer.

Fall Care

Prepare for winter by reducing watering as the plant begins to go dormant.

Winter Care

Black Mondo Grass is hardy in winter. In colder regions, a layer of mulch can provide extra protection.


How Fast Does Black Mondo Grass Spread?

It spreads slowly, forming a dense, compact mat over time.

Is Black Mondo Grass Deer Resistant?

Yes, it is generally resistant to deer, making it suitable for gardens in areas with deer activity.

Can Black Mondo Grass Be Grown in Containers?

Absolutely, Black Mondo Grass can be effectively grown in containers, where its dramatic foliage can be showcased on patios or balconies.

Products That Feature This Plant

Salt and Pepper

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