Spring is approaching and soon it will be time to get back into the garden. One of the most versatile perennials I have known over the years is variegated liriope (Liriope muscari ‘Variegata). Also known as Lilyturf, this cultivar has a grass-like appearance and grows in neatly rounded clumps which do not spread aggressively like Liriope spicata.
Liriope ‘Variegata’ is cold hardy in USDA zones 5-10, grows in full sun to shade and will tolerate a range of conditions from moist soil to drought conditions. It grows to a height of 12-16 inches and is mainly evergreen displaying cream and green variegated foliage. Showy flower spikes of deep lilac blooms resembling grape hyacinth emerge in late summer and last into fall followed by dark berries which persist into winter. Liriope is adaptable under pine and walnut trees and is excellent when used as a ground cover or border. It is also widely used for erosion control, considered to be rabbit and deer resistant and is drought tolerant once established.
This versatile plant fits well into just about any type of garden from informal to formal and is very hardy and reliable in performance year after year. Liriope is completely evergreen in warmer climates and is semi-evergreen here on Long Island. It can be cut back part way in fall or left until spring to be pruned. If browning occurs over winter simply cut back in early spring to allow for new growth to appear. Variegated liriope is easy to grow, fairly disease resistant and will provide interest to your garden all year round. It will prove to be a dependable and versatile addition to any landscape.
As Always…Happy Gardening!
Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2014, All Rights Reserved