Aztec Grass

Q: My wife is installing a “white area” in front of our house so when she saw plants identical to variegated liriope in a garden center, she grabbed eight of them. I thought nothing about it until I read the plant tag: Perennial Liriope Aztec Grass Ophiopogon jaburan.

A: I’ve had inquiries about Aztec grass before. A television landscape designer in south Florida seems to use it in just about every landscape he installs.

When Atlanta-area gardeners ask if they can grow it here, I point out that Ophiopogon jaburan is listed as winter hardy only to 20 degrees F. I haven’t heard of a single person who has kept it alive over a winter in Atlanta. My advice is to be wary of this plant. It is very attractive but should only be considered an annual. If you want a perennial groundcover be get variegated liriope: Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’.

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