How to Transplant Liriope

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Decide where you will transplant the Liriope from.  Will it be a neighbors yard, do you have another garden in your yard that will be the source?  Evaluate the source garden well, are there weeds or pests present?  Are the weeds invasive like Bishops weed?  Or, is area completely free of other weeds?  This will determine the steps you take preparing the plants between lifting from the source garden and  transplanting.

Once you have a source of Liriope you can start with site selection and preparation. Liriope can grow in full sun to full shade. In the shade it will look just as good, but will expand slower and have fewer flower spikes.  The site needs to be free of all other plants. If you do have grass or another groundcover you will want to start two weeks ahead of time and spray with Round Up or another herbicide, wait a week and spray again. Follow the directions on the herbicide.

Prepare the area by turning over the soil with a shovel, if you have a rototiller, this would be a good time to use it.  Amend the soil with organic matter such as cut grass and fallen leaves to help enrich the nutrients and hold water.  But, remembering that Liriope is a tough plant, if you only have time to shovel up a clump where you want to put the plants in, that is all you need to do.

Now that the site is ready, dig up the Liriope from the source garden.  When digging, the clumps may be so thick that you need to slice the roots with the shovel, that is fine and will not hurt the Liriope.  Lay the Liriope out on the grass out of the sun, break the larger sections up to be about 6 or 7 plants, group the single plants so that they are about 6 or 7 plants.  If you are concerned about bringing invasive weeds or pests, While seperating and grouping remove any other plant material that may be entwined in the leavesl or roots.  Wash the roots and leaves with the hose to remove all soil that may have other roots or pests.

Plant the Liriope so that they are in natural looking groupings.  Plant so that the white stem just below the leaves is at the dirt/air level.

After you have planted, mulch with a few inches of mulch to prevent weeds between the Liriope plants. Eventually the Liriope will take over the area and weeds between the plants will not be a problem and mulching will no longer be needed.

The first summer after planting you may need to water if they begin to droop in a dry period. After the first summer they should be very drought tolerant.

Once a year they need to be trimmed. It is hard to give a date on the calendar when this should be done because the weather varies from year to year. Instead, time the trimming of the previous years growth with the blooming of the Forsythia. When the bright yellow Forsythia begins to unfurl its first few petals, trim the Liriope. If the area is completely covered by Liriope then just run over it with the lawnmower. If the Lioriope is still in it’s first few years and there is much that you do not want to pick up, use heavy shears or clippers to trim by hand.

If the Liriope gets so thick that it begins to choke out the center, just dig out the center and random sections throughout the bed. Fill the holes that are left behind with dirt and the Liriope will soon fill in the old sections with bright, new growth.  Offer the removed Liriope to a friend or neighbor, or transplant to another area of your garden.

Enjoy, because Liriope is such a tough plant that thrives and spreads easily, transplanting is easy, and could avoid the need to buy new Liriope, which will help you save money in the garden.

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