How To Fertilize, Prune And Water Liriope Lilyturf Plants

Liriope are some of the easiest plants to grow and care for. They aren't heavy feeders, require little if any pruning, and are quite drought tolerant when established. 

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know regarding caring for and maintaining Liriope plants.

Fertilizing Liriope
Liriope are light feeders however will benefit from fertilization. Feed plants in early spring with a slow-release shrub & tree type fertilizer or an organic plant food.  

Soil pH - Liriope thrives in a moderately acid to neutral soil ranging from 6.0 to 7.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. 

Testing Soil pH  Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 as the neutral mark. Any measurement below 7 indicates acid soil conditions, and anything above 7 indicates alkaline. If you're unsure about the pH of your soil, or whether or not it is suitable for growing Liriope, it's a good idea to test the pH in the planting area. You can quickly test soil pH with an inexpensive soil pH tester probe. To raise the pH (make more alkaline) you can add pelletized limestone to the soil. To lower the pH (make more acid) you can apply Soil Sulfur, Aluminum Sulfate, or Chelated Iron. Adding organic compost to the soil or using compost as mulch can also help to increase acidity and maintain acid soil conditions

Watering Liriope

To become established, Liriope prefers a consistently moist soil during the first growing season. When established they are quite drought tolerant. As with many other ornamental plants, they do not like constantly soggy or wet soil, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. So be careful not to overwater!

After Planting 

Immediately after planting deep soak the soil in the planting area to a depth of at least 6 inches. An application of Root Stimulator will provide an extra boost to stimulate early root formation and stronger root development, which reduces transplant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.

During the First Active Growth Season

In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Liriope every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to keep the rootball and surrounding soil damp to moist. Keep in mind that deep soaking less frequently is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day. Plants planted during the winter dormant season, when not actively growing and evaporation is much slower, will require much less water. So, be extra careful not to overwater during winter!


When established, Liriope are very drought tolerant plants. Only during prolonged periods of summer drought will plants require supplemental irrigation. If you see foliage wilting or discoloring check soil moisture and give plants a good deep soaking if necessary.

Watering Liriope Plants In Containers

Liriope growing in containers will require closer attention to soil moisture. Check soil moisture regularly and provide water if the top inch or two of the soil is somewhat dry to dry. During cooler months, Liriope growing in containers will not require as much water.

Important Tip:  When watering with an automated irrigation system it's best to set your timer to water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night, which can lead to the onset of fungus and other foliage diseases. During the first few weeks after planting, check soil moisture often and adjust irrigation time if necessary to keep the soil moist, not wet.

Pruning Liriope

All I do with the Liriope growing is prune or mow plants to an inch or so above the ground in late winter before new growth begins to emerge from the ground. 

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