Getting Rid of Monkey Grass


The person I bought my house from went crazy with Monkey Grass. I was wondering if there is any way to totally get rid of it? We have tried digging it up but it just comes back. We have a small child and I'm concerned about snakes hiding in it. Please help.


Hardiness Zone: 7b

Crystal from Batesville, MS


Hi Crystal,

Getting rid of monkey grass is tough. Here is what I would do if I were you:

Monkey grass needs to be contained with a root barrier to keep it from spreading. That is because it spreads by rhizomes and bulblets. Without a root barrier of at least 12-18 inches deep, any digging, thining, or smothering you do will not work for very long. The Monkey grass will simply send out scout (roots) and pop up somewhere else in your yard.

For the summer, your best bet is to install a root barrier around whatever you can and keep it mowed as short as possible to keep the snakes away. You can also start to dig out what your can; just make sure you get all of the rhizomes. In the fall, cover what remains with a tarp and hope that by the following spring it will be dead. If more pops up, the soil will be easily workable to dig out what remains. (If you prefer, you can also cover the Monkey grass now, but I'm assuming you don't want the eyesore during the summer.)


Regular thinning and dividing is another strategy for areas that cannot easily be covered with a tarp. A root barrier will still need to be installed these areas to prevent further spreading. No matter what methods you use, there are not any easy solutions. It may take a couple of seasons for you to get rid of it completely, so be patient.

Good luck!

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at

April 9, 20080 found this helpful

Here is a very good article with pictures showing the differences of the types of grasses and how to control them. I have liriope and keep it controlled by thinning it every other year. ... scape/article/0,28012,229980,00.html

Hope this helps,


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June 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have had monkey grass for many years and have never seen a snake or any other critters in our around it. You can put a chemical called round up on it and it will kill any vegitation in that spot. My husband cuts ours back with a week-eater.

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January 12, 20090 found this helpful

Or you can dig it up and send all you can to me. I will take if off your hands, I am in need of it for a creek that overflows, contact me at butlersj59 AT

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March 21, 20090 found this helpful

Any grass I need to get rid of, I put plastic over it for a few weeks, till it dies, good luck.

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September 7, 20090 found this helpful

Send all you want to me. I would be thrilled to put it around my rock flower beds and banks.

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