How to Kill Big Blue Liriope

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GrayM, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. GrayM

    GrayM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    My yard is filled with the crap. Anybody know what I should use to knock it out? I've googled it, but all I've found is it's tough to kill. My whole yard is literally filled with it, so I don't care if I'm using a selective, or non selective pesticide. I want to kill everything, and replace it with fescue. That'll be a project for next fall.
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I am just a Yard Boy so I hope I am not giving any Misinformation

    I believe you are talking about Lirope muscari. Here in Florida we have several varieties, but none we call Big Blue Lirope to my knowledge. Maybe you are talking about what we call Evergreen Giant Lirope???

    Regardless These are Monocot plants so study the leave structure to see if the Leaves veins # 1 are all running straight up and down and parallel to each other. Or # 2 is there a central central vein with horizontal veins off of it. Most Variegated Varieties will have the # 2 veins and be susceptible to most non select herbicides. Vein pattern # 1 of all veins running up & down and parallel to each other are resistant to most all Foliar absorbed herbicides. Therefore use a soil sterilizer to control the plant from the root up instead of the leaves down.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    Ric we do have big blue up here... i have found that it is resistant to lower rates of roundup and can be sprayed over teh top for some weed control.

    Hopefully it is not liriope spicata. Which is very invasive and spreads fast...

    if It was me I'd scalp it down and then come in with a sod cutter or a tiller. and physically remove as much as you can and then as the liriope starts sprouting again start hitting it with heavier rates of roundup on the new growth.

    if you don't feel like removing the lirope then Id scalp it and spray as new stuff sprouts up... and then lay sod at a later date

    or you could get some black drop cloths and cover the area no light means no growth..

    if you sterilize the soil then you'll have trouble growing grass in the future
  4. GrayM

    GrayM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    Ric, thanks for your input. Here's a link to some pictures of big blue liriope.

    I'm not POSITIVE that's what I've got. I googled the evergreen giant liriope you mentioned, and that looks very similar to what I have as well.

    At any rate it's a solid color and has vein #1 (parallel straight up and down). Is there a particular soil sterilizer you'd recommend? I do however want to grow grass in this area after I kill the liriope, so if the soil sterilizer prevents growth in the area for awhile as Marc suggests, that might not be a rout I want to go.

    Marc, this is several thousand sf, so I don't think it would be practical to cover the whole area with drop cloths.

    My grandma had an old John Deere ride on that I fixed up as a fun project. The blades were as dull and rusty as they could get, but I didn't bother sharpening them before I used it to mow the grass 'cause it looks like crap anyway. Well I mowed it with those dull blades back in August and it COMPLETELY shredded the top of the grass. Seems to have stunted the growth a little bit haha. I've only had to mow it once since then....

    Anyway, the point of that was I still haven't sharpened those blades. If I completely scalped the grass with that mower and sprayed it with the maximum amount of round up allowed do you think the combined shock of scalping, dull blades, and the roundup would be enough to kill it? I'd then come behind with a tiller before I seeded.
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    you need wait until you start seeing new growth before you spray... roundup only works on chlorophyll producing structures..

    you could always spray a week before you scalp...

    once you plant the fescue eventually the continued close cutting to 2-3" will eventually weaken the lirope as well.. and help keep it at bay...

    there is no gaurantee any of these methods will work. but the combination will give it your best chances.
  6. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    Gray M,
    These plants are in the lily family and will reoccur after low cutting. We cut back liriope during the fall in efforts to remove leaves from surrounding beds easier. It will come back with a fury and spread wider. Liriope of most species needs to be reduced in size or what we do is thin it out by 50% every 3 years. We do this for customers and regrow it for resale. If these plants are established and have been for a while, the root systems may be extensive yet can be removed with a spade shovel. I grow this variety on top of the ground with little effort as it is pretty well self surviving from the root nodes. Depending on how many you have, dig them out rather than spraying them. A soil sterilizer will prevent you from planting back seeds or could damage any nearby plants and trees. Maybe more information and a pic of where you have this growing will be helpful. The only down side to digging them out is soil replacement........spraying the top for post killing will still leave a clump where the seeds may not germinate or take root from. I still will opt for removal......................and sell the stuff to someone else.

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