Pampas Grass: Growing and Care Techniques

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pampas grass

Do you want to add beautiful texture to your outdoor spaces? You can have pampas grass in your landscape setting.

Famous for its feathery white plumes, pampas grass, or Cortaderia Selloana adds beauty to where ever you place them.

This beautiful and gorgeous waving wheat-toned grass gives a look at vintage gardens and pastoral pastures.

Pampas grass is a large ornamental grass, which can grow up to 10 feet high and wide.

Moreover, you can plant them in the spring season, and tend to be very fast growers and can quickly grow invasive.

It is important to note that male and female flowers grow separately on separate plants.

You can see female pampas grass often because if it’s showier plumes.

Let’s learn more about them in detail.

Pampas Grass: Basic Facts

Botanical Name Cortaderia selloana
Common Name Pampas grass
Plant Type Perennial
Mature Size 5-10 ft. tall, 5-10 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Loamy, moist but well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color Pink, yellow, white
Hardiness Zones 7-11, USA
Native Area South America

Care for Pampas Grass

One of the important things about pampas grass is that you maintain it once it establishes and usually requires yearly pruning.

Moreover, this hardy grass is tolerant of wind, drought, and salt spray from coastal areas.

It is also resilient to a number of plant diseases and pests.

By pruning them to the ground in late winter or early spring, you can keep their surroundings cleat and even encourage new growth each season.

pampas grass 1

Additionally, this plant is hight flammable, so make sure to keep it away from structures, outdoor cooking areas, or open flames.

Because of its rigorous self-seeding nature, it is best to plant sterile pampas grass to reduce the risk of spreading the seeds around your property.

Another important thing to note is that pampas grass grows quickly and can even overtake other vegetation.

Furthermore, it can get very hard to get rid of it after plantation.

Before planting this type of grass, make sure to find out whether this plant is listed as invasive in your area or not.

In countries like Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the west coast region of the United States it is listed as invasive.

Types of Pampas Grass

There are a number of types of pampas grass. Let’s discuss some of them as follows:

‘Pumila’,Cortadelia selloana

Also popular as dwarf pampas, they are found with plumes that range from pale yellow to ivory.

Due to its compact variety, it often grows 5 feet tall and makes it a great choice for containers.

 ‘Sunningdale Silver’, Cortadelia selloana

This variety has silver plumes and can grow up to 10 feet tall and are not as prone to clumping as other varieties.

‘Rendatleri’, Cortadelia selloana

This pink feather cultivator is famous for its stunning pink plumes and can grow at least 8 feet tall.

Light and Soil Requirments for Pampas Grass

Full sun is ideal for the growth of this ornamental grass, though it can also grow in partial sun as well.

However, too much shade can lead to soil that is too damp which can cause fungal problems.

growth requirments

On the other hand, moist, and well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients will keep your grass happy.

Moreover, the ability of your soil to drain well is the key to healthy pampas grass.

Whereas, compost is a good soil amendment for areas with this grass, as it helps to enrich the soil and promotes drainage.

Water, Temperature, and Other Requirments

Pampas grass is drought tolerant, and once they establish, it should receive plenty of water from natural rainfall unless there is extreme drought.

However, in the case of new plants, you should water them deeply right after planting them and water them intermittently for the first few months.

Make sure that your grass receives enough water and after this, natural rainfall will provide them all the water they need for growth.

Moreover, pampas grass tends to thrive in hot climates. As it is native to South America, these grasses can withstand both heat and high humidity.

While these grasses can also withstand cold winters and even some snow.

Providing or withholding fertilizer will not make or break these fast-growing grasses.

But if you do wish to add them, you can add a well-balanced fertilizer after pruning in the late winter or early spring to encourage new growth.

Fertilizing Pampas Grass

The nutritional requirements of pampas grass are minimal and fertilization of adjacent lawn is enough for them.

However, if vigor reduces or the green color fades, you will need to fertilize them and the lack of abundant flowering will indicate the need as well.

N-P-K ratios

Make sure to use a balanced fertilizer for pampas grass that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Moreover, the ratio should be something like 8-8-8 or 10-10-10. Also, slow-releasing fertilizers will also offer benefits that are necessary for fewer feedings.


It is important to note that you should spread the fertilizer around the base of the plant at the rate of 1 cup per foot of the clump diameter.

You can also scratch the fertilizer gently into the soil or spread an inch or two of mulch to prevent erosion of fertilizer granules.

Make sure to water gently, but thoroughly and make sure to follow the instructions on the label to avoid over-fertilization.

Natural or Organic Alternatives

During early spring, you should side dress all around the plant with compost which will slowly release nutrition throughout the seasons.

Furthermore, you can also use shredded grass clippings as mulch to provide natural nitrogen.

Pruning Pampas Grass

You can prune pampas grass once a year to make sure the area around them is clean and to encourage new growth.

In late winter or early spring, you can prune them right to the ground, however, make sure to wear protective gear, as the blades of this grass are very sharp.

Moreover, gloves, eye protection, and long pants and sleeves are important.

Pampas grass is a warm-season grass that often begins to grow in mid to late spring or early summer.

They tend to thrive when the temperature rises, and most often flowering and growth occur during this period.

Many types of warm-season grasses add winter interest to the landscape and add movement, and texture when the most part of your garden is asleep.

If you want to keep some interest in your garden, cut back the grass in mid to late spring.

When pruning them, cut these grasses severely, right down to the ground.

Propagating Tips

You can easily carry out the propagation of pampas grass by division.

Follow the steps below:

After pruning your plant to the ground, use a sharp shovel to divide through the plant and its root system.


Then, slowly dig around the separated clump until you can remove it from the ground.

Finally fill in the hole and transfer the divided part to its own area.

In case you are planting near the existing grasses, then make sure to add a space of 6 to 8 feet apart to allow enough room for growth.

Growing Pampas Grass from Seeds

One of the important things to note about pampas grass is that you can easily grow it from seeds.

In order to do so, follow the steps below:

  • cover the seeds lightly with well-draining, rich soil
  • cover the pots with plastic bags or plastic domes
  • place the pots in an area where they receive bright and indirect sunlight
  • when the seedlings are large enough to handle, repot them to larger pots
  • when to start to take on a bushy appearance, make sure to plant them outdoors, and in case of frost, make sure the seasons are off first before replanting

Potting and Repotting Techniques

Though pampas grass can grow quite large, you can still keep them in containers, especially the dwarf varieties.

Because of their large size, make sure to choose a container will enough room for its quick and fast growth.

Moreover, when the grass fills the pot, you can either divide the clump or transition the plant into the larger pot.

In order to do this, tip the grass onto its side and tap the outside of the pot until its roots are visible and come free.

Then, place the grass in its new pot and fill it will rich and well-draining soil.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that there are enough drainage holes to prevent standing water.

Overwintering of Pampas Grass

Surprisingly, these hardly grasses do not need much attention to survive in the winter season.

In fact, they do the when you leave them alone until it is time to prune them in either later winter or early spring.

Moreover, leaving the foliage will also create a protective layer for the plant.

Additionally, you may want to add an extra layer of mulch to help insulate your plant during the winter season.

Wrapping it Up

Pampas grass is famous for its large clumps of lush, grass live foliage, and creamy white feathery plumes, though pink varieties also look great. It is an attractive ornamental grass that is popular in a number of landscapes.

While they are very easy to grow, it is important to know about them before plantation. It is a fast-growing grass and can become quite large, ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 feet high and wide, and are even invasive in nature.

You can read about artificial grass here.

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