From Fluff to Tough: A Complete Guide to Growing Pampas Grass

Table of Contents


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Dramatic, elegant, and graceful – Pampas Grass is a stunning addition to any landscape design. Whether you’re looking to create a statement in your garden, or hoping to add some height and texture to your yard, this complete guide to growing Pampas Grass will provide all the tips and tricks you need to cultivate and care for this beloved ornamental grass. From choosing the right location to pruning and maintenance, we’ll cover everything you need to know to enjoy the beauty of Pampas Grass in your own backyard.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

  • Low maintenance plant
  • Attractive landscaping plant
  • Drought & heat tolerant
  • Provides privacy
  • Produces feathery flowers
  • Can grow up to 10 feet tall
  • Resistant to pests & diseases
  • Can be used for erosion control

General Information About Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Plant Family: Poaceae (grass family)
Plant Latin Name: Cortaderia selloana

Plant Variations Available

Pampas Grass, also known as Cortaderia selloana, is a popular ornamental grass with an impressive stature that stands out in any landscape. This tall, majestic grass is native to the South American Pampas region, hence the name. The grass’s long, feathery plumes can reach up to 10 feet tall and are a striking sight.


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There are several variations of Pampas Grass, each with its unique appearance and growing characteristics. The most common Pampas Grass varieties include:

– White Pampas Grass: This variety is the most popular and recognizable. As its name suggests, it produces creamy-white plumes that can stand over 6 feet tall. It’s a hardy variety, easy to grow, and adds a lovely texture to any landscape.

– Pink Pampas Grass: This variety is like the white Pampas Grass, but with pink plumes that can reach up to 8 feet tall. It’s one of the most sought-after varieties, and it makes a stunning accent plant in any garden.

– Dwarf Pampas Grass: As its name suggests, this variety is smaller in size and ideal for smaller gardens or landscapes. It has a compact growth habit, and its plumes can reach up to 4 feet tall.


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– Ivory Pampas Grass: This variety has creamy-white plumes tinged with caramel hues at the base, giving it an understated appeal. It’s a quick-growing variety, but it requires sheltered growing conditions.

– Golden Pampas Grass: This variety produces a unique golden hue beneath its creamy-white plumes, making it a bold and dramatic statement in any landscape.

Overall, Pampas Grass is an excellent ornamental grass for adding height, texture, and interest to any landscape. Its elegant look and hardy nature make it ideal for gardeners, landscaping professionals, and homeowners alike. Be sure to choose the variety that suits your growing conditions and landscape design to enjoy a truly stunning plant.

Germinating Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Preferred Zones

When it comes to outdoor growing, Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) can be a beautiful addition to any landscape. This ornamental grass thrives in zones 7-11, which are characterized by moderate to hot temperatures and a similar climate to that of its native South America. If you reside in one of these zones, congratulations – you have the perfect environment for growing Pampas Grass!

The most ideal location for growing Pampas Grass is in an area with full sun exposure. It requires a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day to grow to its fullest potential. Pampas Grass is quite resilient and can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from dry to slightly moist soil. It does, however, prefer well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. If you have heavy clay soil, adding in organic matter such as compost or peat moss can help improve drainage.

Despite its ability to tolerate drought, Pampas Grass does benefit from regular watering during its growing season. This helps ensure the best growth and a healthy root system. You’ll want to water your Pampas Grass deeply about once a week, or more often during dry spells or excessive heat.

Another important aspect of growing Pampas Grass is pruning. As this grass can grow quite tall, it’s essential to cut back the previous year’s growth at the beginning of spring to allow for new growth. This also helps prevent the plant from becoming invasive.

One word of caution – while Pampas Grass may be beautiful, it can also become invasive in certain areas. If you live in an area where Pampas Grass is considered invasive, it’s best to avoid planting it altogether.

In summary, if you reside in zones 7-11 and have a sunny area with well-draining soil, Pampas Grass can be a stunning addition to your landscape. With regular watering, pruning, and proper care, you can enjoy this beautiful ornamental grass for years to come.

Sowing Instructions

When it comes to sowing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the best results.

First and foremost, it’s important to choose the right time of year to sow your seeds. Pampas Grass can be sown from late spring to early summer, when soil temperatures have warmed up and frost is no longer a concern.

Before sowing, it’s a good idea to prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening it up to a depth of around 6 inches. Pampas Grass prefers well-draining soil, so consider adding a bit of sand or grit to improve drainage.

When it comes to sowing the seeds themselves, there are two methods that can be used: direct sowing and starting indoors.

For direct sowing, scatter the seeds evenly over the soil surface and cover lightly with soil. Water gently, being careful not to wash away the seeds or displace the soil.


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For starting indoors, fill small pots with a mixture of potting soil and sand, then plant one or two seeds per pot. Water gently and place in a warm, sunny location.

Once the seeds have germinated and the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted to their permanent location in the garden. Be sure to space them out properly, as Pampas Grass can grow quite large – up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet wide!

With proper sowing techniques and some patience, you can enjoy the stunning beauty of Pampas Grass in your garden for years to come. Happy sowing!

Preparation Advice

Pampas Grass, also known as Cortaderia selloana, is a beautiful ornamental grass that requires a bit of care and preparation to grow successfully. To ensure your Pampas Grass thrives, there are a few methods and pieces of equipment you’ll need in advance:

1. Choosing the right location: Pampas Grass requires plenty of sunlight, so choose a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. It also grows best in well-draining soil, so make sure to choose a spot that isn’t too soggy.

2. Preparing the soil: Before planting your Pampas Grass, it’s important to prepare the soil. It’s recommended to mix in a bit of sand or gravel to improve drainage. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer to help your grass grow.

3. Planting: When planting your Pampas Grass, make sure to dig a hole that’s twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Gently remove the plant from its container and loosen the roots before placing it in the hole. Backfill the hole with soil, and make sure to water well.


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4. Watering: Pampas Grass is drought-tolerant but will require some watering during its first growing season. Water deeply once a week, making sure the soil is saturated but not waterlogged.

5. Pruning: Pampas Grass can grow quite tall, with plumes reaching up to 10 feet in height. It’s important to prune it back in late winter or early spring to keep it manageable. You can use pruning shears or a hedge trimmer to cut back the top third of the plant.

6. A sturdy rake: Pampas Grass can quickly become unruly and create an unsightly mess in your garden. A sturdy rake will help keep things neat and tidy, especially during the fall when the grass tends to shed its plumes.

By following these simple steps and using a few essential pieces of equipment, you can enjoy beautiful Pampas Grass in your garden for years to come.

Germination Tools and Equipment

Germinating Pampas Grass can be a rewarding experience, but it requires the right tools and equipment to get the best results. Here are a few essentials that you’ll need for germinating healthy Pampas Grass:


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1. Soil: Pampas Grass needs well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. You can buy pre-made soil mixes designed for seedlings or make your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.

2. Seed trays: You’ll need seed trays to start your Pampas Grass seeds. Choose trays with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling.

3. Germination dome: A germination dome helps to maintain a humid environment that promotes seed germination. It also helps to retain warmth, which is essential for successful germination.

4. Grow lights: Pampas Grass needs plenty of light to grow strong and healthy. If you don’t have access to natural light, grow lights can provide the right amount of light to support seedling growth.

5. Watering can: Watering your Pampas Grass seedlings is essential. Choose a watering can with a sprinkler nozzle to ensure an even distribution of water.

6. Fertilizer: Pampas Grass needs regular fertilization to grow strong and healthy. Choose a balanced fertilizer that provides equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

With these tools and equipment, you can germinate Pampas Grass seeds successfully and grow healthy, vibrant plants. Remember to follow the instructions carefully and be patient – it can take several weeks for your Pampas Grass seedlings to appear. Happy germinating!

Growing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Light Requirements

Pampas Grass is a beautiful, ornamental grass that can add depth and dimension to any garden or landscape. However, if you want to successfully grow this plant, providing the right kind of lighting is crucial.


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Pampas Grass tends to prefer areas with full sun exposure, so it’s important to plant it where it can receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. This means you’ll want to avoid planting it in areas that are heavily shaded, as the lack of light can cause the plant to become weak and vulnerable to disease.

Additionally, Pampas Grass is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of soil types, but it does require good drainage to thrive. So, when planting, make sure to choose a location with well-draining soil.

One thing to keep in mind when growing Pampas Grass is that it’s a slow-growing plant, which means it won’t require as much fertilizer as other plants. In fact, over-fertilizing can actually harm the plant, so be sure to use a slow-release fertilizer and apply it sparingly.

In terms of watering, Pampas Grass prefers moist soil but can tolerate periods of drought. However, if you live in an area with long dry spells, you’ll want to make sure to water it regularly to ensure it stays healthy.

To summarize, growing healthy Pampas Grass requires at least six hours of direct sunlight daily, well-draining soil, and proper watering and fertilization. By providing these conditions, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of this stunning plant for years to come.

Temperature Requirements

If you’re looking to grow Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) in your yard or garden, it’s important to keep in mind its temperature requirements. This stunningly beautiful ornamental grass thrives in warm climates with average temperatures above 60°F.

Pampas Grass is a native of South America, where it grows in the sunny, warm plains and mountainsides. It’s quite hardy and can tolerate temperature drops down to -10°F, but it’s important to note that these plants don’t do well in cold, wet, or humid conditions.


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In fact, Pampas Grass is a natural choice for hot, dry, and sunny climates. It can withstand high temperatures up to 100°F and can tolerate drought-like conditions. These hardy plants are also tolerant of a wide range of soil types and pH levels.

To maximize the health of your Pampas Grass, be sure to provide it with plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. It prefers full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. In addition, the soil should be well-drained, as Pampas Grass does not like to sit in water.

In summary, Pampas Grass thrives in warm and dry conditions with plenty of bright sunlight. By giving it the right environment, you can enjoy stunning, feathery plumes of this elegant, show-stopping grass in your yard or garden.

My Favorite Tools For Growing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Caring for Pampas Grass requires some tools and equipment to ensure its healthy growth and maintenance.

The first and most important tool is a good pair of gloves. Pampas Grass has serrated, sharp-edged leaves, which can cause scratches and cuts on your hands. Therefore, wearing gloves will protect your hands while you are pruning, planting, or transplanting this beautiful plant.


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You will also need a pair of sharp pruning shears to cut back the old, dead growth from your Pampas Grass. This allows for new growth to emerge, preventing the plant from becoming choked or overgrown.

A gardening rake can also be useful when it comes to the maintenance of Pampas Grass. Use it to remove dead grass, leaves, and debris that have accumulated around the plant. This helps to keep the area clean, preventing the grass from decaying and promotes healthier growth.

To ensure proper watering of your Pampas Grass, a good garden hose is important. It should have a nozzle that you can adjust to suit your needs. Water your Pampas Grass thoroughly and regularly, especially during hot or dry weather. Although Pampas Grass is drought-tolerant, it still requires regular watering to maintain its healthy growth.

Lastly, fertilizers can provide the necessary nutrients needed to keep pampas grass healthy. A general-purpose fertilizer will do or you can use fertilizer specifically made for ornamental grass. Be sure you don’t fertilize during the winter, which will encourage new growth before the plant goes dormant for the season.

By utilizing these tools and equipment, you can maintain the optimal health of your Pampas Grass. The plant being native to South America, it’s easy to care for, so with the right tools and proper care, your Pampas Grass can live a long, healthy life.

Preferred Soil Type

If you’re looking to grow lush and vibrant Pampas Grass, understanding the soil requirements is critical. Thankfully, it’s not too complicated.

First and foremost, Pampas Grass loves well-draining soils. Excessive moisture can lead to root rot or other fungal diseases, so it’s crucial to ensure that the soil can drain excess water. Sandy soils are ideal, but Pampas Grass can thrive in loamy soil as well.

The soil’s pH level should be between 6.5 and 7.5, as Pampas Grass prefers neutral to slightly acidic soils. A simple soil testing kit from your local nursery or garden center can give you a quick idea of your soil’s pH level.

Additionally, Pampas Grass loves full sun, so make sure you plant it in a spot where it can get plenty of light. Pampas Grass can tolerate drought-like conditions, but it’s essential to keep the soil moist during the first few weeks of planting until the roots establish.

Lastly, adding organic matter such as compost to the soil can help retain moisture, improve soil structure and add vital nutrients. You can mix it into the existing soil or use it as a top-dressing layer.


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In summary, Pampas Grass thrives in well-draining, slightly acidic soils with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Additionally, it loves full sun and benefits from a layer of organic matter such as compost. If you follow these simple soil requirements, your Pampas Grass will be sure to grow healthy and happy.

Watering Requirements

If you’re looking to grow Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), you’re in for a treat! These ornamental grasses are highly sought after for their striking presence and ability to add a touch of drama to any garden.

But as with any plant, proper watering is key to keeping your Pampas Grass healthy and thriving. So, how much water does it need?

Well, Pampas Grass is actually quite drought tolerant once established. In fact, overwatering can actually cause damage to the plant. In general, it’s best to let the top inch or two of soil dry out before watering again. This will encourage the plant’s roots to grow deeper in search of water, making it stronger and better able to withstand dry spells.

That being said, Pampas Grass does appreciate a good drink every now and then, especially during dry spells or hot weather. When you do water, make sure to give it a deep soaking rather than a light sprinkle, as this will allow the water to reach the roots where it’s needed most.

One thing to keep in mind is that Pampas Grass doesn’t like to sit in wet soil for extended periods of time. If your soil tends to stay wet or boggy, you may want to consider amending it with some sand or gravel to improve drainage.

Overall, Pampas Grass is a relatively low-maintenance plant when it comes to watering. Just keep an eye on the soil moisture and adjust your watering frequency accordingly, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and healthy specimen.

What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

If you’re looking to grow Pampas Grass in your garden or landscape, understanding its fertilizing requirements is vital for healthy growth. Pampas Grass requires specific nutrients from the soil to grow well, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These macronutrients are critical for the plant’s growth, and deficiencies can lead to weakened stalks, reduced flower production, and ultimately, plant death.

To provide your Pampas Grass with the right nutrients, it’s essential to fertilize it at the right time and with the right fertilizer. The best time to fertilize is in the spring before the growing season begins. You should also fertilize again in the fall to ensure that the plant has all the nutrients it needs to survive winter.

When choosing a fertilizer for Pampas Grass, opt for one with a high nitrogen content. Nitrogen is essential for promoting strong, healthy foliage growth. A slow-release, granular fertilizer is the best option for providing a consistent flow of nutrients over an extended period. You can also supplement with organic matter, such as compost, to provide additional nutrients and improve soil quality.

Distribute the fertilizer evenly around the base of the plant, taking care not to get any on the foliage or flowers. Then, gently water the area to ensure the fertilizer reaches the roots. Be sure to follow the package instructions for proper amounts and frequency of application.

It’s crucial not to over-fertilize your Pampas Grass, as this can lead to excessive growth and weakened stalks. Follow the recommended application rates and monitor your plants for signs of nutrient deficiencies or excesses.

In summary, fertilizing Pampas Grass is vital for promoting healthy growth and ensuring its survival. By providing the right nutrients at the right time and in the right amounts, you can enjoy the beauty of this striking grass in your garden or landscape for years to come.

My Favorite Fertilizers For Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

When it comes to fertilizing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), it’s essential to choose the right type of fertilizer to get the best results. The right fertilizers will not only enhance the growth of your plants but also make them look healthier and more vibrant.

So, what are the best fertilizers for Pampas Grass? Here are some options that you can consider:

1. Slow-release fertilizers: Pampas grass is a slow-growing plant, so it doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers provide a steady stream of nutrients over a more extended period, which will help your Pampas Grass grow at its own pace without any risk of overfeeding.

2. Organic fertilizers: If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, organic fertilizers are the way to go. These fertilizers are made from entirely natural materials such as bone meal, fish emulsion, or compost, which help nourish Pampas Grass with essential nutrients.

3. Nitrogen fertilizers: Nitrogen is a vital nutrient for plant development, and Pampas Grass is no exception. Nitrogen fertilizers can help boost growth, encourage greener foliage, and stimulate healthier blooms. However, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions carefully as too much nitrogen can damage your plant.

4. Balanced fertilizers: Balanced fertilizers contain all the essential nutrients, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, in equal amounts. These fertilizers work best for all-around plant health, including strong roots and blooms, as well as healthier foliage.


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When fertilizing Pampas Grass, it’s important not to overdo it. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid fertilizing during the winter, as your plant will be in dormancy. With the right fertilizers and proper care, your Pampas Grass will grow healthy and look beautiful year-round.

Harvesting Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Time To Maturity

Pampas Grass, also known as Cortaderia selloana, is a perennial plant species that can grow up to 10 feet tall. If you’re looking to cultivate this beautiful ornamental grass, you might be curious about how long it takes to mature from sprouting to full growth.

Typically, pampas grass takes about three to five years to reach maturity from the time it sprouts. The exact time frame can vary depending on several factors, such as climate, soil conditions, and how well you care for your plants.

From seed to sprout, pampas grass can take anywhere from seven to 14 days to germinate. Once germination occurs, the grass will begin to sprout and grow over the next few weeks. During this time, you’ll want to make sure the soil stays moist and the plants get plenty of sunlight.

As the grass continues to grow, it will begin to produce plumes or seed heads in the late summer or early fall. These plumes are the signature feature of the pampas grass, and they can be used in floral arrangements, dried for crafts, or left on the plant to create a stunning visual display.

Overall, pampas grass is a hardy and resilient plant that can thrive in a variety of conditions. While it can take several years to reach maturity, the wait is well worth it for the beauty and drama that this ornamental grass brings to any garden or landscape.

Harvest Instructions

Harvesting Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Pampas grass, with its long and feathery stalks that reach for the sky, is a beautiful addition to any landscape. Harvesting pampas grass can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully.

When to Harvest

The ideal time to harvest pampas grass is in late summer or early fall when the plumes are fully matured. During this time, the plumes will be at their largest and fullest, making them perfect for use in decorations.

What You’ll Need

To harvest pampas grass, you’ll need a few essential tools, including a pair of shears, gloves, and a bundle of burlap or twine. The burlap or twine will be used to bundle the plumes together once they’ve been cut.

How to Harvest

Start by putting on your gloves to protect your hands from the sharp edges of the pampas grass blades. Then, using your shears, cut the stalks of the pampas grass as close to the ground as possible. Be sure to cut only the stalks with plumes that have fully matured, leaving the younger stalks for later harvesting.

Once you’ve cut the stalks of the pampas grass, use your burlap or twine to bundle the plumes together. You can tie the bundle together at the base of the plumes, leaving enough of the stalks exposed at the bottom to dip into a vase or other display holder.

Storing Your Harvest

After bundling, prepare to store the plumes. Find a cool, dry place that’s out of direct sunlight, like a garage or shed. Make sure the plumes hang loosely, allowing them to breathe and preventing mold growth. Use a fan to boost air circulation and accelerate drying. The drying process could take up to a week or more, depending on whether the plumes were stored in an open or enclosed space.

Once dry, dust off any loose flakes, and trim the ends of the stalks carefully to fit vase or plate. Viola! You have some fantastic decor that’s perfect for adding height, texture, and visual interest to any room or outdoor space.

In conclusion, harvesting pampas grass is relatively simple, but it requires some preparation, proper timing, and the right tools. You can gather your pampas grass

My Favorite Tools For Harvest Time

When it comes to harvesting Pampas Grass, there are a variety of tools and equipment that can make the process easier and more efficient. Here are some of the best options to consider:

1. Cutting tool: One of the most essential items you’ll need is a sharp cutting tool, such as a pair of pruning shears or a serrated knife. This will allow you to cleanly cut through the thick stems of the grass without damaging them.

2. Gloves: Pampas Grass can be prickly and sharp, so wearing a pair of thick gloves is important to protect your hands while you’re working.

3. A tarp: As you cut the grass, it will fall to the ground and start to accumulate. Having a tarp or large bag nearby can help you gather it all up in one place and transport it more easily.

4. A ladder: If you’re harvesting taller blades of Pampas Grass, you may need a ladder to reach them. Make sure the ladder is stable and positioned securely before climbing up.

5. Protective clothing: In addition to gloves, it’s a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from any contact with the grass. This is especially important if you have allergies, as Pampas Grass can trigger respiratory issues in some people.

By having these tools and equipment on hand, you can approach your Pampas Grass harvest with confidence and efficiency. Remember to take your time, work carefully, and have fun – after all, there’s something deeply satisfying about bringing in a bountiful harvest of beautiful plants!

End of Season & Overwintering

As the season draws to a close, it’s important to take steps to care for your Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) so that it can survive the winter months and thrive come springtime.

First, begin by pruning any dead or damaged foliage from your Pampas Grass. This will not only help to keep the plant tidy and visually appealing, but it will also promote healthy growth next season.

Next, it’s important to cut back the plant significantly. Pampas Grass can grow to be quite tall, and leaving all that growth exposed to winter weather can be detrimental. Cut the grass back to about 6-12 inches above the ground, being sure to remove any dead or diseased material.

Once the plant is pruned, it’s time to protect it from winter weather. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to consider covering the plant with burlap or another protective material. This will help to insulate it from the cold and prevent any wind damage.

Finally, take care to water your Pampas Grass regularly throughout the winter. Although it may not need as much water as during the growing season, it still needs to be kept hydrated to stay healthy.

With these simple steps, you can ensure that your Pampas Grass will survive the winter and be ready to thrive come springtime. So take a little extra care now, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful and healthy plant for years to come!

Final Thoughts on Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Now that you’ve learned the essentials for germinating, growing, and harvesting Pampas Grass, you’re ready to embark on your journey to nurture these stunning plants. It’s important to remember that, like any living organism, Pampas Grass requires ongoing attention and care to thrive. But the rewards are certainly worth the effort. Just imagine the sight of towering plumes of silky white or pink flowers gently swaying in the breeze, serving as a backdrop to your outdoor living space. With the right combination of soil, sunlight, water, and TLC, you can make this vision a reality. We hope that this guide has provided you with the knowledge and inspiration to cultivate your own lush and vibrant Pampas Grass garden. Happy growing!

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Q: What is the optimal growing season for Pampas Grass?
A: Pampas Grass grows best in the spring and summer months when temperatures range between 60-75°F. It is not recommended to transplant or propagate Pampas Grass during its dormant season, which is in the fall and winter months.

Q: How often should I water Pampas Grass?
A: Pampas Grass is drought-resistant and can tolerate dry soil for extended periods of time. However, it is important to water newly-planted Pampas Grass at least once a week until it becomes established. Once established, it only needs occasional rainfall or watering during periods of prolonged drought.

Q: How do I properly prune Pampas Grass?
A: Pampas Grass should be pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Use sharp shears to cut the plant back to a height of 12-18 inches from the ground. Remove any dead or damaged foliage and dispose of it in the trash, as it can harbor pests or diseases. Avoid pruning Pampas Grass during the growing season, as it will disrupt the plant’s natural rhythm and inhibit its growth.

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