The earlier you learn how to maintain pampas grass the better you get at managing this invasive ornamental grass.
It is very easy to grow this grass because it grows like a weed in California and Texas. But in Hawaii and New Zealand, it is banned by the government.
Pampas grass spread fast through traveling roots. It gets around fast overtaking your garden and your neighbors within very short notice.
Choosing the Right Conditions for Pampas Grass
Pampas grass embraces a wide variety of growing conditions which enables them to increase in size and width. With this in mind, it is important to make an informed decision on where to plant this grass. Give this grass ample room for growth. If you are planting pampas grass with another type, you must provide at least 6 feet of space between plants. Plant this grass away from structures because it is highly flammable and can present a fire hazard.
- Think of How High and Wide the Grass Grows – When choosing the right spot to grow pampas grass, you need to take into account the final height and width of the grass. Pampas grass grows wide and tall, the more reason you should account for the growth. If you don’t account for the growth, you could end up with the area looking cluttered and unkempt.
- Choose a Full Sunlight Area – Pampas grass requires full sunlight throughout the day; choose an area that will provide it with this requirement. Planting it in a shady area is possible but the lack of sunlight can affect its growing height. Also, some species may not flower if they lack direct sunlight all day.
- Where Not to Plant Pampas Grass – Do not plant your pampas grass next to the driveway or the road. The grass grows wide and tall obstructing the view of the road. It also obstructs the driver’s view of the driveway making it dangerous to drive without a clear view.
- Do Not Plant this Grass Near Air – Conditioning units, the blades of the grass might be caught in the machine’s fan damaging it extensively.
- Do Not Plant this Grass Near Where Children Play – Children will want to play with the beautiful flowers but the leaves have razor-sharp edges that might cut them. If they try to pull on the grass or fall into the grass, they will get hurt.
How to Maintain Pampas Grass
Once you have established your plantation for this ornamental grass, you will need to care for and maintain it. Generally, it needs very little care.
- Protect it from Cold – In cooler areas, during the end of the growing season, wear your gloves and protective gear. It is the season of tying the leaves of the plant together! This will help protect the plant against shock that is caused by cold. If you live in areas that freeze, you might need to cover your pampas grass when the temperatures drop to below freezing point.
- Pampass Grass Pruning – Early spring, prune and burn the dead stalks of your plant to the ground. This will not damage the plant or its roots. The pruning of all the dead stalks makes way for fresh new growth. During pruning wear protective gear to avoid being badly cut when handling the grass. The leaves are blade-like, razor-sharp, and can easily inflict injury if you don’t protect yourself.
- Fertilizing the Pampas Grass – Pampas grass does very well with little or no fertilizer. You can choose to either use fertilizer or not. If you choose to use some, give it a bit of balanced fertilizer in the springtime right after pruning to stimulate the springtime growth.
- Propagating Pampas Grass – After pruning your ornamental grass, it’s time to separate and replant the huge chunks of grass growing together. Slice the roots into clumps with a sharp shovel. Dig up a shovel of roots and plant them in a new hole that has the same height and length of the root system. You can use your hands to separate the roots. Place some fertilized potting soil in the hole before planting the new grass. Water the grass well to reduce transplant shock. Soon you will have a whole new plant.
Pampas Grass Care
Pampas grass comes in both male and female varieties. You can tell the difference by looking at the plumes. The females have fuller, silkier, more attractive plumes. Female pampas grass is much nicer looking and gives pleasing results. It is best to cultivate more female specimens than males for better results.