A Guide On When To Cut Pampas Grass

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on December 26, 2022 by Griselda M.

It is essential to know when to cut pampas grass not to overgrow and become destructive as its habit of outgrowing other plants.

This grass is the King of all ornamental grasses!  There is nowhere you won’t come across its décor or photo of some sort in homes, on social media, etc.

This could be the inspiration behind you growing your own pampas grass.  Whichever the case, this grass is fantastic to grow.  You will need to learn how to grow it, how and when you cut back pampas grass, and the overall care is given to this grass.

Facts About Pampas Grass (Cortaderia Selloana)

  • Pampas grass is evergreen grass that blooms in summer and autumn.
  • It is an oriental grass capable of reaching about 10 feet tall and ideal for gardens.
  • It is commonly grown for its interior decoration.
  • Pampas grass has a unique feather-like look and feels that works well with several different décor ideas.
  • Pampa plants require lots of care and maintenance because it’s an invasive species and capable of overtaking other plants and trees and crowding them out.
  • This grass is outlawed in most countries for its invasive characteristics.
  • Plant this grass away from other plants to ensure it does not outgrow them.

When To Cut Pampas Grass?

The best time to trim your plant is late winter or early spring if you want to keep the foliage and use it for décor.  In this season, the plumes and leaves are openly giving you feathery-like flowers.

If you plan to keep any foliage you trim, you will need to prepare it before use.  Hang the foliage upside down in a dry and dark location for a week or so.  Spray them with hair spray to ensure the seeds stay attached. Once dry, take it down and use it in any way you like.

If you don’t want to keep the foliage, you don’t have to wait until late winter or early spring.  You can prune in late spring or in the fall.

Why Is It Essential To Cut This Grass?

It is essential to prune and cut all kinds of plants, including flowers and ornamental grasses. Doing so helps maintain their height, not allowing them to overgrow.

Pruning is one of the most basic ways to take care of your plants.  It is going to keep your plants neat and organized and encourage new growth. When pruned, your pampas grass ends up being more robust and more beautiful.

Cutting pampas grass eliminates the ability to outgrow other plants around it. Pampas grass grows very fast and is invasive, and if left without care, it can suffocate flowers, trees, or any plant on the way.  The effects of its invasiveness are such severe point that some countries have banned it.

Therefore, if you plan on growing some pampas grass, get ready to prune it and cut it back at least once every year.

 pampas plant

Pampas Grass Pruning Alternatives

We understand, pruning pampas grass is difficult and takes time.  It is a challenging process that will leave you with sore feet and muscles, no matter how careful you are.

If you don’t fancy ordinarily pruning your pampas grass, you have the option of combing out the dead leaves.

As this grass is growing, some of the leaves may end up dying and falling off.  That’s not news; however, because of how bushy pampas grass gets, these leaves may not leave the plant or make it to the ground or soil.  Most times, the plant keeps its leaves suspended in the foliage.  This makes your pampas grass end up looking unkempt and bushier.

To make it look well-kept, grab yourself a rake and comb out through the plant.  Keep pulling the rake back to you as you use it.  This is the best way to keep your pampas grass clean if you cannot prune it.

It will not help you cut back on the length of your pampas grass but will help you keep it looking organized around your garden.

How To Prune This Grass

Cutting pampas grass requires a few tools that will help you cut the plumes of this oriental grass.  So before you get started,

  • Get the right protective outfit for the job – leather gloves, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, rugged boots, and full-length trousers.
  • Get your tools ready – large hedge shears, sharp electric chainsaws, or power hedge trimmers.
  • You will require heavy-duty tools because the leaves and plumes are tough.  The foliage can reach an average of 10 feet, add this to how tough the plant is, and you will be able to cut it with only sharp tools.
51EmyHoDNTL. AC SX679

The plumes on pampas grass make a perfect home for mammals to nest during the winter. Before you start cutting, poke around the foliage with a stick to ensure no animal is hiding in. nexcellnPoke around the ground a few times to scare anything that could be hiding there.


How To Cut Pampas Grass Easy

To make trimming and cleaning pampas grass easy, start by binding the old leaves with string, cords, or duct tape.

Cut away the leaves near the base of the foliage and leave a tuft about 8 inches tall.

Cut the remaining foliage around, ensuring you take care of every tool you use because they are sharp.

Once you finish trimming, burn off the remaining stubs or spread them as fertilizer around your grass.

How Much Does it Cost to Trim Ornamental Grasses?

If you’re wondering how much it cost to trim ornamental grasses, then take heed of the following information. These grasses are quite easy to maintain and care for if you are clued up about what to do. The first thing to take into consideration when you want to cut your grass is the amount of time it may take to get the job completed. This will give you an estimate of the cost as most grasscutters charge an hourly rate. The hourly rates may vary per region but normally, they charge around $50 to $75 an hour. 

However, if you have the time to do the trimming by yourself, then there are various options to cut down on the cost. You could opt for an efficient hedge trimmer that gets the job done in minimal time. The cleaning process afterward is another story.

If you can spare the time and you take pride in self-maintaining your ornamental grasses, then this would be the best option for you. If not, getting a good gardening service to get the job done effectively would save you a lot of hassle, despite the cost. You should also remember that ornamental grasses need a specific type of trimming to ensure that they last longer and grow their best.

How Long Does Pampas Grass Live Once Cut?

How long pampas grass lives once cut would depend on a few important factors. These include the environment they are growing in and the care and maintenance they are efficiently afforded. However, even after cutting your pampas grass, these plants are not very demanding and can thrive with minimal water and sunlight. These grasses can live up to three years once cut even if left unattended. However, if you want to extend their lifespan, going the extra mile to pamper them from time to time will afford you a lush landscape for much longer than three years.

Additionally, after trimming, pampas grass is akin to shedding which can become a worry. If this happens, then misting them with an aerosol hairspray will halt any shedding. If you don’t have this type of spray, then you could opt to use any other hairspray that you have on hand.

Here are a few tips to make your pampas grass last longer after cutting:

  • – Making use of floral protectants is essential if you want your pampas grass to last longer. Spray every stalk with a coat of the protectant to preserve their attractive plumes for an extended time.
  • – Aerosol hair spray is often used as it also aids in preserving pampas grass and maintaining its lush color over extended periods. You can rest assured that your plant won’t easily fade when using hairspray.
  • – To prevent ornamental grasses from flawing or dying sooner than expected, it is recommended that you divide them every couple of years. But, if you see that the center of the pampas grass is dying, then digging up the plant in its entirety and then dividing it is advised. This should be done in the springtime before any new growth is visible.
  • – Tilling the soil around your ornamental grass and adding a balanced fertilizer, quartz sand, and mulch will also aid in prolonging its overall lifespan.


Now that you know when to cut pampas grass and the right way to do it, how about you go ahead and try it on your grass?

If you are looking to prune the old foliage overgrown, you will need the best electric hedge trimmers to make your work easier.

Pampas grass can be challenging, and it remains a nightmare to prune for many gardeners in whatever season- winter or spring.  A sharp electric trimmer will make your work easier and faster.

Pampas grass injures the skin to protect your feet and hands and keep children from playing near it.  Besides this, pampas grass is an excellent ornamental grass to grow and have around your home or garden.

Learn more about When Pampas Grass Bloom.

Sharing is caring!