How to grow and care for pampas grass

How to grow and care for pampas grass

Common name Pampas grass
You can live the life of the zoya Cortaderia is crying
family Poaceae
Plant type Standing
Mature size 3-10 feet tall, 3-10 feet wide
Sun exposure Full
Soil type Well-drained but moist
Soil pH Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (6.0-7.5)
Bloom time Summer fall
Hardiness zones 7-10 (USDA)
Original area south america

Pampas Lawn Care

Pampas grass is a sunny area with well-drained soil. Pampas grass is easy to grow, and the plants rarely need watering or fertilizing. Pampas grass plants can be male or female; Female plants have showy plumes. The plant is usually propagated by dividing and replanting a clump of a female plant to obtain its more desirable traits.

This is a special plant that needs room to grow. Pampas grass typically grows 10 feet high and wide, and is easy to self-sow. For these reasons, it is important to consider planting sites carefully. Pampas grass is an ideal plant to use as a privacy screen or to camouflage objects such as HVAC units and unwanted views. Avoid planting pampas grass near your home, or anywhere you don't want to block the view, or where it could spread to your neighbor's property. This plant is also highly flammable, so do not plant near a grill or other fire hazard.

Pampas grass is considered invasive in parts of Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Florida.

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Pampas grass does best when grown in full sun, or at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. It will tolerate light shade for part of the day. Pampas grass will not thrive and flower in full shade and will be susceptible to fungal diseases.


Pampas grass is a hardy and tolerant plant. This plant does not care about soil pH, so you can grow it in any medium, well-drained, acidic, neutral or alkaline soil. Pampas grass also tolerates salt spray, making it popular for planting along the coast. In very dry and sandy soil, mix in some compost to help retain moisture.

Pampas grass does not do well in wet soil. Heavy clay soils should be amended to improve drainage. In wetter areas, plant pampas grass on a hill to help water drain away.


Water pampas grass well until it is established, after which this drought-tolerant plant should take care of itself. However, pampas grass needs more moisture when it is actively growing to look its best. Give it a good soak during severe or prolonged drought.

Temperature and humidity

Hardy pampas grass can tolerate high temperatures and humidity and will survive winter (and summer) in USDA plant hardiness zones 7-10. This plant does not tolerate winters reliably in zone 6 and will need to be brought indoors during the cold season. Pampas grass is usually evergreen in the south but can die in harsh winters.


Pampas grass generally does not require the use of fertilizers other than compost to improve the soil (and drainage). If you want to give your plant a strong start in its first year, fertilize in the spring, summer and fall with an all-purpose, slow-release plant fertilizer.

Pampas grass species

You'll often see pampas grass sold under the generic name “white pampas grass,” which refers to the color of the plumes. There are several types of this landscape plant that stand out from the others:

  • “Pink Feather”: What could be more stunning than pink plumes? 'Pink Feather' begins blooming in mid-summer and continues into fall, with an average height of 8 feet.
  • 'Pumila': Yes, you can enjoy the beauty and drama of pampas grass even if you don't have the space for a 10-foot plant. 'Pumila' foliage may reach 5 feet tall, but it has the same graceful flowers (which are ivory) as its taller pampas grass siblings. “Pumila” can be sold under the names Jet Streams™ or Ivory Feathers®.
  • 'Monvin': Sold as Sun Stripe®, 'Monvin' pampas grass features yellow-striped leaves and white plumes. Clumps grow to 4 feet tall, and flowers up to 6 feet long.
  • 'Blue Bayou': This cultivar has blue-green foliage and reaches 5 or 6 feet tall and at least 5 feet wide. The flowers are ivory or golden in colour.


The leaves of pampas grass are very sharp. Wear eye protection, gloves, long sleeves and pants when pruning or working near pampas grass, and plant it in an area away from where children and dogs play. Aggressive ground pruning in late winter helps keep the plant under control and will help encourage healthy growth for next season. Cut pampas grass to 12 inches or less in late winter before new foliage appears.

Propagating pampas grass

Pampas grass is best propagated by division. After pruning, use a sharp trowel to cut off a clump of the plant. After separating the clump from the main plant, dig down to loosen the roots. Extract the block and move it to the desired planting location. Dig a hole larger than the new plant, and water it sparingly after planting.

Make sure your pampas grass variety is not a trademarked or patented variety, such as some “Pumila” varieties. Propagating or growing these from seeds is a violation of copyright.

How to grow pampas grass from seed

Pampas grass can be grown from seed, but there is no guarantee that you will get the showiest female plants. Male plants also thrive but lack the silky hairs that make the plumes appear plump and feathery.

Carefully consider where you plant pampas grass, as a fully grown plant can reach 10 feet in height and width. Loosen the soil and sow the seeds directly in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. Do not cover it with soil, as pampas grass needs light and water to germinate. You can protect seeds from birds by covering them with nets. You can also start pampas grass seeds indoors in containers and transplant the seedlings outside. Follow these steps for planting:

  1. Prepare the soil by working the outside into a fine tillage or filling a seed starting tray with a lightweight, high-quality starter mix. Moisten the soil.
  2. Place a group of five seeds on top of the soil and press them gently. Space between multiple plantings should be 6 to 7 feet.
  3. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which takes two to three weeks.
  4. If starting indoors, transplant the seedlings into larger pots when they outgrow their native habitat. Then plant outdoors after danger of frost has passed.
  5. Water regularly during the first growing season.

Potting and replanting pampas grass

More compact types of pampas grass can be grown in a container, especially if you plan to bring it indoors during the winter. These plants need plenty of room to grow, which means you'll need at least a 10-gallon container, or a pot at least 15 inches wide. Containers can become very heavy and should be placed where they can be easily moved for the winter. Choose a container with drainage holes and use a good potting mix to fill around the plant.

Repot your plant every two to three years to give it enough room to grow. Remove the clump from the pot, divide it into two or three plants and replant it in fresh soil.


To overwinter in a container, wait until the end of the growing season in the fall. Move your container to a protected location that stays cool but above freezing, such as a garage. Reduce watering during the dormant season. You can also overwinter pampas grass in a greenhouse.

Common plant pests and diseases

Pampas grass may be susceptible to fungal infections in areas with excessive moisture or shade. Thin, brown leaves can indicate anthracnose, while reddish stems can indicate rust. Leaves with a white powdery coating are infected with powdery mildew. The best treatment for these conditions is increased sunlight and drainage. Move a smaller plant to a more suitable location if necessary.

Pampas grass has few pest problems and is tolerant to deer because of its sharp leaves.

How to make pampas grass bloom

Pampas grass blooms in summer and fall. Its showy plumes make the large grassy leaves even more dramatic. It can take up to two years for pampas grass to bloom if grown from seed. Although it can tolerate partial shade, pampas grass is grown in full sun for most flowers.

Excess nitrogen can cause ornamental grasses not to flower. Applying nitrogen-rich fertilizers may increase plant growth, but may come at the expense of flower production. Poorly drained or heavy clay soil may also be the cause. Too much moisture can result in fewer blooms. Pruning at the wrong time can affect flowering, so cut the plant back in the spring instead of fall. Divide the lawn every few years if growth becomes slow.

Common problems with pampas grass

If the crown or crown of a plant is overgrown, the middle of the plant may fill out too much and begin to rot or die completely. If this happens, divide the healthy outer circle of the plant into several clumps, then replant it around the garden.

Frequently asked questions

  • How long can pampas grass live?

    Pampas grass can live for 10-15 years.

  • What are some alternatives to pampas grass?

    If you are concerned about the size and potential spread of pampas grass, some good alternatives are Korean reed grass (Calamagrostis brachitricha), which grows up to 4 feet tall and has pink plumes; Shenandoah Switchgrass (The Shenandoah Panic.), with red-tipped green leaves that turn burgundy in fall; and Regal Mist Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capellaris 'Lenka'), which is fast-growing, covered in fluffy cotton candy plumes, and reaches 4 feet tall.

  • What are good companion plants for pampas grass?

    Whether you use pampas grass in a container, for privacy, or as a focal point in the landscape, pair it with other sun-loving plants. Choose selections that bloom late in the season for fall color. Black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, petunias, and sedums are good choices.

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