All About Dwarf Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana Pumila)

Dwarf pampas grass

Dwarf pampas grass, also referred to by its botanical name cortaderia selloana pumila, is an ornamental grass that features gorgeous white plumes that begin growing in the winter and become fully grown by June and July. Deer resistant and rabbit resistant, this plant is perfect for gardens of all sizes since you can cut back and size the grass as you please. It can grow as large as 6 feet tall and about 5 feet wide with one single seed!

Continue reading for standard information, such as:

  • The season to plant
  • The ideal zone for planting
  • When to trim back
  • How often to hydrate
  • How much light is required for proper growth
  • Which gardens this plant is most suitable for (we’ll give you a hint–it’s any!)

What Is Dwarf Pampas Grass?

Dwarf pampas grass (cortaderia selloana pumila) is an ornamental grass with long green stems and a fluffy, creamy white flower on the ends. Easy to grow and maintain, dwarf pampas grass can accompany a small garden or can fill up a large area of your yard. The plant can grow in pots or the ground–whichever is your preference.

Dwarf pampas grass is at its mature height in mid-late summer. This is when you can see the stunning cream-colored flowers in their respective and most beautiful state. If you do not want to grow this plant yourself and wait for late summer for the blooms, you can always purchase them from a store around June or July.

How Big Does It Grow and Where Can It Bloom?

This plant grows to a mature height between 3 and 6 feet tall and between four and five feet wide. Of course, you can cut back the width as the grass grows. In the most ideal conditions, the plant can reach eight feet tall. The white plumes are the main feature of the plant and take up a large portion of the plant’s height. In fact, when you plant a whole bush of this grass, the white plumes are likely the main portion to catch your eye.

Dwarf pampas grass has a hardiness zone of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. This means that you can grow it in warmer, more tropical climates, particularly in the southern part of the United States. As a result, if you wish to transplant your already growing dwarf pampas, it is best to do so in the spring.

How to Plant Your Dwarf Pampas Grass

Some basic information before beginning the process of planting: ideal location should be a top priority. Dwarf pampas grass can survive any zone with year-round warmth with plenty of sunlight. Additionally, a dwarf pampas grass seed should be sown in the winter for a successful bloom.

Spot Selection and Soil Type

The dwarf pampas grass has no preference if you place it to grow or thrive in a pot or the ground. You just have to make sure that the soil is adequate. If you select a pot for planting, make sure that is at least 20 inches in diameter.

To find the right spot in your garden, you should also take sunlight into account. Just like regular grass, dwarf pampas grass needs full sun to grow into mature height. Even if you have your dwarf pampas grass in a container, you should keep the grass in the light for as long as the sun is out.

To reach a healthy, mature height, the grass needs to be placed in the proper soil. Potting soil works well for the plants in pots, but adding a bit of compost can make the bloom more successful. Making about one-third of the soil organic can support the grass to look healthier and more beautiful. Overall, the plants work in all sorts of soils including sandy, dry, and clay.

Fertilizer and Time of Planting

For fertilizer, you can use an all-purpose 10-10-10. It has lots of nitrogen and other essential nutrients for your grass. The best time to add fertilizer is once you plant the grass. You can continue to add fertilizer as needed, but it is best to do it every 30 days or so.

Adding Support

Before the grass can grow nice and tall, it may need some kind of support. You can add a rod or some type of stake, fix it to the ground, and carefully tie some of the grass blades to it. If you have to resort to supporting the plants, don’t worry because many dwarf pampas grass must go through the same process before reaching their full, mature height.

How to Care for Dwarf Pampas Grass

To care for your cortaderia selloana pumila properly means having successfully bloomed plants with natural white flowers. To get plants this beautiful, you must follow the proper information on caring for these plants.

Sunlight and Watering

Pampas grass requires full sun, which can affect how much hydration it needs. Most plants in a warm zone need more frequent watering to last them through the spring and summer. Since these plants fully bloom in the late summer, H2O is a critical factor, even in the spring. You may also want to show some love with water after initially planting the seeds in winter.

The key to a successful bloom is healthy roots. One thing that dwarf pampas grassroots need is routine watering. Despite being drought tolerant, these plants must have regular water, preferably weekly, through the spring and into the summer when they reach their full bloom. Additionally, since this type of pampas grass grows in a less cold, hardy zone and needs full sun, it is okay to water the plant if it is looking a bit dry on the top of the soil.


A standard rule to any garden is to remove and cut back all unnecessary or dry pieces. If you notice any section of the plant as dried out, prune it away and make room for better blooms. This also helps when planting strong stems. Additionally, in the right zone, this grass can grow as high as 6 feet. Therefore, if 6 feet is not the ideal height, pruning is a must, and it is totally healthy. Additionally, if it gets too wide, you can cut the plant back just a bit and have a gorgeous plant.

Where to Buy Dwarf Pampas

You can find dwarf pampas grass (cortaderia selloana pumila) at home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot. You can purchase either the seeds or the entire plant, though the latter option is usually only available either in the spring or the following season.

To grow your own dwarf pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana pumilla), you can order seeds on this Etsy shop. You can order the color you want–the plant comes in more than just white–and you also pick the seed quantity. Shipping should not be too difficult for residents of the United States.

Overall, with some simple seeds of grass dwarf pampas, you can grow gardens of plumes. If you cannot wait a long time from winter to spring, you can always order your very own dwarf pampas grass in a container. There are also mini pampas grass versions for smaller, less wide gardens!

Rachel Lean
Rachel Lean

Adventurer, loving nature and plants, particularly Pampas Grass. Happy to share with other people the knowledge that I accumulated on the journey of my life.