How To Remove Pampas Grass


There are a variety of ways on how to remove pampas grass. These include manual digging, the use of herbicide, and even sprinkling some salt. Covering it up using a thick tarp, or you can also burn it up to get rid of this grass.

Why Should You Remove The Pampas Grass?

You are reading this because you’ve got pampas grass growing at home. If you’re reading this, then odds are you’re also wondering whether it’s safe to just cut it back or whether you should totally remove it. Well, it’s not that easy, but before you cut it back, you should know that pampas grass will grow back. It’s very invasive.

Pampas grass has a very wide growth range, and a dominant form of growth is a leafy stalk that can grow up to 8 feet tall. It has a very sharp and stiff-bladed blade that is very irritating to touch, especially when the blade is dry. Although it’s a relatively small plant, it produces a lot of seeds, which makes it a nuisance in lawns and gardens. It spreads rapidly, and it doesn’t take much to start a new patch. It also prefers shady, moist areas, making it a challenge for homeowners with hot, sunny yards.

Being that invasive, we can’t argue with other people wanting this grass to be removed in their garden or lawn. Well, no worries, there are various methods that one can do for its effective removal.

Methods of Removing Pampas Grass

Pampas grass is one of the worst weeds on the planet for many reasons. It does not die easily on its own, but it spreads like wildfire if you don’t get rid of it. Pampas grass can be a pain to remove from many surfaces. This plant forms a dense, lush carpet on the ground and has a deep root system, so it is difficult to get rid of without extensive digging.

This grass is a native of South America and is a close relative of cocksfoot and crabgrass. It is a perennial grass that grows to a height of up to two meters and can spread up to 30cm wide. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from grassy open spaces to muddy banks, and they can tolerate a wide range of conditions, from drought to flooding. 

To help you get rid of this grass, check out the following methods:

1. Dig it up

In areas where there is a high use of the pampas grass, it starts to grow in large clumps. If you have a place with a lot of pampas grass, you will have a hard time keeping it under control. You can try to remove it by hand, but the thick root system and the aggressive nature of pampas grass make this a difficult task. To get rid of the pampas grass, you will need to dig it up and remove it. This will require a shovel and a garden rake.

2. Use of chemicals

Although it is not a major environmental problem, the use of herbicides and other chemicals (e.g., pesticides and fertilizers) can be problematic. The use of these chemicals has led to the proliferation of many invasive plants in the U.S. and other countries. Although pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a non-native species in the U.S., it is spreading rapidly in parts of the country. In the Midwest, the use of herbicides to control weeds in agricultural fields has led to the proliferation of pampas grass.

3. Sprinkle it with some salt

Salt works wonders in the garden, but saltwater isn’t always kind to plants. It kills anything it touches, including grass. If you sprinkle salt on new pampas grass, it will die slowly. Sprinkling salt on new pampas grass, though, maybe the only way to remove the stinging grass.

4. Cover it up with a Tarp

While you can’t remove all of the pampas grass using conventional methods, there are some ways you can make it easier on yourself. The best approach is to work with the situation you have, so find some areas of your lawn where you can see more than just the grass. If you have bare spots, you can cover them with a tarp, which is one of the best ways to prevent pampas grass from spreading. Also, stop watering it.

5. Burn it up

Burning pampas grass is a popular method to get rid of this invasive species, but it doesn’t always work. Pampas grass is highly resilient and can regenerate from the roots after burning. This means that even if you burn the entire plant, it can still regrow if the roots are not completely destroyed. To ensure that pampas grass doesn’t come back, it’s important to take additional measures such as removing the roots or applying herbicides.

The Pros and Cons of Methods To Kill Pampas Grass

Here’s a Pros and Cons table highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of various methods to kill Pampas Grass:

Physical RemovalDirect and effective methodLabor-intensive and time-consuming
Herbicidal ControlEfficient for large infestationsPotential harm to other plants and the environment
SolarizationEnvironmentally friendly and chemical-freeLengthy process requiring several months
SmotheringPrevents sunlight and resources, leading to grass declineRequires consistent monitoring and maintenance
Cutting and TarpingCombines physical removal with suffocationLengthy process requiring several months
Repeated MowingHelps control and weaken grass over timeRequires frequent and consistent mowing for long-term control
BurningEffective for large-scale infestationsPotential safety hazards and legal restrictions
Seeking Professional AssistanceExpert guidance and tailored strategiesCost associated with professional services

It’s important to assess the specific circumstances, resources, and preferences before selecting a method to kill Pampas Grass. Consider the pros and cons table to determine the most suitable approach for your situation.

READ: Will burning pampas grass kill it

How to Control Large Pampas Grass?

Controlling large pampas grass plants requires a more intensive approach due to their mature size and established root systems. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively control large pampas grass:

  1. Safety Precautions: Before starting the process, ensure you wear appropriate protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and eye protection. Pampas grass leaves have sharp edges that can cause cuts or irritation.
  2. Cutting and Clearing: Begin by cutting back the pampas grass as close to the ground as possible. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears or a saw to remove the foliage and plumes. Bag and dispose of the cuttings properly to prevent reseeding or spreading.
  3. Digging and Removal: With the above-ground portion cleared, it’s time to tackle the roots. Pampas grass has an extensive root system, making complete removal challenging. Using a spade or shovel, dig around the base of the plant to expose the root crown.
  4. Digging and Cutting the Roots: Carefully dig around the root crown, exposing as much of the root system as possible. Begin cutting through the roots using a sharp tool, such as loppers or a pruning saw. Cut the roots into manageable sections to make removal easier.
  5. Digging Out the Roots: Continue digging and removing the root sections until you have extracted as much of the root system as possible. Be thorough and persistent, as even small remaining sections of the root can lead to regrowth.
  6. Herbicidal Treatment (Optional): If desired or if regrowth occurs, you can consider using a herbicidal treatment to further inhibit the growth of pampas grass.

Note: Controlling large pampas grass plants may require multiple efforts over time, as regrowth can occur from any remaining root sections. Vigilance and persistence are key to ensuring successful elimination.

MORE: How deep are pampas grass roots

Other Methods To Get Rid Of Pampas Grass

While bleach, salt, vinegar and herbicidal soap are occasionally suggested as methods to control Pampas Grass, it’s important to approach their use with caution. Let’s explore each method in more detail:

MethodEfficiencyMethod of Application
BleachIneffectiveSpray bleach directly on the foliage
SaltIneffectiveSprinkle salt directly on the grass or soil
VinegarLimited effectivenessSpray vinegar directly on the foliage
Herbicidal SoapLimited effectivenessSpray herbicidal soap directly on the foliage
GlyphosateEffective (with caution)Spray glyphosate-based herbicide directly on the foliage

It is important to note that the efficiency of these methods can vary depending on the size of the Pampas Grass plant, its root system, and environmental factors. Additionally, it is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and exercise caution when using any herbicides to minimize harm to the surrounding environment and non-target plants.

While some of these alternative methods may have limited effectiveness, physical removal, herbicidal control, smothering, solarization, and seeking professional assist


What is the best spray to kill pampas grass?

When it comes to selecting the best spray to kill pampas grass, there are several effective herbicides available on the market. Glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, are commonly used for controlling pampas grass. These herbicides work by translocating through the plant, killing both the foliage and the roots. It is important to choose a glyphosate-based herbicide that is specifically labeled for use on grassy weeds and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Ensure that the herbicide is applied directly to the pampas grass foliage and target the entire plant, including the root system, for effective control. It is advisable to wear appropriate protective clothing and apply the herbicide on a calm day to prevent drift and accidental damage to desirable plants.

READ MORE: Will Roundup Kill Pampas Grass

Will rock salt kill pampas grass?

Rock salt, or sodium chloride, can be used as a method to kill pampas grass, but it may not be the most effective or recommended approach. Applying rock salt directly to the plant or its surrounding soil can dehydrate and damage the grass, ultimately leading to its demise. However, it is essential to exercise caution when using rock salt, as it can also have negative effects on the soil and other nearby vegetation.

READ MORE: Will Rock Salt Kill Pampas Grass


In order to remove pampas grass from your property, you first must identify the type of pampas grass you have. Your first step will be to identify the particular type of pampas grass that you have. Once you have determined the type of pampas grass that you have, you will need to determine the best course of action to remove it.

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.