How To Take Care of Pampas Grass

A hand touches pampas grass
A hand touches pampas grass

One of the reasons for pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana being so popular is because it’s incredibly self-sufficient and is equipped to thrive in various conditions. However, there are some ideal weather and temperature conditions in care of pampas grass that reap the best growth. These are classified below: 


Pampas grass is known to prefer areas where it gets full sun conditions. However, the plant can still grow reasonably well under partial shade. When looking to plant your pampas grass, it would be ideal to choose an area that receives around six hours of light each day—even more than this would serve very well for your plant’s growth. 


Pampas grass is known to grow in almost all areas with varied soil conditions. With that being said, it does prefer loamy and sandy soil that is equipped to drain well. Your plant is bound to benefit from also providing come compost before the initial planting. However, it doesn’t require any heavy fertilization. An annual application of fertilizer, generally in the late winter, can be incredibly beneficial. Nonetheless, it isn’t necessary. 


Within the first year of transplanting or planting your pampas grass, you should water the area that it’s located regularly. This should be around once or twice a week. However, the plant doesn’t need much water, so you should make sure that you aren’t heavily watering the plant. Although the plant doesn’t need much water, you should water slightly more in climates with hotter temperatures. A fantastic benefit of using pampas grass is that it can tolerate saltwater spray. This makes it a suitable ornamental grass option if you’re in coastal regions, as this stimulates coastal growth. 


Take out the mystery and fear of pampas grass by understanding the basics.

When to Prune Pampas Grass?

If you want to encourage new growth, you should look at providing pruning to your pampas grass at least once a year. This should involve hacking back any of the old parts of this plant. In addition to this, pruning the plant in late winter is also an ideal choice because you can then have new growth when it comes to spring. 

You can expect your pampas grass to occasionally form extra clumps of growth around the plant’s central cluster. When noticing these clusters, you can remove these during your annual pruning. In addition to this yearly pruning, you should also thin your plant every three years. This is done by removing a third of the roots and foliage making up the plant. There’s no doubt that this is a challenging task to do, especially on an established plant. To make trimming and cleanup easier, first bind the old leaves together with string, Duct Tape, or bungee cords with hooks. You might be required to use a quality ax or heavy-duty hedge trimmer during this process to ensure that you get through to the root cluster. 

How to Prune Pampas Grass?

There are certain precautions you need to take when pruning your pampas grass plant. When pruning any pampas grass, you should wear long pants, sturdy and thick leather gloves, and a long sleeve shirt. This is because the grass blades are sharp and can cut your skin. These blades of grass also have the reputation of being tough to cut through. It’s for this reason that long-handled loppers would be an excellent choice to use when pruning your pampas grass. However, you could also use hedge shears

You can start the pruning process by poking a stick or other shark and long materials into the plant’s base. This should be done repeatedly. This is because small animals might have used the plant as a nesting site during the winter. You don’t want any surprises from unexpected habitats of your pampas grass while you’re pruning it. After you’re confident that there’s nothing nesting in your pampas grass, you can start cutting through the heavy leaves. You should maintain around 6 to 8 inches of foliage while cutting this plant. Doing this is an excellent way of promoting fresh growth. 

Once you have successfully finished pruning the plant, you can use a 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 fertilizer around the plant’s base. You don’t need to use such as a couple of handfuls is going to work correctly. It’s important to understand that pampas grass doesn’t require a heavy application of fertilizer. 

Related: Pruning Pampas Grass – Everything You Need to Know


You’re likely to gain the best propagation results when dividing the plant when new growth appears during the early springtime. With that being said, you can also divide pampas grass in autumn if you’re located in warmer climate zones. You should carefully dig up the plant and carefully remove it when dividing plants that are two to three years old. 

When you divide the plant, you should look at the root cluster and separate these segments that have the grass stalks and roots attached. After doing this, you can then replant these divisions at the same depth as initially planted. You should also use a shovel to cut a smaller segment from an immense root mass if the plant is four to five years old. From here, you can transplant the smaller piece into its new location that should have the same depth as the previous one. 

Flower Harvesting 

One of the many reasons why homeowners love pampas grass is because these plants boast a stunning appearance. A feature added to the appeal of this plant is the flowers that bloom. These flowers are perfect additions to any flower arrangement. To harvest these flowers for your floral arrangements, you’re going to want to reap the panicles as soon as these flowers have fully emerged. However, this should also be before these flowers are mature and start to shed. The beauty behind harvesting these flowers is that they can be used immediately or can be dried and used later. When gathering and using these flowers in your home, you should first spray the plumes with hairspray before setting these in place. This is done to prevent the bud from shedding. 

Diseases and Pests

Another fantastic feature about pampas grass is that only a few problems are commonly associated with growing the plant. During its lifespan, it might occasionally be subject to one particular disease known as helminthosporium leaf spot. Other than this, the pampas grass plant is seen to be disease-free. Using fungicide as an early treatment method is going to work to reduce the spread of this leaf spot ad prevent any further leaf losses. 

When it comes to pests, the pampas grass plant is more likely to house these pests than have any problems with these creatures. There are many different pests, such as flea beetles, small rodents, and various types of mites, that might want to make your pampas grass their new home. However, none of these pests are going to try and eat away at this plant.

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.