Pampas grass or Cortaderia selloana is something that you don’t forget if you have seen it before. It is a beautiful ornamental grass that has lush white tops on the top of each stem. These come in both white and pink colors, and the plumes are the most recognizable thing about them. They are beautiful ornamental grass, and it is actually very easy to grow pampas grass from seed.
However, despite their ease of growth and attractiveness, they do have a dark side that you need to be aware of whenever it comes to growing pampas grass in your home.
Growing Pampas Grass Seeds
You can find all types of pampas grass seeds. There are pink pampas grass seeds, purple pampas grass seeds, and more. Once you have seeds, which can be bought at any garden store, you will need to set up a spot to grow your pampas grass in. A planting container filled with peat moss and sand will do the trick because the plants require loose soil that is well-drained so they can grow faster. Place five pampas grass seeds evenly apart in the planter.
Press the pampas grass seed into the soil, but do not cover them up. instead, start to water the soil. It shouldn’t be soaking wet, but rather just wet to the touch, and you should add water slowly to avoid washing away the uncovered seeds. After the soil is wet, cover the planters with clear storage wrap or a storage bag, and then place the covered planter in a sunny spot.
As long as the ambient temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the spot receives full sun, your pampas grass seed should start to germinate and grow. Once the plants start to grow, transfer them outside and water the plants regularly, still keeping them in well-drained soil. Now, you’ve started to grow pampas grass!
It is a very easy plant to grow and maintaining white pampas grass is very simple as well. Perfect for a beginner gardener that wants to take pampas grass seeds and grow a very unique plant.
How Long Does It Take For White Pampas Grass To Grow?
White pampas grass Cortaderia selloana is a very fast grower, and a plant can go from pampas grass seeds to producing seeds of its own in 2-3 years. They germinate in the spring and can start producing pampas grass seeds in their second year of full sun. The pampas grass seeds production leads to a host of other problems though, which will be explained later.
Benefits of Pampas Grass
The main benefit of pampas grass is the attractiveness that it gives to your yard because the plumes that the plant produces are very nice looking and give a distinct and unique beauty to your lawn. They also require very little maintenance and don’t need to have round-the-clock care. The only real danger the plants need to deal with is a very cold winter, but they are hardy enough to make up for the losses.
They can grow up to ten feet in height, and many people use them as hedges or natural fencing because their leaves are surprisingly very sharp! Several people have reported being cut by the leaves of pampas grass, even after just brushing past the plants.
The Danger Of Pampas Grass
Pampas grass Cortaderia selloana is not illegal in most parts of the United States, but it is illegal in Hawaii, South Africa, and New Zealand due to it becoming an invasive species. All pampas plants are able to put out over 1 million pampas grass seeds in their lifetime, then they reproduce and spread those seeds quite fast. All of those new pampas grass seeds grow and spread their own million seeds, and so on.
With all of these pampas grass seeds growing about, the local wildlife and plants get overwhelmed as the newcomer seeds and plants start to hog all the resources. Eventually, the local plants start to die out because of the sheer number of pampas grass sprouts growing around them. They are an invasive species, one that will quickly grow out of control if their growth is not tempered, and that’s why certain states in the United States have banned them.
How to Control Pampas Grass in Your Garden
There are several chemical and natural ways to prevent pampas grass and pampas grass seeds from overtaking your garden, but you need to be vigilant as long as you have pampas grass in your yard. Pampas grass leaves are sharp enough to cut skin and lead to infections, so you should always wear long-sleeve clothing and gloves to deal with them.
For smaller clumps of grass, grab them and jerk the entire plant out of the ground, while also making sure to take out the root system. Place all of the removed plants into a bag and then put them in the landfill. Make sure to catch any seeds that fall!
If you have larger clumps of pampas grass that are more than three feet in height, you will need to use shears to cut them down to about two feet and then spray the stalks with a ready-to-use herbicide. Then, repeat the spraying process every single week until the plants are gone. Place the cut parts of the plant into a bag and send those to your landfill.
If you are using herbicides, make sure to keep the spray away from healthy plants in your garden that you don’t want to get harmed.
For a less permanent way to slow down the growth of pampas grass, head out into the garden and look for the seeds that have been shed by the parent plant. Pick the seeds up and dispose of them, and they won’t grow into new grass shoots.
Respecting Pampas Grass
Pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana, is a beautiful flower that can really look good in your garden, but it can quickly get out of control if you don’t take steps to curtail it. Do your best to stop the grass from growing out of control once it starts to produce its seeds, and you can be ready to have this unique plant in your yard.