How to Garden With Pampas Grass


Perennial ornamental pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) can reach heights of five to twelve feet, with a clump spread of four to six feet. Well-drained soil locations in full sun provide adequate growing conditions. Due to its massive size, gardening with pampas grass requires careful landscape planning. The plant is difficult to remove once established. Use pampas grass for privacy or for solo focal plants, recommends M. A. (Kim) Powell, North Carolina State University extension horticultural specialist.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is 6 feet deep and 4 feet wide.

Step 2

Mix 2 gallons of potting soil with 1 gallon of peat and 1/4 gallon of sand.

Step 3

Fill the hole with the potting mixture. Wet the soil. Allow the soil to drain for 15 minutes. Plant the pampas grass clump in the hole. Backfill, and tap lightly with the shovel to secure the roots and the plant.

Step 4

Plant a clump of pampas grass on the border corner of your property line. Measure 6 feet and plant an evergreen tree or shrub. Properly space and plant another evergreen tree or shrub. Continue alternating pampas grass clumps and evergreens to create a privacy border for property lines, advises M. A. (Kim) Powell, extension horticultural specialist.

Step 5

Plant a clump of pampas grass in the center of the yard as a focal point. Accent the grass by enclosing it with a circle row of spring-blooming flower bulbs. Add an additional circle row of fall-blooming flower bulbs.

Step 6

Plant a clump of pampas grass on both sides of a driveway entrance to accent the driveway.

Step 7

Water pampas grass weekly with 2 inches of water.

Step 8

Cut pampas grass to the ground in the middle of August.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting pampas grass in primarily shady areas due to high light requirements.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Pampas grass clumps
  • Evergreen trees or shrubs
  • Pruning shears


  • North Carolina State University: Ornamental Grasses for North Carolina

Who Can Help

  • AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System: Pampas Grass
Keywords: pampas grass, landscaping, ornamental grass

About this Author

Lisha Smith writes for several blogs and has freelanced for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Greensboro in psychology. Smith has self-published several books. Her areas of experience include gardening, cooking, home improvement, pets and mental health.