Beautiful Pink Pampas Grass
image by gerryahern/Flickr.com
Pampas Grass is an ornamental grass that will create a dramatic look for your landscape. This is the plant for the person who wants an impressive-looking landscape but doesn't have a green thumb. Pampas grass grows quickly to fill in empty spots and needs little maintenance. Varieties include plumes with white, pink and lavender. The plant is drought-resistant and not very picky about its soil. Pampas grass is most suitable in gardening zones seven through 11.
Choose a location for your Pampas grass by keeping in mind the full grown size of the plant. The can grow up to 12 feet high and are bushy and wide. Don't plant them too close to your house or the end end of your driveway, where they may block your sight. You will also need a location that gets five to six hours of sun a day.
Dig the hole 18 inches deep by 18 inches wide. Amend the soil with a bucket or two of compost. This will not only give the young plant nutrients but also will help the soil to drain better. Pampas grass plants like sandy loam soil. If your soil does not drain well, add sand in a one-to-one ratio before back-filling.
Plant the Pampas grass in the hole to the same level it is in the container you purchased it in. Never plant the clumps too deep, or you will have problems with your plant in the future. Place a little soil at a time back in around the roots, as you water the plant. This will ensure there are no air pockets around the root ball that can cause bacterial problems with the plant.
Fertilize with an 8-8-8 fertilizer to help establish the roots and foliage of the plant. Repeat the fertilizer every four months for the first year. The plant may not plume for the first year to three years.
Water the plant well after planting and then not again until the ground is dry. Over-watering will cause the roots to rot and may slow the development of plumes. Once the plant is established, it will not need to be watered except in cases of extreme drought.
Prune off dead foliage in late fall or early spring. Wear gloves and protective clothing as the leaves are sharp, and you can get cut while pruning. If you had a cold winter and the plant does not look healthy, you can prune the entire plant down to a foot or so, and it will grow back nicely in the spring.