How to Kill Pampas Grass

Overview

While both types of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana and Cortaderia jubata) are beautiful, they also have negative effects on native vegetation in areas where they are planted. Both types of pampas grass can self-propagate without the need for pollination, and are very prolific seed-bearers. Add into this the fact that they choke out native plants and have sharp leaves that can seriously injure humans and animals and the danger is clear. Ridding yourself of a pampas grass infestation is possible, but it is time-consuming.

Step 1

Wear your long-sleeved shirt tucked into your gardening gloves, jeans, boots, and high socks to avoid the risk of injury from sharp pampas grass leaves while you are working.

Step 2

Dig up or pull smaller pampas grass clusters from the ground. Make sure to get all their roots. Do not put them on the ground. Put them in the plastic bag.

Step 3

Attach a choker cable to the bases of larger pampas grass plants and use a winch to ease them up out of the ground. If the cable slips, dig up a little more of the base, reattach the cable with a better grip, and try again.

Step 4

Dispose of all pampas grass plants in the plastic garbage bag in your garbage. If your area has a disposal system for yard waste, do not use it. Pampas grass can grow almost anywhere, and will grow if given the chance. If you put these plants out at the curb with your other yard waste, you will merely be moving the problem elsewhere.

Tips and Warnings

  • If your area allows you to burn leaves and yard waste, you may consider doing that with your pampas grass plants as well. This can work, but you should be aware that just slightly shaking the plumes will scatter pampas grass seeds everywhere. They can just as easily float away on smoke as they are burning. The best way to combat the problem is to throw them away. Do not attempt to compost pampas grass plants or clippings. It is tempting, but you should treat pampas grasses that you uproot like weeds. You would never put dandelion plants into your compost, so do not do it with pampas grasses, either.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Jeans or other sturdy work pants
  • Boots that cover the ankle
  • Socks that come over the calf
  • Mattock, hoe, spade, or other digging implement of choice
  • Choker cable
  • Winch
  • Large plastic garbage bag

References

  • National Park Service: What Is Pampas Grass?
  • All About Lawns: Beware of Pampas Grass
Keywords: killing pampas grass, getting rid of pampas grass, pulling pampas grass safely

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.