How to Start Pampas Grass From Seeds

Overview

Pampas grass is a soaring ornamental grass species that can reach a height of 10 feet or more and is renowned for its giant seed plumes that come in eye-catching colors like pink and yellow. Pampas grass typically is propagated by dividing a mature female plant, but the ornamental species also can be started from seeds in a pot.

Step 1

Fill a gallon-sized pot with 1 inch of gravel for drainage, then top it off with soil-less potting mix.

Step 2

Sink three to four pampas grass seeds into the potting mix, 1 inch below the surface and equidistant from each other.

Step 3

Mist the potting mix with a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Repeat twice a day or as needed to keep the potting mix moist at all times.

Step 4

Set the pot in a sunny area that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day. Hang a standard fluorescent grow light 4 inches from the top of the pampas grass seedlings if you're starting the plant indoors in the winter for outdoor planting in the spring. Keep the light on for 12 hours per day.

Step 5

Water the pampas grass twice a day with sufficient water to moisten the potting mix to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Check the moisture depth of the potting mix with screwdriver, pencil or similar object.

Step 6

Thin out the seedlings when they have reached a height of 2 to 3 inches. Identify the tallest and most healthy looking seedling and remove all other pampas grass seedlings.

Step 7

Transplant the pampas grass outdoors as soon as the last frost date passes for your area.

Tips and Warnings

  • For best results, divide an established female pampas grass plant (the female plants are the ones that grow the ornamental seed plumes) instead of planting pampas seeds. Seeds don't germinate "true," meaning the resulting grass may be male or female and any one of a variety of colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Gallon-sized pot
  • Gravel
  • Soil-less potting mix
  • Pampas grass seeds
  • Spray bottle
  • Grow light (optional)

References

  • "The Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses: How to Grow and Use Over 250 Beautiful and Versatile Plants"; John Greenlee, et al.; 1992
  • Colorado State University: Ornamental Grasses

Who Can Help

  • Farmers' Almanac: Frost Dates
Keywords: pampas grass, ornamental grass, starting pampas seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.