How to Cut Back Pampas Grass


Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is an ornamental grass that grows best in USDA garden zones 8 to 11. There are some varieties that will also survive with extra care in zones 6 and 7. It is often chosen because it is a tall plant that is tolerant of a wide variety of environmental conditions and produces decorative plumes in shades of white and pink. Pampas grass will have healthier foliage and a better appearance if it is cut back yearly.

Step 1

Inspect the area around the base of the pampas grass. Remove any rocks, sticks and other debris that could get caught in the shears.

Step 2

Use the hedge shears to cut off all the leaves. Trim to a level that is a couple of inches above the ground.

Step 3

Fertilize after pruning to help the plant create new leaves in the spring. The University of Georgia Extension suggests using one with a 10-10-10 formula, which will supply all three major plant nutrients needed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for the sharp grass blades. Wear clothing that covers your entire body, such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants. Gloves are also necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Hedge shears
  • Fertilizer
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves


  • University of Georgia Extension : Pampas Grass
  • University of Florida Extension : Pampas Grass
Keywords: pampas grass, ornamental grass, grass care

About this Author

Marie Notnats enjoys learning about new topics and teaching people new skills. She has been writing professionally since 2008. She is a professional horticulturist with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Brigham Young University. She writes for,, eHow, and assorted gardening blogs.