How to Take Care of Pampas Grass

Overview

Pampas grass, a native of Brazil and Argentina, is a popular ornamental grass, prized for its dramatic appearance and graceful plumes that can extend as high as 20 feet into the air. Because of its size, Pampas grass needs adequate growing space where it can take center stage or act as a privacy screen or hedge. Tolerant of both cold and heat, Pampas grass isn't difficult to grow as long as it's planted in well-drained soil and is exposed to full sunlight.

Step 1

Plant pampas grass where it will be exposed to full sunlight. The soil should be moist, but should have excellent drainage. Don't plant pampas grass where rainwater tends to puddle for more than four or five hours.

Step 2

Provide pampas grass with an inch of water every week when there isn't at least an inch of rainfall. Pampas grass will do best with occasional deep waterings. Use drip irrigation, or allow a hose to run slowly at the base of the plant.

Step 3

Cut pampas grass back in late winter or early spring, before new growth emerges. To keep the pampas grass looking neat and healthy, use pruners or hedge shears to cut the grass back to about 12 inches above the ground.

Step 4

Divide pampas grass every three to four years in late winter or early spring. Dig up the clump of pampas grass, hose the soil off the roots, and and divide the younger growth on the outer edges of the root system with a ax, shovel or saw. If the older center section is woody and hasn't been growing well, discard it. Replant the divisions as soon as possible so the roots don't dry out.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip irrigation or garden hose
  • Pruners or hedge shears
  • Shovel
  • Ax, shovel or saw

References

  • Clemson University: Ornamental Grasses
  • NC State University: Pampas Grass
  • University of Illinois Extension: Types of Ornamental Grasses
Keywords: pampas grass, ornamental grass, divide pampas grass

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.