Pampas grass is a popular ornamental plant for growing in warmer climates and is frequently found growing in yards and gardens in the southern United States. Pampas grass is hardy in zones 5b through 11 and requires very little maintenance to thrive once established. Perhaps the most difficult part of growing pampas grass is planting, which requires choosing and preparing a suitable planting site.
Plant pampas grass any time of year, although the best time for planting is in late spring through early fall. Choose a planting site that receives at least six to eight hours of full sunlight per day and remains bright for the rest of the day.
Prepare the planting site by spreading a 4- to 6-inch layer of organic compost over the soil and incorporating with a garden tiller. Dig planting holes 6 to 8 feet apart, as pampas grass grows quite large and needs considerable room to thrive.
Loosen the roots of the pampas grass plant if they are intertwined to encourage new growth. Spread them gently with your hands, being careful not to cause unnecessary damage. Do not force them apart. Place each plant into a prepared planting hole and cover the roots with soil.
Moisten the entire site with water immediately after planting to compact the soil and provide moisture to the roots. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to the soil surrounding your pampas grass plant. Use shredded bark mulch or straw for the best results.
Care for your pampas grass by watering weekly during dry periods, pruning annually in late winter to remove the previous year's growth, and fertilizing after pruning with a balanced fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Things You Will Need
- Organic compost
- Garden tiller
- When pruning pampas grass, use hedge shears or electric pruning shears to cut the plant back close to the ground. With very large plants, a chainsaw may be required. Wear long sleeves and gloves to protect yourself. New growth will follow in spring.
- Do not plant pampas grass near buildings, as it can become a fire hazard when old foliage dries.
- Keep children and pets away from pampas grass and always wear gloves while handling the plant. Its sharply serrated leaves can cause injury.
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