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How to Start Pampas Grass From Seeds

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

Things You Will Need

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

Tips

  • Pampas grass seeds typically will sprout within 2 to 3 weeks after planting.
  • Standard fluorescent grow lights are available at most garden stores.
  • Once you've planted the pampas grass outside, you'll find that the plant is very hardy, drought-tolerant and susceptible to few or no insects.

Warning

  • 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.

About the Author

 

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.