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Fastest Way to Kill Pampas Grass

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

With a height of up to 10 feet, a clump of pampas grass can make an impressive addition to your backyard. Due to its size, this ornamental grass can also overwhelm your landscape. If you change your mind about growing pampas grass, or if you acquire a backyard with pampas grass, you may be tempted to dig it out. This takes a long time, especially for mature clumps. Instead, go the faster route and chop it down before treating it with an herbicide.

Cut the pampas grass down to a height of 3 feet, or less, with pruning shears. Grasp a handful of pampas grass leaves together in a bundle and chop them away with the pruning equipment. Repeat until the entire pampas grass clump has been reduced to a more manageable size.

Spray what remains of the pampas grass clump with a standard glyphosate-based herbicide. Mist onto all exposed surfaces of the pampas grass, applying according to the guidelines on the herbicide's label as toxicity varies widely by product. The grass will die within two weeks.

Dig out the dead pampas grass, or leave it in the ground to decompose.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Pruning shears
  • Glyphosate-based herbicide


  • Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the sharp edges of the pampas grass.


  • If you try to dig out a pampas grass clump while it is alive, you run the risk of leaving behind bits of live grass stems and roots that can grow into new pampas grass clumps.
  • Glyphosate kills all vegetation, so avoid getting it on any plants that you wish to keep.

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.