How to take care of pampas grass

Updated April 17, 2017

Pampas grass is a fast-growing ornamental grass that reaches heights of up to 20 feet when at the peak of the growing season. It is best grown as an accent or a back drop for other plants. Pampas grass is a low maintenance accent that is drought tolerant and fairly resistant to pests and diseases. Caring for it is not difficult. With a little knowledge of the environment on which the plants thrive, you will soon have thick, healthy pampas grass.

Plant the pampas grass in an area with full sun. The grass will tolerate poorly drained soil, but will not do well with salty soil or air.

Keep the grass wet until it is established. After that point, water only when dry. The plant will survive on little water, but will thrive best when the soil is moist.

Fertilise the pampas grass four times a year with a slow-releasing complete fertiliser, at the rate of two pounds per 100 square feet of grass. Begin fertilising in the early spring and end well before the first frost when the plant will go dormant. If the plumes seem straggly, reduce the number of times you administer fertiliser to the plant.

Prune the pampas grass early in February or March before there is any new growth. Be careful to wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt and jeans as the blades of the grass are very sharp. In some regions, the plant will die down to the ground with the frost. If this is not the case, cut the plant down to one foot. Also, prune any brown leaves or dead material at the base of the plant.

Divide the plant with a shovel when the centre dies. Replant the healthy sections of the pampas grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Pampas grass plant
  • Water
  • Fertiliser
  • Gardening shears
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About the Author

Sarah Morse has been a writer since 2009, covering environmental topics, gardening and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, a master's degree in English and a master's degree in information science.