What is pampas grass?
Pampas grass (lat. Cortaderia selloana) is a bushy perennial originating in South America - mostly from prairies. The ornamental grass has large plumes - fluffy and eye-catching. The plant does not require special conditions. Pampas grass grows both in warm and cold regions.
As the professional sources claim, pampas grass is a declinous plant. It means that it has both male and female flowers - but they grow on separate spikes. The fluffy, decorative plumes are the female flowers - the plant is so popular all over the world because of them.
Pampas grass can be planted directly in the garden. They are often planted in pots as well, as decorative elements of private houses or public spaces. They look fantastic in hotel hallways with decorations referring to the natural environment.
Pampas grass, due to its durability, is a plant which can often be found in the wilderness. It grows well in damp soils, therefore it can be found often by the seaside.
The most popular pampas grass - species
There are many pampas grass species, differing by the appearance, size, and color. They also have various soil and growth requirements.
Weiser Fede with white plumes and Rendatleri _**- pink pampas grass are the most popular species. **_Sunningdale Silver is another interesting type with its silvery plumes.
Small, dwarf pampas grass species are quite rare. Evita and Pumila are the most commonly cultivated types. A mini version of the plant is often grown in households - the name is similar - Mini Pampas.
How does pampas grass grow and bloom?
Pampas grass grows similarly most of the time. They form tall, lush bunches and their leaves reach up to 2 meters of length. As many claim, the plant resembles a natural fountain - after reaching a certain height, the leaves slightly bend.
In moderate climate, pampas grass is the biggest attraction by the end of summer. This is when the fluffy clumps appear. Depending on the species, they can last up to the end of November or even beginning of December. A lot depends on the weather conditions, which change frequently in the recent times.
Pampas grass can bloom in various colors - usually, it’s white and beige. Sometimes it’s pink - the flowers look very elegant. Pink pampas grass is typically more expensive. Regardless of the color, the fluffy clumps can reach up to half the meter - which is quite impressive.
What conditions does pampas grass require to grow in the garden?
Choosing the right spot for the plant is the basic issue for pampas grass cultivation. Although the plant does not require much, it needs:
- protection from the wind.
Pampas grass - soil requirements
Ornamental grasses such as pampas grass love rich soils - full of humus, nutrients and slightly acidic. It’s very important for their proper growth. Hence, if the conditions in your garden do not meet those requirements, you need to fertilize the soil - especially in spring and summer, before the plant starts blooming.
Pampas grass should hibernate in a relatively dry soil. It greatly impacts its survivability. Low temperature and high humidity might destroy the roots and make them rot. Even small decrease in the temperature to 0°C (32 F) is very dangerous for the ornamental plant.
How to care for pampas grass?
Pampas grass needs a proper amount of water during the phase of growth and blooming. Therefore, the most important element of its care is watering the perennial.
Clearing the weeds around the plant is another crucial aspect. Unfortunately, it might be difficult. The bushy perennial is quite thick, one needs to remove the unattractive plants on a regular basis to achieve the right results.
Be extra careful during the weeding process. Wear proper clothes and protective gloves. Pampas grass has very sharp leaves and it takes just a moment to get seriously injured.
When to plant pampas grass?
Pampas grass is very pleasant to plant. What does it mean? You can take it out of the pot and put in in the ground at any time expect from winter and the blooming season. In the moderate climate it’s between the beginning of April and the beginning of September.
It is recommended to plant pampass grass in spring after the last freezes. This way you can be sure that nothing will damage your garden decoration.
How to propagate pampas grass?
Propagating pampas grass at home is very difficult. It’s easy to harvest seeds after blooming, however they need to be specially stored, which is not always possible.
You should also keep in mind that at home, one can get male seeds of the plant. They are still beautiful but not as impressive as the female ones. For this reason, many people give up this method and buy a seedling in a store.
Where to buy pampas grass?
Pampas grass can be bought in garden shops and plant nurseries. Because the perennial is quite a peculiar plant - not all places have it in their assortment. When buying a seedling, remember to learn its specific species and variety. Sometimes you can also see the country of origin. It is very useful information for further care of the plant. What’s more important - thanks to it, you can protect the pampas grass against pests and diseases.
Make sure to check the seedling’s condition and seek for possible damage when buying pampas grass. If you notice anything - it is advised to choose another plant, as a damaged one would not grow properly in your garden.
How to use pampas grass at home?
Pampas grass is not only a brilliant decoration for the garden, but also for home. Dried plumes are often placed in vases. Despite its grandeur, this version of the plant is perfect for minimalistic interiors. It works very well with Boho style, and it can change the looks of the interior in an interesting way.
📍 When does pampas grass bloom?
Pampas grass blooms in September in moderate climates. Because of various weather conditions it might happen earlier. Typically, the blooming season for pampas grass falls between September and November.
📍 How to grow pampas grass from seed?
If you have seeds, you can plant them in late autumn or early spring. Choose a sunny spot, aerate the soil and spread the seeds, covering them with soil again. Water daily. Propagating pampas grass from seed might be difficult and sometimes it is better to buy seedlings in a shop.
📍 Where to buy pampas grass?
Garden shop should be your first step, although not every store has pampas grass in offer. You can also check plant nurseries or online shops.