Pampas grass - Cortaderia

What is the best location for Pampas grass?
The most common natural setting for Pampas grass is arid areas, but it does grow there along riverbanks. It therefore also grows well in our climate of the Netherlands. Plant this grass in well-draining nutrition rich soil, preferably in a sunny spot. In prolonged periods of drought, this grass does need extra water!

Can I prune Pampas grass?
It is best to remove any of its old leaves in early spring, cut them down to 30 cm. Be careful of its sharp leaf edges and wear good quality gardening gloves when pruning!

Can Pampas plumes be used as cut flowers?
The long Pampas plumes are often used in flower arrangements. You can also cut them yourself and place them in a large vase but do be careful because Pampas leaves are sharp! 
Where does Pampas grass come from?
This species originates from South America: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Pampas grass refers to the plains where they grow. Its genus name Cortaderia comes from the old Spanish word for chisel, which refers to the sharp leaves of Pampas grass.
When does Pampas grass flower?
The beautiful white Pampas plumes appear from August to October with its major flowering period being in September. Its male and female flowers are different. The male flowers are greyish/pink while the female flowers are lighter in colour. 
How do I protect this ornamental grass during the winter?
This is a subtropical plant, so it is sensitive to frosts. You can prune back the dead flower plumes for the winter, but it is best to leave its dead leaves for a while longer. To protect Pampas against frost you can tie all of its stems together close to the base of the plant. It is also important to ensure that the plant does not get too much water in the winter. In severe frosts, it is best to provide the plant with extra cover.

 

  • Winter hardiness:
    Needs protection, especially when still young

  • Soil type:
    Prefers sandy soil

  • Moisture levels:
    Damp but well draining soil

  • Location:
    Sun

  • Height:
    Can grow up to 3 metres high but its leaves will then start to bend

  • Evergreen or deciduous:
    Evergreen

  • Pruning:
    Prune back in early spring and remove its old leaves

  • Fertilizing:
    Use low-nitrogen fertilizer

  • Flower:
    Silver-grey and ink ornate plumes

  • Flowering period:
    August – October

  • Trivia:
    Suitable grass for planting next ot water/ponds. Do not forget to give it extra water during prolonged periods of drought.

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