Pruning Pampas Grass: When And How To Prune Pampas Grass Plants
The best time to prune pampas grass plants is in the spring or autumn when they are growing tall and spreading their leaves. They will grow back quicker than if you do not prune them at all. If you want to keep your pampas grass green longer, then you need to prune them earlier.
In the summer months, it is better to leave the plant alone since it will die down before too long. You can also wait until winter when they have died down enough that you don’t need to worry about them anymore.
If you live in a climate where the weather gets hot during the day, then you may want to prune your pampas grass plants later in the year. For example, if it is July and you want to start pruning them now, then you might consider doing so in December. However, it is still better to let them grow out for another couple of years before starting to trim them again.
The main reasons why people prune their pampas grass plants is because they are in the way or they take up too much space. There are many different ways to trim them if you don’t want to wait a few years before they get to that point. First, you can start by cutting off the tops of the stalks.
This will cause them to branch out and grow more leaves along the bottom portion of the stalk. However, the stalks will be shorter. The next option is to cut them down to knee high. After you do this a couple of times, they will start growing back fuller and thicker.
If you are looking to get rid of the pampas grass plants altogether, then you can cut them all the way down to the ground. However, they will likely grow back the very next season unless you take preventative measures. One way you can do this is by placing a concrete block on top of the plant.
This will prevent the stalk from rising up past it, causing it to grow sideways instead. If there aren’t any concrete blocks lying around, then you can always substitute with rocks, bricks, or anything else heavy.
It’s best not to wait until the pampas grass plants are overgrown before you attempt to prune them for the first time. By then, they will be a tangled mess of dead stalks and leaves. In this case, you may want to consider replacing them altogether with a different type of low growing plant.
Other Pruning Techniques
Pampas grass plants can also be pruned during the winter. However, this will only work if you still want to keep them around for another year. If you don’t, then it might be best to just cut them down completely at this time.
Wait until the plant has died down enough that you can easily see the stalks. At this point, you can remove any dead or dying stalks since they won’t be coming back. In addition, you should remove any suckers since these will take away food and energy that would otherwise go towards the larger stalks.
Furthermore, you may want to cut back some of the longer stalks by a few inches. You may be tempted to do a lot of pruning, but this isn’t necessary since the plant will grow back even fuller the next year. If you prune too much, it may not recover in time to keep growing before winter comes.
When To Prune Pampas Grass
The best time to prune pampas grass is during the late winter or very early spring. This will give it plenty of time to grow back before summer rolls around.
If you prune it during the summer months, then new growth may not have enough time to form before cold weather hits. Furthermore, you run the risk of it dying on you if you happen to get a particularly bad frost. While it’s true that the plant will probably bounce back the following year, there’s no guarantee that it won’t happen again.
Another time that you may want to consider pruning pampas grass is right after it blooms. However, you will need to be very careful when doing this since the stalks are especially brittle at this time. It may be best to just leave this task until the spring so that it has sufficient time to recover before summer.
Pampas grass can also be pruned throughout the growing season if you notice that it is getting away from you. This is especially true if you neglected to prune it last season and didn’t get around to it this year either. In fact, the sooner you get started the better since this plant can grow quite large if left unchecked.
However, the more you prune pampas grass, the less flowers it will produce. This is because it puts all of its energy into vegetative growth instead of blooming. For this reason, some people just choose to trim the perimeter of the clump rather than plunge in with shears.
This will keep the plant from spreading too much while still providing color.
Sometimes pampas grass plants can develop a very weedy appearance. In fact, professional gardeners and park authorities will go in and zap them with herbicides to prevent this from happening. The problem typically occurs when there is a lot of nitrogen in the soil.
This causes fast growth which leads to overcrowding and a weak structure.
The plants themselves do not die since they are so persistent. Instead, they just develop weak and straggly stalks that don’t stand up properly. This is a shame since it ruins the entire look of the plants along with giving them a bad reputation in general.
In order to prevent this from happening, make sure that you aren’t over-fertilizing your pampas grass plants. Look for a fertilizer that has a lot of phosphorus in it rather than nitrogen. Furthermore, make sure you aren’t over-watering them either.
During the summer months, this is especially important since the soil can easily get soaked and turn to mud. The mud will then prevent oxygen from getting to the root system and can cause it to rot.
Finally, always make sure you have the right tools for the job. A good pair of sharp pruning shears will make all the difference when it comes to keeping your plants under control. Dull shears are more likely to cause stems to tear which can lead to disease spread as well as a generally unsightly appearance.
Pampas grass is a beautiful ornamental grass that can provide a magnificent display of color if grown and maintained properly. With a little time, effort and knowledge you should have no trouble keeping this plant in its place.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ornamental grasses by C BACK – 1990 – newgarden.com
Pampas grass by GL Wade – 2009 – esploro.libs.uga.edu
TANTALUM BAR by …, CCSI Card, K Gps, CR Boxes, AW Door, AP Grass… – sukhothai.go.th
Care of ornamental plants in the landscape by GL Wade, B Sparks – 2009 – athenaeum.libs.uga.edu
Ornamental grasses in the landscape, A guide for the Intermountain West by CF HOLDER – Scientific American, 1902 – JSTOR
Grass-cutter by JD Gunnell, JL Goodspeed, RM Anderson – 2015 – digitalcommons.usu.edu
Recouping the pruning investment by PJ Haas – US Patent 1,367,380, 1921 – Google Patents