Cutting Back Pampas Grass

Cutting Back Pampas Grass: Cutting Tips From The Experts

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Pampas grass is extremely vigorous. For it to bloom abundantly year after year, it must be skillfully pruned. We’ll show you how to do it.

Ornamental grasses have been back in fashion in our latitudes for several years. They beautify our front gardens and balconies in their own very special way. Above all, there is a great demand for representatives of the genus of the pampas grass ( Cortaderia ), here especially for the American pampas grass ( Cortaderia selloana ). Because the enormous ornamental value in the garden is undisputed – even when dried out in winter. However, so that the ornamental grass can sprout again and vigorously after winter, it should definitely be cut. However, if it is not known exactly how this works, fatal errors can also occur here, which in case of doubt can even endanger the life of the pampas grass.

Cutting back pampas grass: cutting tips from the experts

Do you have to cut pampas grass?

Pampas grass doesn’t need a lot of maintenance. However, for it to develop properly, it should be radically pruned in the spring. Since the plant always sprouts from the mother plant, i.e. forms a so-called eyrie, enough space must be created for the new shoots. This is the only way for the grass to develop optimally. In late autumn or at the beginning of winter, the leaves of the pampas grass dry up. However, they do not fall off by themselves and should by no means be cut off in autumn. It is better to tie the shoots together in the upper area before the first frost. So your pampas grass gets first winter protection through the protective leaves.

Caution: Even when withered, the sharp-edged leaves can still cause cuts. Please always wear sturdy gardening gloves when working with the pampas grass.

Cutting back pampas grass: cutting tips from the experts

When should you cut pampas grass?

Pampas grass should always be cut in spring when the days have become frost-free. The inside of the stem of the pampas grass is hollow. If you were to cut your pampas grass in autumn, water would collect there and the plants would not like it at all. They would rot and frost would also have an easy time with a large, unprotected attack surface.

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Cut the pampas grass when the first shoots can be seen

The first shoots of the new year sprout from the eyrie of the mother plant in early spring. As soon as the young shoots have reached a length of around 10 to 15 cm, you can cut off the old leaves or shoots that were tied together in the previous year above the new shoots. Depending on the weather, and thus depending on the time of the new shoot, the plant can be cut back from March to May.

Cutting back pampas grass: cutting tips from the experts

How to cut pampas grass?

It is worth preparing a few things for pruning the pampas grass. The leaves of the pampas grass are very sharp and some even have barbs as a protective mechanism. Be sure to wear a long-sleeved top and long pants. Cut-resistant gardening gloves and protective goggles protect you from all possible dangers. Sharp secateurs are sufficient as a cutting tool.

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To cut the pampas grass in the spring after the last frost, first, loosen the tape with which you tied the ears and leaves together in autumn. Now grab small bundles of leaves and stems one after the other just above the plant eyrie and carefully cut them off at a height of about 20 cm. Please pay attention to the new shoots that are already showing so that they are not damaged. The new growth now has enough space and also gets enough light. Nothing stands in the way of a beautiful new bloom.

Cutting back pampas grass: cutting tips from the experts

Tip: In addition to cutting, you should also fertilize your pampas grass in spring. For this, we recommend a primarily organic long-term fertilizer.

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