Pampas grass — a guest from the prairies


Pampas grass

Armed and very … beautiful.

This proud beauty can stand up for herself. The edges of its leaves are so sharp that they can cut.

It is for this property that cortaderia (from the Spanish «cortar» — to cut) got its name. But she has another name — pampas grass.

And this plant received the love of gardeners all over the world for its exceptional decorativeness and undemanding nature.

paipas grass

Under natural conditions, cortaderia is found in the South American prairies and New Zealand. There it forms an endless, almost impenetrable jungle.

Pampas grass

If pampas grass is planted separately in the garden, allocating a certain place to it, then it will rather delight you with its lush beauty than upset you with cuts.

By the way, cortaderia can be planted as a hedge. But she will carry out security service only in warm weather, because in autumn the leaves will wither, in order to open up in the spring with an even more magnificent curtain.

But the inflorescences of pampas grass will retain their decorative effect until spring. To do this, in the fall, the withered foliage is carefully cut off, leaving the flower stalks intact.

For the winter, the foliage of Cortaderia is burned or cut off.

The procedure is long and traumatic, because some site owners do it much easier — they just burn it.

Large curtains can be cut with a brush cutter, but not shorter than 25 cm, otherwise, in our climate, the plant will recover for a long time, or even not overwinter at all.

Experienced gardeners recommend postponing pruning until spring.

In view of the foregoing, I do not recommend starting large arrays of pampas grass. One or two plants in the most prominent places in your garden are enough.

In order for the cortaderia to grow lush and tall (2 or even 3 m), it is given the sunniest place with fertile soil. Therefore, this grass does not grow in non-chernozem and latitudes with low total insolation.


In horticulture, only one type of cortaderia has long been used. But on the other hand, it has a dozen varieties that differ in different colors of leaves and inflorescences.

Pampas grass

Cortaderia Sello (Cortaderia selloana)

  • Growth area: Chile, Argentina, Brazil
  • Flowering period: August-October
  • Color spectrum: depending on the variety, the leaves have different shades of green and white spots (veins), the inflorescences are silvery, golden and pink.
  • Height: up to 3 m
  • Growing conditions: a lot of sun, humus-rich soil, undemanding to moisture, frost resistance up to -18 0C, requires dry shelter for the winter.
  • Peculiarities: inflorescences retain their decorative effect until spring, are used to create dry bouquets, pistillate inflorescences look more lush than staminate ones.
pampas grass in the garden

As you already understood — cortaderia is not just a grass. This is a lush plant of gigantic growth. Therefore, a special place is assigned to her in the garden, so that there is enough free space around and a lot of sun.

In a small garden, pampas grass will look out of place due to a mismatch in proportions.

Cortaderia is blooming...

Giant patch of pampas grass

Cortaderia leaf fountain

pampas grass in garden design

Cortaderia is planted alone away from the paths

Cortaderia by the pond against the background of the lawn


An excellent company for pampas grass will be large stones or water surface.

From plants: giant rudbeckia, felt yarrow, perovskia, kosmeya, artichoke, spurge (tall variety Martinii), sedums, creeping juniper species, other ornamental cereals.
But best of all, cortaderia looks against the background of cut grass.

pampas grass by the fence

Cortaderia flowers

Pampas grass

pampas grass and sedum

Pampas grass and other cereals


Due to the traumatic leaves, pampas grass should not be planted too close to the paths and near the playground. And in general, it is better to admire such a large object from a distance.

Cortaderia — a heat-loving plant does not tolerate our frosty winters. Therefore, the root system of cortaderia requires dry shelter for the cold season. circumcised the curtain is generously sprinkled with dry (last year’s) foliage and covered with a film.


It is best to grow Cortaderia from seed in early spring. She sprouts already for 4-7 days.

Preliminary stratification of seeds (February, 1-1.5 months) will give the best germination. I sent a bag of seeds to the refrigerator for a month (not frost!) And the germination was excellent.

At this stage, there is no particular trouble with it — you need fertilized soil (for seedlings), sun, warmth (15-170c) and maintenance of humidity (spray from a spray bottle).

It is better to grow it in transparent plastic cups covered with cling film, having previously made holes in the bottom. Several seeds per container.

It is not necessary to cover with soil: make shallow (5 mm) holes or grooves and put seeds in them.

When diving, young roots can be damaged, so this procedure should be abandoned. And when the root system develops enough, the glass is cut and the plant with a lump is planted in open ground or for growing inaboutmore capacity (depending on the power of the leaves).

In the conditions of our climate, perhaps in the first year it is better not to plant the plant in open ground at all, preferring wintering in the cellar.

My first personal experience of growing from seeds was unsuccessful. After transplanting into the garden, the seedlings froze in growth, did not develop the root system and did not survive the winter. Perhaps she should have spent the winter in a pot and in a warm cellar 🙁

This spring (2021) I will sow again and be sure to publish a video report.

And here it is 🙂 here I sowed 15 perennial herbs, among them coitaderia. The seeds were simply scattered over the surface.

The second option is the division of the bush, which is best done in the spring immediately after the soil warms up.

Pampas grass blooms for 2-3 years. Here much depends on the illumination of the site and the fertility of the soil.

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