Pampas grass (Cortaderia) is one of the most popular ornamental grasses. It grows rapidly and can reach a size of 1.5 to 3 meters. Pampas grass can be planted alone or in addition with other perennials, the latter is even recommended. The reason: despite the enormous height and beautifully shaped plumes, the stems of cortaderia look a bit bare before flowering. However, in combination with other plants, this is not noticeable. What plants you can combine with pampas grass to create an aesthetic composition in your garden, you will learn in this article.
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Planting pampas grass – basic needs
Choose a sunny place: pampas grass needs a lot of sunlight to grow. Therefore, choose a spot that gets at least six hours of direct sun per day. They will also grow in partial shade, although the plants will be less healthy. Pampas grass is an invasive, self-seeding plant. One plant can produce a million seeds a year, which, carried by the wind, can develop wherever they fall. Make sure there is enough space between new plants. Pampas grass can be a fire hazard if grown too close to a flame source, such as a grill.
Prepare the soil: Pampas grass needs rich, moist, well-drained soil to grow. You can till the soil and add a balanced fertilizer or mulch to the garden, or add quartz sand to improve drainage.
Plant the seeds: Plant the seeds. Once you are ready to plant the seedlings, dig a hole about six inches deep. Place the plant in it and fill it with soil. If you are planting multiple plants, make sure to space them at least 180 cm apart so they have enough room to grow.
Watering: Water the planting site thoroughly to firm the soil and allow the seeds to root well. Once roots are established, the plant will only need watering every few weeks for the first year.
Prune Pampas Grass: Cortaderia grows quickly. To keep it under control, cut the grass blades back to the ground with garden shears in late winter or early spring.
Combining pampas grass with other plants – what to consider.
When choosing partners to combine pampas grass with in your garden, you need to consider the plants’ light and water requirements, as well as their size. Ideally, the maximum height of growth of each plant should decrease from the back to the front of the bed. Pampas grass combines well with lavender, Blaurautе and asters, but also with other perennials or grasses. Let’s look at the similar needs of these plants and how to grow them in the garden.
Mixture with lavender
Pampas grass and lavender have similar needs and requirements for the environment they need to grow – both are drought tolerant and sun loving. Plant lavender in a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.
Lavender does well in most soils, from poor to moderately fertile, but it is important that they are well-drained. Standing water and damp spots can cause root rot. Compacted or clay soils can be amended with compost or old manure to improve drainage.
When to grow lavender: Lavender is best planted as a seedling in the spring when the soil has warmed to at least 15 degrees and the danger of frost has passed. If you sow in the fall, choose larger, hardier plants so they can survive the winter.
How to plant lavender: Plant lavender at a distance of 90 to 120 cm from other plants. Lavender usually reach a height between 30 and 90 cm.
How to properly cut lavender, you can read here !
Mix with blue rue
Blue rue (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant subshrub that is often grown as a perennial. It is extremely drought tolerant and is excellent for outdoor landscaping. Its long blooming season is appreciated by those looking for a flower bed that blooms throughout the growing season. This shrub forms panicles of small, bluish-lavender flowers throughout the summer and into the fall. The plant’s stems and foliage rival and perhaps even surpass the flowers. Blaurate can reach a height of 1 meter and more.
Blue rue grows quickly and is best planted in late spring when the soil is warm, but before the weather gets too hot and dry. If you plant later, water frequently so the plants don’t dry out.
Combine pampas grass with asters
Asters are perennials that are often found in home gardens because of their beautiful flowers and easy care. The white to purple flowers can be seen from August to November and the perennial grows up to 5 feet tall.
Light: Plant asters in a spot that receives sunlight most of the day. Too much shade can cause the plants to become gangly and bloom less, predominantly in the more common varieties and hybrids.
Soil: Asters like loamy, slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. If your soil is alkaline, you can correct this by adding organic material such as well-rotted manure, leaf mold or compost.
Watering: Keep new plantings moist and water them regularly until the flowers have bloomed. One note: Try to water the base of your asters without splashing water on the leaves – this can lead to mold or fungus.
Temperature and humidity: Asters thrive in cooler temperatures and are frost hardy, meaning they can temporarily withstand temperatures near freezing. As for humidity, asters have no particular preferences.
Tip: Pampas grass and roses can also be combined wonderfully.