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Cut pampas grass: When, how to prepare the ornamental grass in the spring to make it a garden gem?

The pampas grass (cortaderia selloana), the likeable evergreen representative of the sweet grass family, must be cherished and cared for again this year. With its height of 45 cm to a proud 3 meters and its striking, bushy, white fronds, this grass species from America is hard to miss and has great ornamental value for any garden or front yard . But how and when should you cut pampas grass? What should you keep in mind to enjoy the sight of this beautiful grass in the coming gardening season?

When to cut pampas grass? The optimal time

Cut pampas grass in the spring

When to cut fronds of pampas grass?

In the spring between March and April, as soon as the new shoots have grown about 10 to 15 cm from the mother canopy, it is the right time to give the plant a fairly severe pruning. This is necessary because this species of grass grows quite luxuriantly, ensuring the new shoots enough space and light for the coming season.

Cut pampas grass and arrange in a vase

It is also important to pay attention to the prevailing weather conditions within this period, because the open culms should not freeze due to wetness and low temperatures, if possible. This is also the reason why the pampas grass should not be cut already in autumn. The wetness and frost that penetrate the open culms would create an attack surface for rot and damage or even destroy the plant.

Cut ornamental grasses correctly useful tips for pampas grass

Ornamental grass is also a beautiful sight in winter. You can lightly tie the culms before winter to protect them during the cold months. So before you cut, the biggest frost should be over. Don’t wait too long, though, because then you could run the risk of damaging the new shoots with your pruning.

Cut pampas grass or clean it?

Cut and care for pampas grass in the garden or in a container


Unless the grass is still green, you should cut it about 20-30 cm above the ground, in any case above the new shoots, with sharp garden shears or hedge clippers. However, if the grasses are still green, it would be better to refrain from cutting, and in this case the grass should be cleaned.

You do this as follows: Run your hands through the leaves and rid them of dead foliage and coarser debris from the winter season. So to speak, they should carefully comb out the foliage with their hands. But beware – the leaves are sharp and even have barbs. Therefore, for this step, be sure to wear good garden gloves and long sleeves.

Cut pampas grass: Instructions

Cutting grasses in spring useful tips

How to cut pampas grass in the spring?

You should also make sure you have the right protective clothing when cutting. Protective clothing should consist of sturdy gardening gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved top. You should also have protective goggles ready. The old stems must be cut close to the ground, about 20 cm from the ground, in any case above the fresh shoots.

Planting and caring for pampas grass in the front garden


Cut pampas grass properly

Grab a bunch of the grass and boldly cut above the shoots, about 20 inches off the ground, with a sharp pair of garden shears or hedge clippers. In this way, you will work your way through the entire plant horst, piece by piece, in single batches. Do the same with the grasses that have not remained green from last summer.

How deep do you cut pampas grass?

Pruning ornamental grasses when and how in the spring

Cut pampas grass: The right height

It is not enough to cut only the upper fronds from pampas grass. Since the plant grows very quickly and luxuriantly, radical pruning is necessary. As already described, the height of the cut should be about 20 cm above the ground. Care should be taken not to damage the young shoots of the plant. Although this may seem a bit daring, give the young shoots of the ornamental grass the light and space they need to grow.