Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a beautiful, dramatic plant that adds an exotic touch to any garden. In winter, the leaves of pampas grass turn a rich golden hue, providing a striking contrast to the barren landscape. These hardy plants can withstand temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius, making them perfect for gardens in colder climates. They also thrive in cooler climates. There are several methods for overwintering pampas grass, but here are some of the most common ones you can use.
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Overwintering pampas grass – cutting back old foliage
Winter is a time of dormancy for most plants, when growth slows and leaves fall off. However, some plants, like pampas grass, remain evergreen and continue to grow through the winter months. If you live in a cold climate, you need to take extra care of your pampas grass so it can survive the winter. One of the most important steps is to cut back the old foliage. This will prevent the plant from becoming too top heavy and toppling over during heavy snowfall.
When does pampas grass need to be pruned? Pruning pampas grass is best done in the last days of fall. In addition to cutting back the old foliage, you should also remove the culms that are longer than 30 inches. This will help keep the plant tidy and prevent it from becoming too top heavy.
Will pampas grass grow back after being cut? Many are afraid to cut back their pampas grass for fear that it will not grow back. However, this is not the case. Pampas grass is a very hardy plant that recovers quickly after pruning. On the contrary, if you do not cut the plant back, it may cause problems.
Important. Remember to wear leather gloves when cutting back pampas grass, as the leaves are sharp and can injure the skin.
Fertilize pampas grass after cutting: Typically, you will need to fertilize your pampas grass after pruning it back. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs to regrow in the spring. You can use any type of fertilizer, but it is recommended to use an 8-8-8 fertilizer or something similar.
Mulch the base of the plant
To protect the tall silvery-white flower clusters from heavy snow and cold winters, you need to mulch the base of the plant. Mulching is one of the oldest methods of protecting plants from the cold. It involves placing a layer of material, such as straw, on the soil around the plant. In this way, the roots are insulated and protected from freezing.
Water thoroughly before the first frost: Another step to prepare your pampas grass for winter is to water it thoroughly before the first frost. This will prevent the roots from drying out and killing the plant.
Cover pampas grass with a cloche.
A cloche is a bell-shaped glass or plastic cover that helps retain heat and moisture, around the plant. To use a cloche, simply slip it over the plant and secure it with stakes or sandbags. The cloche creates a miniature greenhouse effect, keeping the plant warm and protected throughout the winter.
Important. Just be sure to remove the cloche when the weather warms up in the spring, as pampas grass does not tolerate heat well.
How to overwinter and care for pampas grass in a container / pot
The first step is to get a large pot with a capacity of at least (38 l) for the young pampas grass. This also means a lot of soil, which makes the plant very heavy. Choose a sunny place where the plant will not be knocked over by the wind or killed by the winter, because moving so much weight is just stupid. You can also put the pot on wheels to move it easily when needed. Potting soil works well for growing pampas grass in a container, but add some sand or granular material to increase absorbency.
Overwintering pampas grass – Final considerations.
Pampas grass is an eye-catcher in any garden, and it’s easy to see why. With its tall clusters of silvery-white flowers, it’s a plant that’s guaranteed to get noticed. And although it’s often associated with warm climates, pampas grass is actually quite hardy and can survive cold winters.
By following the tips above, you can overwinter your pampas grass and keep it looking beautiful. Pruning is one of the most important steps. So don’t forget to prune it right after the first frost. And don’t forget to mulch the base of the plant and cover it with a cloche to protect it from the cold.
Interesting facts and decorative uses
- Pampas grass is native to southern South America, from the Pampas region (hence its name). In the 1970s, it was planted in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand primarily as an ornamental grass, harvested after drying and used for decorative purposes – and in recent years, it has become very popular again!
- Pampas grass is actually considered an imposing grass (even an invasive weed in some areas!) and typically grows 1.5 – 3 m tall. It is very adaptable and can grow in a variety of environments and climates. Pampas grass blooms from September to February, although it is generally available year-round.
- Dyeing Pampas Grass: Although pampas grass is usually found in its natural color, the plumes can be sprayed with varnish to achieve the desired hue. This is often used when decorating with pampas grass
- Dried pampas grass – life in the vase: up to 3 years.
With what you can combine pampas grass to create an aesthetic composition in your garden? You can find out here !