How to Cut Back Pampas Grass: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pampas grass is a beautiful ornamental grass found in many yards and gardens. However, pampas grass can quickly become a nuisance if it isn’t kept under control. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to cut back pampas grass.

Identifying Pampas Grass

how to cut back pampas grass

Pampas grass is a popular ornamental plant with showy plumes of feathery leaves. The leaves themselves are long, thin, and sharp-edged, resembling the typical grasses that you might find growing in a hayfield.

However, what sets pampas grass apart from other types of grass is the distinctive white or golden featherlike inflorescences that sprout from the top of each stem.

These flowers are often large and impressive, making them a popular choice for gardeners looking to add a dramatic visual effect to their landscapes.

In addition to being attractive, pampas grass is highly functional; it can help prevent erosion by stabilizing loose soil and suppressing weed growth with its tough matted rhizomes.

With its beautiful foliage and versatile function, pampas grass will leave an impression on any gardener who chooses to include it in their landscape design!

When to Cut Back Pampas Grass

how to cut back pampas grass

If not correctly cared for, pampas grass can become a nuisance. Overgrown clumps can crowd out other plants, and the sharp blades of the leaves can cause injuries. It is essential to know when to cut back pampas grass.

Pampas grass should be cut back in late winter or early spring. This will give the plant time to regrow before the summer heat.

However, pampas grass may need to be cut back twice a year in some regions, once in spring and again in fall. You will know it is time to cut your pampas grass when the blades start to turn brown or yellow.

When cutting back pampas grass, use sharp shears or a utility knife. This will help prevent damage to the plant.

How to Prune Pampas Grass

how to cut back pampas grass

Cutting pampas grass can seem daunting, with towering blades and seemingly countless slender stems. However, it is pretty easy to neatly and efficiently cut with a few simple steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to cutting pampas grass:

Step 1. Using a sharp pair of shears, trim the dead or damaged leaves from the plant. Cut these leaves off as close to the ground as possible at the base.

Step 2. Next, cut back any leafy growth that is longer than 3 feet. Again, cut these leaves as close to the ground as possible at the base.

Step 3. Once you have trimmed away the dead and damaged leaves, you can shape the plant by cutting back any remaining leaves to the desired length. When shaping pampas grass, be sure to make clean, sharp cuts so that the plant will have a tidy appearance.

Step 4. Finally, cut away any flower stalks that are longer than 3 feet. These can be disposed of, as they are unnecessary for the plant’s survival.

Alternative Methods To Cutting Pampas Grass

how to cut back pampas grass

Pampas grass can be difficult to control, as it tends to spread rapidly and produce a lot of seed. As a result, many gardeners choose to cut back their pampas grass regularly.

While this is certainly an effective way to keep the plant under control, it is not the only option. With some planning and effort, pampas grass can be successfully managed without regular cutting.

One alternative to cutting is to use physical barriers such as fencing or bird netting. This method can be particularly effective in preventing the spread of pampas grass into areas where it is not welcome.

Another option is periodic mowing or burning, which can help control the spread of the plant while still allowing it to retain its distinctive appearance. Whatever method you choose, remember that pampas grass is a tough plant that will continue to thrive even when faced with occasional setbacks.

Another alternative is to use herbicides. Herbicides can be used to control pampas grass without resorting to regular cutting. However, choosing an herbicide designed explicitly for use on pampas grass is essential.

Many general-purpose herbicides will not be effective against this tough plant. Read the labels carefully and follow the instructions before applying any herbicide to your pampas grass.


By following these simple tips, you can keep your pampas grass under control without resorting to regular cutting. You can enjoy this beautiful plant with a bit of effort for many years to come!

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