pampas grass care & pruning

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by Mick, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. CorneliaWathen

    CorneliaWathen Member

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    Location:
    Stone Ridge, NY, USA
    Hmmm, I cut mine to about 4 inches from the ground, but did not do so until I saw some green shoots beginning. The new grass is lush and growing fast.
     
  2. shockj2000

    shockj2000 Member

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    Location:
    san antonio
    Hi im in san antonio texas. I need to trim this stuff back. does anyone know if its ok to do it now just before winter say to 3 feet high? got the tails going but its overgrown. winters arn't to bad here...
     
  3. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    The plant should survive with a cut to three feet or 1 metre from the ground.... do you wish to encourage growth? If not, wait until it is dormant.
     
  4. shockj2000

    shockj2000 Member

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    san antonio
    I don't want them to completly die and thats what im worried about but they are way overgrown. Thanks for your help. Do u know much aboutcutting back rosemary as well. is it safe to top it as well as cut back overgrowth from the sidewalk? thanks for your help Baron...
     
  5. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Rosemary does not take to heavy pruning, 10% max. is advisable . Allow it to recover and continue the reshaping over the growing season.
     
  6. shockj2000

    shockj2000 Member

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    Thanks again for your help!
     
  7. BobWayne

    BobWayne Member

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    Location:
    Sallisaw, Oklahoma, USA
    I too live in Sallisaw, Okla. and would appreciate information that you receive on growing Pampas Grass in Okla.
     
  8. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Keep the plant sheltered in high frost zones, all day sunlight is recommended, rich drainable soil is a great medium, even generic soil...google Cortaderia selloana.
     
  9. BobWayne

    BobWayne Member

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    Location:
    Sallisaw, Oklahoma, USA
    Thanks K Baron,
    Cortaderia selloana. when Googled gave good sites on Pampas Grass .
    BobWayne
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    This may be too little too late, but I used to grow red pampas grass in Edmonton; it's very hard to kill it. And your summer growth conditions are very close to its native habitat (where I live now) so I'm not at all surprised that it's flourishing. In the fourth year you could try burning it back in the fall, but take extreme caution because Calgary's pretty dry and it would be very uncool to torch the coulees.

    I used to cut mine back to 2' tall, mulch it heavily, cover it in burlap, and pray for the best. Your styro idea is fantastic! It sounds like you're doing the right thing, and if you're worried about windchill you can put angled plywood wind buffers on the windward side to deflect the worst of that.

    And to control the spread, cut the seedheads before they ripen. Otherwise it will eventually take over the whole hill; but if this is what you want then just let it go.
     
  11. Laughing Dog

    Laughing Dog Active Member

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    Location:
    Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
    I only wish I had read this thread BEFORE I pruned the clump of Pampas Grass we inherited with our new house. What a wicked, wicked plant. I had spent an hour or so cutting back bamboo and decided to enthusiastically tackle the Pampas as well ... my poor hands have taken a beating.

    We are undecided if we actually like Pampas Grass, but will wait a year before we make up our minds. If we do decide to get rid of it, can we hard prune it and dig it up to give to someone who would appreciate it? Or is the root system too vulnerable to major transitions?
     
  12. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    Nope. Treat it like a weed; it can certainly behave like one. I've taken clumps straight off the desert and put them in my garden (and the gardens of others) with almost no transition shock. If you hard-prune it first, it will come back bushier the next year for whoever you give it to.

    Just be sure to warn them about the slicey-slicey.
     
  13. corporate punk

    corporate punk Member

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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC USA
    Back to the point. Only 2 answers have been given:
    1) gas powered long handled hedge clipper
    2) weed whacker

    I have tried electric hedge clippers, but the leaves are to flimsy so that didn't work. I have also tried electric powered chain saws which didn't work well because the leaves get wrapped around the chain. Since mine are over 20' tall, my gas powered weed whacker will not work. It has been suggested that I get a strap and pulley mechanism to bunch the leaves together by pulling it tight, and then cutting it with something. But it seems to me that the best way may be with:

    3) a giant machete?
    4) industrial grade pneumatic knives?

    The point is, other than throwing gas and a match on it, how can it be done in less than 15 minutes?
     
  14. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    I use a machete. Just a regular, garden variety machete. And rose-pruner's long-sleeved gloves. With practise, this takes about 10 minutes per plant. If you've never used a macehete before, it will probably take you longer.
     
  15. Alison

    Alison Active Member

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    Location:
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    I cut back at about eighteen inches above the soil level and used a pruning saw.
     
  16. Val Ammer

    Val Ammer Member

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    Location:
    Oklahoma City, USA
    Re: Grass

    I have the same request for pruning Pampas Grass. When and how should the pruning be done?

    I have another request associated with the forum. Where can I review responses to questions already submitted.
     
  17. Susan Johnson

    Susan Johnson Member

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    Location:
    Auburn USA
    How do you prune pampas grass back? The clump in my yars is probably 5' wide X 8' tall...and SO sharp. I am wondering if I can use a weed whacker...or if an electric hedge trimmer will work.
     
  18. Sad Landscaper

    Sad Landscaper Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    I am wondering after reading these posts, can I move Pampas Grass to a new location? My plants are over 5 years old and close to the house.
     
  19. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
    Ecuador SA Zone 12/13
    You sure can. Langley BC, or Langley, Virginia? You'll want to do it fairly quickly while it's still dormant - dig around it to find out the size of the rootball, then carefully lift it out. If you leave a lot of root behind, it will come back near the house. Transplant into a hole of comparable space in the new location. If you have very large clumps, you can also break them up at that time.
     
  20. Sad Landscaper

    Sad Landscaper Member

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    Location:
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    How big will the root ball be? Will I be able to lift it?
     
  21. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
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    Depends on the size of the clump. You should be able to lift it; if not, enlist a friend.
     
  22. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    Location:
    richmond virginia usa
    what if it gets bigger than you want it in the summer can u trim it up in the summer with a eletric trimer or sould i use a weed eater in the summer to prevent too wide of growth
     
  23. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    hey did u every get a answer to that question or try it the hard way and find out it would be helpfull to know the answer to that for my own knowledge thanks
     
  24. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Location:
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    He did. A regular, garden variety machete is the best tool I've ever found for trimming; I live in the native range of Pampas grass, use it in my gardens, and trim it before the rainy season. It takes 10 minutes per plant.
     
  25. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    Location:
    richmond virginia usa
    lorax thanks for your reply i recently planted the pampas grass about two weeks ago in between my fence and hamachi its about five feet away from my hamike and about 3 feet away other bushes on the right & left and its about 2 1/2 feet away from my chain linked fence i dont think the fence will be to much of a concern but i worry about it taking over my bushes on the sides and spreading to slice me on the hamachi when it drops seeds and spreads how do i prevent it from droping seeds and spreading like wild fire and when. i know to cut it back in the spring but isn't that to late won't it drop seeds by then i dont know what i should do. Should i move it if i should move it what could i stick there for privacy in its place. Any comment would be appriciated thanks lorax
     

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