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How to prune pampas grass
Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by John
There are very few plants out there that make as bold a statement as ornamental grasses and pampas grass in particular. This type of grass is the quintessence of ornamental grasses with its fluffy feathery tips that just long to be touched. These plants require very little care with the exception of annual pruning if you want to keep them under control and give them a general tidy up to keep them looking there best.
When to Prune
It is best for you to prune your pampas grass at the end of winter right before new foliage is produced. Usually, January or February are good times to prune pampas grass. This also allows you to still enjoy the plumes for the rest of the year which are often a focal point in late autumn.
Pruning pampas grass
When you prune pampas grass your job is to get rid of the older foliage and leave new room for new growth. The foliage, however, it’s very tough and it is razor sharp so it’s not something you want to do in shorts with your bare hands. You will need to wear a good pair of leather gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and long pants in order to avoid any cuts.
Having the right tools will make it much easier to get the job done. The best tool for pruning a very large overgrown pampas grass is actually a chainsaw but this should be done with care. If you are perhaps intimidated by the power of a chainsaw we recommend using a hedge trimmer or long-handled loppers on very large plants which give you a bit more leverage when it comes to making the actual cut and is far safer and just as effective but just takes a little more time.
Before you start pruning away, it might be best to poke around the base of your ornamental grass just to make sure there aren’t any animals that have designed their winter nesting inside. As soon as you are free and clear of any animals it’s time to get started.
We don’t recommend pruning right to the centre of pampas grass, especially with very large plants. The aim is to trim out any dead leaves once a year and maybe remove some of the older stems to make room for new growth if you think it’s needed.
Don’t forget to remove new side clumps to avoid overcrowding
When you do your annual pruning you might notice new clumps of pampas grass forming their own, smaller clumps off to one side or another. You want to remove these when you do your regular pruning so that your pampas grass in an overcrowded and it just helps keep it a little more under control.