The Q&A Archives: Ornamental Grass

Question: I have a large bushy and quite healthy Pampas Grass. Is it true that I can get more plants by separating the grass at the roots and re-planting? Also, how do I care for this type of plant? What type of nutrients do I need to introduce into the soil?

Answer: Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is very fast growing in rich soil, but more subdued in poor, dry soil. It adapts from very wet to very dry soils, and requires full sunshine to keep it thriving. It doesn't need fertilizing but you can amend the bed with aged-compost or other organic matter prior to planting your pampas and the nutrients released from the decaying organic matter will boost the growth of your plant. You can dig and divide in spring or in autumn, cutting back the tops for ease in handling (the foliage can be razor sharp!). Pampas requires no particular care other than cutting down the dead foliage and dividing the plant when it becomes too large.

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