The Q&A Archives: Tall Grass Maintainence

Question: I have various varieties of ornamental tall grasses. One such grass is called pompass grass. Should these be cut back very low in the winter months or should they be left as is (very tall).

Someone told me they should be cut down to a few inches above the soil line. Is this correct?

Answer: First off, pampas grass may or may not be hardy in your area, depending on the specific variety of grass you have; there are many varieties of ornamental grass and the hardiness varies. Since the seed heads are usually considered to be ornamental, many gardeners leave the entire clump uncut until early spring. You could also trim them back now if you prefer. Cut the stems and foliage off as short as you can -- six inches is about right. If your grasses tend to fall over in heavy snow you might experiment with trimming them a bit taller, say about 18 inches. If you do this, though, it will take longer in the spring for the new growth to cover the old stubs.

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