The Q&A Archives: Pampas grass-isn't coming back??

Question: I bought several Pampas grass plants last season. They did very well all summer. However this spring no, or very few, new shoots have come back. It is now June and I should be getting some results by now, shouldn't I? I did cut them back to a small bundle of shoots in winter after they died-back. What have I done wrong??

Answer: Pampas grass or Cortaderia selloana is considered hardy into zone 7; according to your zip code you are gardening in the colder part of that 7 or zone 7A. Depending on your microclimate it might actually be as cold as zone 6. A windy or exposed spot is generally colder than a protected, sheltered urban location, for example. Also, these grasses will overwinter better in spot that is not overly wet, meaning it should be well drained. So it is possible they did not handle the winter very well for you. The hardy grasses usually begin to grow about when the tulips bloom. If these are still alive and sending up shoots they will regain some size this summer,however you may want to replace them with a hardier, more cold tolerant type of ornamental grass. Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you select some that would thrive in the growing conditions in your garden.

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