Pampas grass (Selloana) is an eye-catching ornamental grass that adds height and texture to garden landscapes. Growing in clumps with graceful, flowing plumes that catch the eye, it can be planted anywhere from full sun or part shade and tolerates heat and drought well. Attracting butterflies while its seed heads provide food for birds, its flowers make dried floral arrangements popular as well as being easy to propagate from seeds that can be easily replanted each year as needed.
Pampas makes a beautiful addition to garden areas, but can become invasive without proper control. Therefore, it’s essential that planting it in areas where its spread will be limited – for instance in the middle of a bed, near an outbuilding, or restricted by fencing or the edge of the lawn. Although containers may work just as well for growing this plant xeriscape landscaping projects which focus on water conservation measures.
If the spread of pampas concerns you, there are other attractive perennial grasses you might like. Korean feather reed grass (Calamagrostis brachytricha), for instance, features pink plumes that grow quickly across Zones 3-9 and can reach 4 feet high with green to red-tipped foliage turning burgundy in fall. Regal Mist pink muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Lenca’) also produces delicate cotton-candy plumes that thrive across Zones 5-8 and can tolerate heat or drought as well.
Planting Pampas seeds
Pampas grass seeds require loose, well-draining soil in order to flourish. Germination occurs most successfully between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and seedlings need to remain moist but not waterlogged. Sow indoors between February and April and sow outdoors in late spring after frost danger has passed, after digging holes for each seedling or young plant and applying well-balanced fertilizer before filling in any remaining space with soil; then firm it down firmly as you plant to rehydrate it all after planting to boost germination rates further.
Mulch your plants to help retain moisture and prevent weeds. Water the grasses regularly during their first growing season to avoid drying out, then gradually decrease frequency as they mature. Fertilize four times annually using an all-in-one fertilizer such as 10-10-10, using 2 pounds of actual nitrogen per 100 square feet; evenly apply granular fertilizer around grass clumps without pushing against leaves or stems.