Pink pampas grass is a striking accent plant to add to your garden. The large, colorful ornamental grasses grow fast, last late into the season, and handle just about any soil type with ease. They can even be grown in pots! Let's talk about all that you'll need to know to grow some showstopping pampas grass.
What Are Pink Pampas Grass Plants?
Pink pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana - 'Rosea') is a large ornamental grass that can reach 5 to 7 feet in height and gets almost just as wide. It's a fast-growing grass with large, feathery pink plumes. These plumes will bloom in late summer and will remain throughout winter, although they will fade into a light buff color.
Pampas grass is a trendy home decor and addition to gardens as it adds a beautiful texture and color to a winter landscape, and these plumes are great in both fresh and dried flower arrangements. Birds tend to flutter in and out of this large grass, feasting on the seed heads and making nests in the base. It is deer resistant, disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, has no real concerns with insects, and can handle both dry heat and humidity! You won't find many other plants that can boast all of that.
Pink pampas grass grows large and fast, so it's a great plant to use in various landscaping areas. It can serve as a centerpiece in a garden and form a hedge if planted closer together. Many landscape gardeners use pampas grass to frame corners or fill open walls around home foundations. It's tolerant of salt spray, so it's a good choice for seaside gardens and coastal landscapes. If you live anywhere north of USDA Hardiness Zone 7a, it'd be wise to plant your pampas grass in a large container so that it can be brought indoors during the winter. Although it gets so large, pampas grass can be grown successfully in large containers of 18 inches or more in diameter.
Pink Pampas Grass Growing Guide
Although pink pampas grass is incredibly low maintenance, keeping a few considerations in mind will help your plant thrive. If you plant your pampas grass in the right spot and give extra attention to it during the first couple of years while it gets established, you will hardly have to do a thing to it for years afterward.
Pampas grass is a sun-loving plant, preferring full sun or mostly sun. It can handle the heat of direct, afternoon sunlight. A little shade won't bother it much, but try to plant it in a space that will get at least 7 hours of sun daily. Direct sun is best.
Pampas grass can handle most soils - clay, loam, sand, or silt. Make sure that you choose a spot with well-drained soil and that it has a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. If the drainage is poor, add post or peat moss to improve drainage.
This ornamental grass doesn't require much watering. During the first couple of years, water it every couple of days to get your pampas grass established. Check soil moisture level frequently, and be sure to water the surrounding soil as well. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. Once the plant is established, it's very unlikely that you'll need to water it at all.
Again, pampas grass gets large - at least 6 feet high and 6 feet wide. How close you space them to other plants depends on how you are designing your garden bed or landscape. To use your pampas grass as a natural border or hedge, place each plant 5 to 6 feet apart. If you'd rather your plant not touch others, give it a good 12 feet from other ornamental grasses.
Planting in the ground is not your only option. You can grow them in large containers and grow them as potted plants.
While most ornamental grasses don't require any fertilizer, you'll find that your pampas grass will do better with some. Right after pruning in either late winter or early spring, feed it using a slow-release fertilizer, either in water-soluble or granular form. You can feed again in late spring and late summer with either organic plant food or quick-release fertilizer.
How To Prune Pink Pampas Grass
All pampas grass does best with yearly pruning. Pruning is necessary to get rid of the old stalks and make room for new foliage. It keeps the plant hardy and healthy. However, the grasses are tough and even sharp. You'll need the right tools and a process to follow.
- Consider when to prune. Most ornamental grasses are pruned in winter, but many gardeners are loath to cut off the beautiful buff flowers still visible on pampas grass during the winter. Thankfully, this type of pampas grass can be pruned back in early spring without issue.
- Get the right tools. Hedge clippers and electric shears simply aren't up to the task of pruning these mammoth 6-foot mounds. What you'll want to use is a chainsaw. In lieu of a chainsaw, long-handled loppers can get the job done.
- Clear the plant. Various small animals may have overwintered inside your plant. Use a stick to clear your pampas grass before doing any cutting.
- Start cutting. Cut straight through the grass near the base of the plant, leaving a tuft of stalks about 6 to 8 inches tall. There's no need to burn off the remaining stubs, as you would with other ornamental grasses. In fact, pampas grass will grow better if you don't.
- Fertilize. Right after pruning, feed the root ball of your pampas grass with a slow-release fertilizer.