Pampas grass is native to south America, hailing from the Pampas region hence its name. It was planted in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand in the 1970’s primarily as an ornamental grass to be harvested and used for its decorative purposes once dried. However, it somewhat fell out of favour for a period of time when it became linked to wife swapping. Now that got your attention didn’t it!
Before this, Pampas had been extremely popular and it is now very much back in favour, mostly because a lot of people are unaware of the connection. I say ‘thank goodness’ for that as it’s such a wonderful plant. I often get requests to add some to bouquets or make arrangements made purely of pampas! Here’s some useful tips if you are thinking of adding to your garden or if you want to use as an accessory in your home.
Pampas in the garden – Pampas is a robust evergreen grass with erect stems bearing dense silvery or pink-tinged flowers which are excellent for drying. It will usually grow to 2.5-3m high and 1.8m or more, wide, blooming between September and February.
How to grow – If you want to have a go at growing pampas in your garden, then here are some top tips:-
- Look for a full sun position.
- Plant in fertile soil with good drainage.
- Make sure you allow for plenty of space for them to grow into.
- For their first year add a layer of mulch to protect it from frosts.
- Give it a general feed. I use Bone Meal. Approximately four to six ounces around the base of the plant should be sufficient.
- The good news is they can tolerate dry conditions but if we do have a very dry Summer then I would water.
- They are also generally pest free so you should be able to just plant, prune and leave
To help maintain the health of your Pampas, cut out last year’s stems and dead leaves in late winter, around January and February time. You can prune in early Spring but make sure it is early on as Spring is when new flowering shoots will now be forming.
When pruning make sure you focus on cutting out any of the dead leaves and debris in the centre of the plant and don’t forget to then add a layer of bone meal (see above).
Bringing Pampas into your home – Once snipped it should last a good couple of years. However, one word of advice, it sheds when not conditioned but there are a few steps you can take to avoid this from happening.
- Make sure you have allowed your pampas to dry at room temperature
- Once dried, trim the pampas to its desired length for your vase or arrangement and then arrange.
Once you are happy with your arrangement, set the pampas with a high hold hairspray – yes, you’ve heard me correctly you are going to spray with hairspray! This will not only ensure the pampas stays in place but will also help avoid further shedding. I would spray every 5-6 months or sooner if you start to see a significant decrease in shredding.
Because it’s worth it
- Remember, as pampas is already dried, they do not require water. It’s therefore a rather wonderful ‘green’ alternative to fresh flowers.
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk