How to Preserve Pampas Grass Flowers for Decorating

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Pampas grass produces large flowers, or plumes. The plumes of pampas grass can be several inches long and often appear feathery. If you have pampas grass tussocks growing in your yard, your enjoyment of the texture difference does not have to be limited to the flowering season of summer to fall. At the end of fall, before your plumes start dying, you can grab as many plumes as you want and preserve them for use in decorations and floral arrangements throughout the entire year.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Garden gloves
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Twine/string
  • Rubber bands
  • Clothes hangers
  • Aerosol hair spray
  • Cut your pampas flowers from the plant tussock. Use your garden shears to cut the stem of each flower you want to preserve at the lengths you desire.

  • Wrap rubber bands around groups of the pampas flowers at the stems. Since the flowers are fairly large and fluffy, you should limit your grouping to four flowers for optimal drying.

  • Lightly spray the pampas flowers with the aerosol hair spray. Allow it to dry and then spray it again. This keeps the fuzzy parts from falling off while drying progresses.

  • Tie two groups of pampas flowers to each clothes hanger. Use the twine or string to tie your stem groups upside down, with the flowers facing down, on each end of the straight bottom section of the hanger. You can use an "X" form to tie both sides of the stems, which will allow you to secure the groups to the hanger when you cross over to the reverse side.

  • Hang the upside down pampas flowers in a dark and dry area, but make sure that there is adequate air circulation to allow for proper air exposure.

  • Remove your pampas flower bunches after they have dried for about two or three weeks. Spray the flowers again with the hair spray and allow them to dry. You can now use them for decorating.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut your pampas flowers at various lengths to accommodate different decorating purposes and vase sizes.
  • The best time to cut pampas flowers is when the plume parts are full, before the grass fades in color and starts to wilt.
  • Stems will be straight when dried, but if you want to bend them for decorating, you can soak the stems in warm water just until they are soft. You can then bend the stems slightly and weigh down so that they will re-dry in this new position.
  • Gloves and long sleeves are necessary when working with pampas grass; its leaves are sharp and will cut you.

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