How to Cut & Trim Pampas Grass

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Pampas grass gives your yard a tropical feel.
Pampas grass gives your yard a tropical feel. (Image: pampas grass image by Kevin Penhallow from Fotolia.com)

Pampas grass is an ornamental grass used in landscaping yards. Pampas grass can grow quite tall and become very full. The plant is unusual because the millions of seeds it produces do not require pollination to sprout and grow. Pampas grass produces large, fluffy-looking plumes that come in a sandy color. The National Park Service has listed pampas grass as a “bad” plant because when left unchecked it can threaten coastal ecosystems. Keep your plant under control by cutting and trimming it regularly. Pruning should occur when the plant turns brown in the fall or winter. Never trim when the plant is still green.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Nylon rope
  • Long-handled garden shears
  • Wheelbarrow

Wear protective gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from cuts.

Prepare the plant for a trim by wrapping the entire plant with some nylon rope.

Use caution wrapping the plant, because the blades are very sharp and do cut. It is best to use an extra pair of hands--one to toss the rope and the other to catch on either side.

Make the lowest circle of rope about eight inches from the ground. This will be your base line. Do not trim lower than eight inches from the ground.

Cut the grass using large, sharp garden shears, in two sections if it is very tall. Cut several feet away the first time. Then trim down to the bottom ring of rope. Remove the rope as you cut.

Transfer the cuttings to a wheelbarrow immediately. This will prevent the pampas grass seeds from spreading around your yard.

Remove the rope from the grass and throw away the cut leaves.

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