How Do I Get Rid of Pampas Grass?

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Pampas grass is an ornamental grass that often becomes invasive.
Pampas grass is an ornamental grass that often becomes invasive. (Image: pampas image by Hubert from Fotolia.com)

Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is an ornamental grass that is sometimes used in landscaping. Although it is quite pretty and rather pleasant to look at, many homeowners find that once planted, it can be quite invasive. In some areas, it is even classified as an invasive weed. Getting rid of pampas grass can be a bit of a challenge, but with a good deal of persistence, it is possible to remove it.

Things You'll Need

  • Leather gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long pants
  • Chain saw
  • Machete (optional)
  • Shovel
  • Pick axe (optional)
  • Large garbage bags
  • Herbicide

Don protective clothing and gloves before you begin. The leaves of pampas grass have razor sharp edges that can cut unprotected skin.

Hand-pull smaller plants and seedlings from the ground. Do not allow the plants to have any further contact with the ground. Place plants in garbage bags or hang upside down on a nearby tree so the roots will dry out and plants will die.

Use a chainsaw or machete to remove the drooping outer foliage of the plant.

Continue cutting the foliage away from the plant until the root crown is reached.

Remove the root stock from the ground with a shovel. You may also wish to use a pick axe to help loosen the root crown and make it easier to pry from the ground.

Place all parts of the pampas grass into garbage bags for disposal. Make sure to include even the immature flowering stalks, since studies have shown that they often have the ability to produce mature seeds.

Apply an herbicide that contains glyphosate to any plants that return. It is important to note, however, that it may take several treatments for an herbicide to be effective.

Tips & Warnings

  • Although burning pampas grass will initially destroy the foliage, it will not kill the plant. New growth will typically reappear after three or four weeks. Allow the plant to re-sprout and start to actively grow before treating it with herbicide.

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