Are Pampas grasses back in fashion?

By January 18, 2023 No Comments

Pampas Friday

I have a weakness for ornamental grasses. They look awesome when the wind sets them in motion, they flower in the fall, and they look fantastic when frost covers them. We cut them back in early spring and then leave them on autopilot for the rest of the season.

If the clumps get too big, you can dig them up and divide them in late spring.

This past Friday, one of my co-workers kept referring to Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) all day when, I was hundred percent sure, we were looking at Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis). I quietly ignored the directions to cut them back because it’s too early. Miscanthus holds its structure nicely and looks great all winter. I say let it be and come back in early spring.

I found other work nearby.

Gardens illustrated

I still had Pampas grass on my mind after work, when I picked up the November copy of Gardens Illustrated. (It comes from the UK so it’s slightly behind). And there it was on pages 70-75, saying that Pampas grasses were back in style. I’m not sure why people stopped loving them but fans of dried flowers are partly responsible for its comeback. They look good to me. I just don’t see them that much.

Cortaderia selloana Pampas grass

Early spring is the only time you have to touch them. Cutback the old stems and remove one third of the foliage. Just remember that the foliage can cut your fingers, so use gloves. That’s it, you’re done for another year. Low-maintenance and great look!

If you like Pampas grasses but hate waiting until September to see the flowers, there is a ‘Patagonia’ variety available, according to the article in Gardens Illustrated. It flowers in June. Check with your local nursery.


Ornamental grasses look fantastic in the landscape because, unlike shrubs, they move with the wind. They flower in the fall and, if you don’t cut them back too early, they look beautiful covered with frost.

Cut them back in early spring.

If you like the look of Pampas grass, get some for your garden. It’s now back in style.

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