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Guide to Growing Pampas Grass & Toetoe

Pampas grass is a beautiful grass of the genus Cortaderia.

It is a hardy perennial and has beautiful flowers of cream or pink in the late summer through to early autumn.

They reach great heights of 2.5 to 3.5 metres.

Pampas Grass
Pampas Grass by Tanaka Juuyoh.

Cortaderia selloana
Cortaderia selloana by kanegan.

Quick Cortaderia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Pampas Grass, Toetoe
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial
Height: 18 to 120 inches (45 to 300 cm).
Native: Southern Americas, New Zealand, New Guinea.
Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10. Or as an annual in cooler areas.
Flowers: Late summer through to early.
Flower Details: Cream, white, pink. Plumes
Foliage: Blades; can be sharp.
Sow Outside: Surface. Start of spring or the beginning of autumn. Grow Cortaderia singly or at a spacing of 4 or 5 inches (10 to 13cm).
Sow Inside: Germination time: two to three weeks in the light. Temperature 60 to 75°F (16 to 24°C). Seeds should be sown in vermiculite and watered from below. Nine or ten weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors following before the last frost or in autumn.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Rich soil, moist soil. Tidy dead leaves and flowers. Bring indoors in the winter in very cold areas (dig up roots and store in an area that is cool and dry). Seeds should be sown in vermiculite and watered from below Propagate: by dividing at the start of spring.
Miscellaneous: Some species are invasive, especially in regions with Mediterranean/Californian climates.

How to Grow Pampas Grass (Cortaderia)

If you choose to grow Pampas grass from seeds outdoors then they should be sown out either at the beginning of spring or late in autumn on the soil surface. They prefer to grow in a sunny area of the garden, and prefer a moist soil (well drained though) that is rich in nature. If you first plan to grow pampas grass (Cortaderia) seedlings indoors then they should be started about 10 weeks before they are due to be planted out in either early autumn, or before the last frost of spring. They normally take from two to three weeks to germinate, and should be grown in light at a temperature of between 15 and 24 degrees Centigrade.

Caring for Pampas grass

It is important to water the seedling from below as they may decay if watered from above. Once pampas grass seedlings are ready to be planted out they should be done at a spacing of one to two metres. If you require more plants then pampas grass should be divided at the beginning of spring.


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