Cortaderia Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Cortaderia plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Pampas Grass: Cultivation & Garden Use

Pampas grass is a beautiful grass belonging to the genus Cortaderia.

Cortaderia plants are hardy perennials. They produce beautiful flowers, of cream or pink, in the late summer through to early autumn.

They can reach great heights, typically in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 metres (8 to 12 feet).

Pampas Grass
Pampas Grass by Tanaka Juuyoh.

Cortaderia selloana
Cortaderia selloana by kanegan.

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.
Family: Poaceae.
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. They prefer a moist soil (well drained though), that is rich in nature.

If you first plan to grow Pampas grass (or other Cortaderia plant) 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. They should be grown in light at a temperature of between 15 and 24 degrees Centigrade (59 to 75°F).

Caring for Pampas Grass

It is important to water the seedlings from below, as they may decay if watered from above.

Once pampas grass seedlings are ready to be planted out, they should be done so at a spacing of one to two metres 3 1/3 to 6 1/2 feet). If you require further plants, then Pampas grass cand be divided at the beginning of spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Cortaderia genus have?

The Cortaderia genus has about 25 species.

Do members of Cortaderia make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Cortaderia species, particularly Pampas Grass, make striking focal points in gardens due to their large size and showy plumes.

Which Cortaderia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species is Cortaderia selloana, known as Pampas Grass, valued for its large, feathery plumes.

Are members of the Cortaderia plant genus fragrant?

Cortaderia species are not known for their fragrance, but their visual impact in a landscape is significant.

What is the perfect location to grow Cortaderia?

Cortaderia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It's best for large spaces as it can grow quite large.

Is Cortaderia invasive in the USA?

Currently, Cortaderia selloana, or Pampas Grass, is considered invasive in California and other coastal areas due to its prolific seed production.

How do I remove Cortaderia plants from my garden?

To remove Cortaderia, cut back the plant before digging it up to avoid the sharp leaves, and make sure all roots are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Cortaderia genus, part of the Poaceae family, is native to South America. The most known species, Cortaderia selloana, also known as pampas grass, is a perennial grass recognized for its tall, arching leaves and showy, feathery flower plumes in white or pink that appear in late summer.

To grow Cortaderia, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds or divisions. Regular watering is necessary, but they are quite drought-tolerant once established. They are often used in borders, meadows, or as specimen plants for their striking foliage and flower plumes.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Cortaderia plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Cloud Grass, Phalaris plant, and Melica plants.