How To Kill Pampas Grass In Your Lawn

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Pampas grass has completely beautiful flowers and that is why it is known as an ornamental grass in almost every golf course. However, it poses a huge threat to the gardeners as well as the crops. To be more specific, pampas grass is extremely competitive and is ready to compete for nutrients in the soil with any crop next to it. Besides, many home gardeners find it hard to control pampas grass as it can grow rapidly although being cut regularly.

Thus, it would be better to completely eliminate to avoid re-growth. This can be a painful task but with determination and our today’s article on how to kill pampas grass, you can accomplish it!

An Overview of Pampas Grass

Pampas grass, scientifically known as Cortaderia Selloana, is native to South America. It is named after the area of Pampas where it originates. It is then introduced to Europe, Australia, North America, and New Zealand. However, some places like Hawaii and New Zealand have banned this plant due to its negative impacts.

At first glance, pampas grass grows in clumps, which can be up to 10 feet tall. The leaves usually come in bluish-green or silvery grey with a length of 1 – 2 m and a width of 1 cm. However, the edges of the leaves are completely sharp and can cut exposed skin.

When it comes to flowers, pampas grass blooms in dense white panicle in late summer or early autumn. Coming in a wide range of colors, from silvery white to yellowish or purple, they are widely used in floristry. They are usually dried, sometimes dyed in other colors, to make flower arrangements and ornamental displays.

how to get rid of pampas grass

Negative Impacts of Pampas Grass

Large and Deep-seated Roots

The roots system of pampas grass can reach a length of up to 3.5 m. How large it is! Thus, if you want to completely eliminate it, the best way is to dig a little bit deeper.

Nutrients Competition

Pampas grass is a competitive plant and has invaded a lot of places throughout North America. Due to its competition, if you grow them next to another crop, the two plants will compete with each other for the nutrients in the soil. Eventually, this will make your crop unable to have enough nutrients to bear flowers or fruits and may die.

Prolific Seeding

As far as a single pampas grass flower is concerned, it can multiply a million times as each flower contains approximately 100,000 seeds. Then, if you are intending to grow pampas grass, its germination is absolutely helpful.

However, for fruits and vegetable gardeners, it is really harmful. And that is why you should eliminate this threat as soon as possible.

How to Kill Pampas Grass

Removing pampas grass is not an easy task. To make it simpler to deal with, we can divide them into 2 types, which are small clumps and large clumps. For each type of clump, there is a specific way to kill them.

Small Clumps of Pampas Grass

To deal with small clumps, the better way is to remove the pampas grass manually. Small clumps usually consist of grasses that are no taller than 3 feet and grow in low popularity. You can follow these steps to accomplish this:

Step 1: Cut the upper part with the gardening shears. Please do not cut the grass too close to the ground. Leave a little part of the stem for you to grasp and jerk.

Step 2: Dig around the base of each pampas grass. This is to help the roots loosen from the ground, making the next steps easier.

Step 3: Grasp the remained stem and jerk the pampas grass out of the ground forcefully.

Step 4: Dig a little deeper to check out whether there is any root crown left underneath the soil. This is completely important. If there is any but you do not remove it, pampas grass will grow again.

Step 5: Use the rake to clean the area where you did the digging and cutting, especially if the pampas grass has gone to seed. You can burn all the removed plants and roots. This is also the reason why we should not burn the pampas grass at first. Burning without getting rid of the roots will give them a chance to sprout again.

Large Clumps of Pampas Grass

On the contrary, large pampas grass clumps comprise those taller than 3 feet and grow densely. Dealing with large clumps is more tiring and takes a longer time.

Step 1: Use the weed eaters or lawnmowers to cut the pampas grass stems with a remaining of 2 inches above the ground.

Step 2: Prepare the herbicide. It is highly recommended that you choose the herbicides containing Glyphosate as this is the most common type to specifically rid of pampas grass. The ideal herbicide to water ratio is one to ten, which means 100 ml of herbicide to 1000 ml of water.

Step 3: Apply the ready-to-use herbicide to the base of the pampas grass.

Step 4: Clean the removed stems carefully.

Step 5: Wait for about 7 days.

Step 6: On the eighth day, cut all the dead plants and repeat from step 1. It may take 3 to 4 times before you can completely kill all the pampas grass in your garden.

Side note (Several gardening guides on lawn care)
  • Please determine whether your lawn consists of small or large clumps. Though Glyphosate herbicide is a comparatively safe pest control according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical control, in general, is not good for your health and environment, and thus, careful consideration will reduce the risks. It is better to kill the small clumps of pampas grass manually rather than chemical control.
  • It would be safer to wear protective gear like rubber gloves or long sleeve shirts when accomplishing this. The sharp edges of the leaves can cut your exposed skin.

pampas grass removal


In short, the secret on how to kill pampas grass is to handle the roots. As this type of grass has a powerful vitality, only a single root can help germinate. Still, please remember to wear gloves and pants to protect yourself.

Hopefully, with our guides on lawn care and grass control, you can totally eliminate the pampas grass plants. Good luck!

Source: Growing Herbs for Beginners com

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