Is my Pampas Grass dead?!

clumsygrdnerApril 12, 2007

I _just_ bought some Pampas grass and then the freeze came. All the blades are brown and falling over. Is it dead? Please tell me it's okay...

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If it's real Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana), and isn't one of a few particularly hardy cultivars ('Pumila,' 'Patagonia' and 'Andes Silver'), it's not hardy in your zone, and may well be dead.

Is it in the ground? For how long?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:04AM
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It is the Cortaderia. It was listed as hardy to my zone... It is in the ground and it has been in the ground for several days, at least ten days.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 2:27PM
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The 3 cultivars I listed are hardy to 6, and the rest to 7 and 8. This grass will only establish roots in warm soil, and is better planted later in spring. It isn't likely the roots got established at all if you had freezing weather.

That said, a quick freeze probably wouldn't damage the rootball if it was a good one. It could, however, croak the foliage. Those brown blades aren't going to come back. Wait to see if it starts new growth, and if it does, cut off the dead foliage.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 4:01PM
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Thank you donn. Gosh I feel so cheated.
Tons of people here grow Pampas. It would be my luck that mine is going to croak. I guess I'll go heavy on the mulch and hope.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 6:18PM
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bamboo_nc(z7 NC)

Do we have to cut back our Pampass Grass each spring?? Or will it continue to look good?
We have been cutting it back but it's such a hassle

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 6:12PM
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Theoretically, Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) is evergreen, but in the northern reaches of it's hardiness, it can come out of winter looking pretty ratty. If it does, you cut it back and hope for the best. I've had only spotty success with it here.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 6:53PM
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chasinlex(zone 6/7)

I've got the same issue with my pumila pampas grass here in Lex, KY zone 6. It was green most of the winter until late Jan. It then turned white. I've cut it back and there are one or two green shoots coming up. I'm hoping it is just slow to come back. It also looks rotten and I hope it is not gettin to much water. We did not have any temps dipping below zero this winter but we did have a record 2 weeks in February when the temps never got above freezing...hovering in the 20s for 2 weeks straight.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 9:58PM
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We had a tremendous amount of rain. My pampas grass iss planted din a well drained area. The base looks a bit like a mold is on the deep stalk base. I have pulled some of the loose stalks out to give the dense base some breaathing room. We planted this last year and it looked beautiful. We trimmed in the fall. Our winter wasn't too severe. It is May 19, 2011. Do you believe this plant could have drown since we had 2 weeks of solid rain? Or am I over anxiouss to see the base creating some sign of life? Does it start sending green up in June? and start plums in July & August?

Thanks for your help. Should I give the plant any food?


    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 12:40PM
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If 63755 is your zip code, you're in zone 6, and it's possible your Pampas Grass didn't survive winter.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 2:05PM
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I've been patiently waiting for my pink pampas grass (cortaderia) to show signs of life. I bought it from a local nursery last June and it grew nicely over the summer but never produced any plumes. My neighbors' ornamental grasses are looking great already. We had a blizzard and below zero temps this winter, but there has always been wild pampas grass growing abundantly in this area (zone 5). Is the pink not as hardy? Should I call it quits on this plant and replace it with something hardier?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 7:49PM
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It probably died of too much cold. Pink Pampas (Cortaderia selloana 'Rosea') is listed as hardy to zone 7 or 8, depending upon where you look. I've tried it unsuccessfully in my warm coastal zone 7b-8a. The "wild Pampas" you see growing in your area probably isn't Pampas Grass.

Your local nursery should be ashamed, unless they had it marked as an annual.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:30AM
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Thank you, Donn. Yeah, the plant's tag says "perennial". So, could you suggest a grass to take its place? The location is on a southwest corner, against the brick wall of my house. I'd like something that would grow really tall and lush. Appreciate your advice very much!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:38AM
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Check out the Ornamental Grass Comparison Chart linked below. It's from, who specialize in ornamental grasses for cold climates. Behind the chart you'll find tons of information and photos of grasses which will be perfect for your zone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ornamental Grass Comparison Chart

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Thank you so much for the link! The chart is a great help; can't wait to study it more thoroughly and make a choice, but have a graduation to attend first. Then I plan to dig up that poor dead pink pampas asap...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:18PM
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So glad to find this site. Early this spring, early April just after that last little freeze, I put a couple two-foot high cortaderias from Home Depot in the ground and they have been growing encouragingly, now twice as thick and tall. Also, I started a bunch of seeds in the house back in Feb because nursery plants are so expensive. Amazingly, I now have about fifty babies from two to seven inches high, some in clumps and some single stalks. They've been outside hardening for about three months. I'm wondering if I should put my babies in the ground this year or wait until they get MUCH BIGGER, like the ones I bought. Maybe I'm wasting my time on some silly romantic plants? I love big ornamental grasses, so I will follow the link listed above. :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 10:45AM
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