Pampas Grass

Flipp1105(8)August 30, 2011

Howdy -

This is the first year in my house and I have two big clumps of Pampas grass. One of them just bloomed in the past three weeks and now it looks like all of the blades are turning yellow. Really more like the entire clump is dying. The other clump bloomed about two weeks later but still appears to be as green as ever. Are these supposed to turn yellow after blooming? When we moved in last fall I swear up and down they were both green.


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They should be evergreen in your zone. The yellowing is not a good sign.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 1:48PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

How dry is it there in your neck of Texas? It could be from dryness. You could chop the clump back if it is really yellowed out and dry.. That would take the job of feeding the mass off the roots and alow it to recover. Maybe you will see if an animal has gotten in there once you do. Also the dead mass of past growth might have started some rot. This might also become evident once one cuts. I remember pulling dead leaves out to thin things once and that helped. Usually I do that in Late winter here in Central Texas. Things can get real thick in that mass. The rot can also create a donut effect in the clump.

Are you in the area of East Texas that has actually gotten some rain lately? Either way rot of fire hazard, I would think about cutting it back. What an unpleasant job it is!. Those blades are like saw blades.

I finally rid myself of my huge clump because the blooms were of a variety that got scraggly in the first late August rainfall. I got tired of the yearly job of cutting it back, bleeding and not very good blooms.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:12PM
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We are extremely dry here in my part of Texas. So far for the year we have had 5.8 inches of rain. Anyway I have a sprinkler system, but I don't think the grass was getting enough water. Yesterday I cut a bunch of the dead parts of the grass away and found a large fire ant hill in the middle of it. I am thinking between the lack of rain and the ants the grass might be doomed. I guess after the grass bloomed it was just too much for it to keep going. I am going to try and keep all of the dead grass pulled or cut out as you are right it is fire hazard for sure. There is still green left in the grass, but to me it looks more yellow everyday. If it is dead for good it will be a chore for sure to remove the rest with the nice sharp blades of grass it has. Thanks for the replies.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Sprinklers are not appropriate for large grasses. The grass would get far more water with sufficient drip emitters placed in and around the crown. Benefits are many:

1. Most of the water goes to the root zone of the grass.
2. Evaporation is reduced dramatically.
3. Weeds don't get watered.
4. Wet foliage leads to all sorts of problems.

If you remove it, and get rid of the ants, I'd consider replacing it with a more drought tolerant variety.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 12:04PM
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@Donn - I agree about the drip emitters and the benefits. I don't think the sprinkler has been helping it much anyways since they really don't spray that area that much. Also with the extrem drought and extreme heat it makes it that much worse. I am a new homeowner for this house so I just inherited what they had when I bought it. I am leaning toward removing the pampas grass, I would have never planted it, and replacing it with something different. However that will be a project started when the weather cools off. I might add changing my other beds to drip emitters when the weather cools off as well. Any suggestions on hardy tall grasses for zone 8b? We have four foot wrought iron fences so I am thinking of the privacy aspect of it. Thanks for your reply.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 2:45PM
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Listed below, is a link to a page of landscape uses for grasses. The first list is drought tolerant grasses. Lots of choices.

Keep in mind, if you have suitable irrigation, the grasses can be kept in a drought-free state. You can easily convert one or more in-ground sprinkler heads to manifolds for drip irrigation. Have a look at for instructions and equipment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestem

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:13AM
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Today my youngest son and I removed the seed of Satan from the yard. It was rotting in the middle and it was stinky. Not sure why maybe it was the ants. All I can say is the blades have a unique feel to them. I am not sure I am going to plant anything right now and might wait until next spring. Just some mulch for now might do the trick. On a positive note my view has greatly increase because it has been removed. Thanks for everyone replies.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 6:59PM
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