pampas grass question

mje769(z5 NE.)October 6, 2005

I planted pampas grass this summer, next spring I want to move it, is it going to be tough to dig up and move?



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Well, that all depends. How big was it when you planted it? What kind of dirt is it planted in? What kind of physical condition are you in?

Seriously, it probably won't be much harder than it was to plant it in the first place. Give it it's annual haircut, dig a hole for it in the new location, move it and water it in.

I just noticed that you're in zone 5. That's pretty cold for Cortaderia. Have you successfully wintered this type of grass before?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2005 at 6:21AM
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I have sucessfully wintered pampass grass here in zone 5 with no special treatment. I also have several of my neighbors and the local red cross growing it through the winters here, I think it wil be fine.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2005 at 2:04PM
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I'm so glad to see your post! I had some dwarf pampass in pots one year, but they didn't make it, even in the garage. I just bought some seeds. The package said can be grown as an annual up here. But how big can it get in one summer? Have you grown them from seed?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 3:27AM
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I winter sowed 16 cells with Cortaderia in February. Got 100% germination, and planted out 16 clumps in a nursery bed. They got to just short of 2' tall in their first season, very erect, and a pleasing light green color. They didn't flower in the first season. Time will tell how they winter. So far, the weather has been fairly tame.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 5:58AM
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I'm wondering if the hardy type will overwinter in pots. From what I've learned around the GW, I should look for something that grows in Zone 3 if it's to have a chance surviving. But I want plumes!!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 3:43PM
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October..spend some time at the Bluestem website. He specializes in grasses for northern climates.

Happy New Year!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bluestem

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 10:31AM
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Marsha, I too am surprised that you selected that particular ornamental grass to grow in your zone 5 location.

From your mention that you grew this from seed explains why you plant it....I doubt very much you could purchase this variety in your local nursery, it is definitely a warm-season grass and is more suitable to zone 7----10.

It is a grass that should be cut back in spring....and you would have to hope you can move it ...before or after you do the cutting back. It should be cut back only in spring.

From what I've read on this particular grass, you have to be wary of handling the blades...knife like...they can do a lot more than paper cuts.

In my opinion, unless you have this grass in a particularly insulated place....away from any winter winds...your grass may disappoint you by not surviving.
Much better to buy a grass suitable to your zone 5.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 5:29PM
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mje769(z5 NE.)

I did read that they are for zone 7 and warmer. I see them in other people yards here in zone 5 and they are beautiful! I guess it will make it or winter kill, I hate to lose plants, but one never knows unless they take a chance. I will be careful when I cut it down this spring, their blades are wicked!! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 4:35AM
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There maybe some confusion regarding common names. True pampas grass, Cortaderia species, are recommended primarly for warmer zones. There are cases where it has been grown successfully in colder zones, but these no doubt offer microclimates or otherwise protected locations. Hardy "pampas" grass (aka plume grass or ravenna grass) is really Erianthus ravennae and is listed as hardy to zone 4. It does prodcue tall plumes but is really quite distinct from Cortaderia. For one, it is deciduous and true pampas grass is evergreen. It also produces much smaller plumes than Cortaderia.

btw, Cortaderia does NOT require cutting back seasonally. It should be groomed annually and only cut back periodically to divide or tidy up a very mature clump. Too frequent cutting back could compromise its hardiness in marginal climates.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 10:45PM
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pjalst(Z5 Albany NY)

I am thinking about planting pampas grass but wanted to know if it spreads or gets out of hand if not maintained?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 2:00PM
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It won't in your zone, but you'll have to use care in selecting a variety that will be hardy. The coldest zone I find listings for are zone 6, for C. selloana 'Andes Silver,' 'Patagonia' and maybe 'Pumila.'

    Bookmark   February 12, 2006 at 3:39PM
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