In the Garden
Q: I have a 16-year-old pampas grass that looks healthy but had no plumes this year. What should I do to ensure plumes in the future?
A: Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) is a large grass native to Argentina. It is generally a reliable bloomer bearing impressive white or pink flower plumes towering above a tall fountain of sharp edged leaves.
There are, however, certain conditions that can prevent even mature pampas grasses from blooming. A common reason is because they receive nitrogen-rich fertilizer, which promotes growth at the expense of flowering. This usually happens when pampas grass is planted in a bed alongside a lawn and thereby receives high nitrogen lawn food during lawn fertilization.
Pampas grass also stops blooming when neighboring trees and shrubs grow tall and create shade. Pampas grass needs full sun all day long to bloom. Finally, poorly drained soil can cause a mature pampas grass to stop sending up plumes. They’ll usually survive and even bloom if planted in heavy clay soil, but over time root damage eventually weakens the plant to the point where it can no longer produce blooms.
Depending on the cause, it may not be easy to persuade your pampas grass to bloom again. If it’s simply a matter of lawn fertilizer reaching the plant, using a more-accurate spreader to avoid overspray should solve the problem. If, on the other hand, shade or poor drainage is causing the problem, you’ll most likely have to move your behemoth to a better location, which is no easy task.
Before you decide, be aware that pampas grass may soon be listed on the Washington State Noxious Weed Control List. While not presently outlawed, it has been observed escaping from gardens and coming up from seed in native landscapes. Thus it is being monitored as there is fear it could out-compete native vegetation. With that in mind, you might want to consider replacing your pampas grass with the almost as showy, but much better behaved, giant feather grass (Stipa gigantea).
Q: This summer the leaves on my gladiolus had ugly silver streaking, and some of the flower buds turned brown and failed to open. Can I dig and store the bulbs, or do I need to destroy them and start over?
A: Your glads are being damaged by thrips. These are tiny, hard-to-spot, fast-moving insects. They rasp the leaf surface, causing the silver streaking. In heavy infestations, leaves, buds and flowers are often stunted, or turn brown and die.
To keep thrips below damaging levels, cut off and destroy heavily infested plant parts. Although several chemical pesticides are labeled for use against thrips, avoid using them. Chemical sprays give only partial control and are lethal to beneficial insects such as lady beetles, syrphid flies and lacewings that feed on thrips.
Avoid systemic insecticides, as they can be harmful to bees and other pollinators. Spraying insecticidal soap every few days can help keep populations low, but take care to avoid directly hitting beneficial insects in the process.
There’s no problem with digging and storing the corms (root structure) at the end of the season as long as you cut the stems while the foliage is still green and just showing the first signs of turning brown.
Cutting the stem at this time will allow the corm to store adequate energy without giving the thrips the chance to migrate to the roots in large numbers.
As a precaution, soak the corms for six hours in a mixture of 4 teaspoons of Lysol per gallon of water; then dry the corms thoroughly before storing them. Have your soap spray ready to go next spring, and hopefully with a little effort, you’ll be able to keep your glads attractive and practically thrip free next summer.
Ciscoe Morris: [email protected] “Gardening With Ciscoe” airs at 10 a.m. Saturdays on KING 5.
When it comes to the pampas grass trend, interior designer Tyler Wisler says it’s becoming more popular but still slightly under the radar.
“People have just been sneaking it in,” he told TODAY Home. “It’s there, but it’s not.”
And that’s exactly how you could describe the flowy, feathery flowering plant when it’s used as decoration, too. “It’s not a statement thing, it’s an accent thing,” explained Wisler, who’s been featured on shows like HGTV’s “Design Star’’ and NBC’s “George To The Rescue.”
When planted outside, pampas grass can get up to 10-feet tall, but people are using it indoors as a pretty decoration in everything from living rooms to bathrooms.
Pampas grass is the hot new home decor trend.Getty Images stock
Wisler said it’s a great accent piece because of its texture. “It’s both fluffy and visually textural, soft but architectural.” he explained. “It checks a lot of boxes with one stalk of grass. You get a lot of bang for your buck.”
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It also comes in an array of colors. “The neutral can work in almost any environment, and you can make it go boho, glam, industrial or rustic,” he said.
But there are also fun colors like pink and purple that will make a bold statement. “It’s the perfect way to interject just a little bit of color into a neutral room,” Wisler said, adding that it’s like having fresh flowers all the time, but they won’t dry out and you won’t have to replace them.
Want to try out this trend? Wisler says the best place to find dried pampas grass for your home is on Etsy. “It’s my go-to for plants.”
- ‘Love it or List it’ couple joins Megyn Kelly TODAY to share home d?cor tips
- How to bring pampas grass indoors
- Tips on How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass
- Deep Seated and Large Roots
- Ability to Prolifically Seed
- Pampas Grass is Extremely Competitive
- Best Ways To Finally Get Rid of Them
- Best Artificial Pampas Grass Plants of 2020 – Top Rated & Reviewed
- Our Promise to Readers
July 23, 201807:56
How to bring pampas grass indoors
If you have some already growing in your yard, you can cut the stalk, but there’s a whole process involved with getting it ready to use indoors. First, be careful, since the plant has sharp edges like rose thorns, warns Wisler.
Pink pampas grass in the wildGetty Images stock
Next, hang them upside down with string or dental floss and dry them out for three weeks. When you’re ready to place in a vase, turn them over and spray with matte clear varnish, a floral sealant or hairspray to help them last.
In terms of decorating tips, Wisler says to keep it simple. “Stick to one color and put three stems or five stems in a vase,” he said. You can tie a piece of burlap ribbon around the base as an accent, but there’s no need for any more crafty bells and whistles. “It can stand on its own,” he explained.
Wisler suggests putting the vase of pampas grass against a wall that has muted but pigmented color with a subtle warmth to it— something like a hue from Sherwin Williams’ Naturalist palate. “You could honestly place any of those colors with pampas and it would be beautiful,” he said.
Benjamin Moore even has a neutral color named specifically after the plant.
The accent will work in just about any room of the house. People use them in their living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms.
In fact, some are even using it as wedding decor.
Pampas grass accents are trendy for weddings too.Radu Benjamin
And that’s how you really know it’s a trend.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass
Are you tired of seeing pampas grass in your lawn?
Did you know that you can get rid of them in two different ways?
If you are one of the many who is unsure if what they have in their lawn are pampas grasses and you are planning on getting rid of them, then the information below will surely be beneficial.
Pampas grass or scientifically known as the Cortaderia Selloana is a grass that flowers and are commonly seen in South America. The pampas grass can grow for as long as ten inches in height that can look stunning.
This is the reason why more and more people are growing this type of grass for the purpose of aesthetic. But there are also individuals who are more than eager to remove this grass in their lawn, especially the one who is in the crop gardening.
It may be nice to have this type of grass in your garden, but you should know that the also pose a serious threat. This is mainly because the majority of the gardeners today do no actually consider this type of grass as a kind of agricultural weed.
This also means that they are not advisable to be planted with any crops.
Get to know the reasons as to why they are not advisable to be planted along with your other crops in the garden below:
Deep Seated and Large Roots
One of the reasons as to why they are not advisable to be planted with crops is because they can’t easily be killed. This is mainly because of their roots that are known to be deep seated.
In fact, their roots can grow up to 3 and a half meters in depth. That is why if you want to get rid of the pampas grass, you need to ensure that you will be digging deeper, for you to be able to get to their roots.
Ability to Prolifically Seed
Pampas grass can bear flowers once they start maturing, which means that you should expect them to multiply because they can germinate quickly.
In the course of a lifetime, the number of seeds that germinate can be millions. This is why people who are using this grass for aesthetic purposes can benefit from the germination process of the plant.
But if you are into fruit and vegetable gardening then even a few pampas grass can be a threat. According to experts, it would be best to kill the grass as early as possible since once they start to flower, they will immediately multiply.
Pampas Grass is Extremely Competitive
For people who don’t know, pampas grass are known to be extremely competitive. This just means that if you grow them beside other types of crops, they will start competing for the soil’s nutrients.
This can cause for your crops to not have the needed nutrients for them to be able to start bearing fruits. The worse possible scenario that can happen is that the plant might die after the long run.
Now that you know the reasons as to why getting rid of pampas grass is advisable, it would be best for you to know how to get rid of pampas grass. Some people may think that they can easily be burned, but this will only make things worse because the fire will make the grass to grow rapidly.
Best Ways To Finally Get Rid of Them
Controlling Pampas Grass Using Chemical
Using chemical is one of the best options today because it can easily be used by most gardeners today. If you want to ensure that you will be able to kill them immediately, then using the right herbicide is your best option.
Using Haloxyfop Herbicide
Haloxyflop herbicide is a kind of chemical that can be used to control specific types of grass. But you should know that using this kind of herbicide can cause environmental issues and as well as health concerns.
If you pursue to choose this herbicide than spraying at least 150 ml of haloxyfop to newly cut pampas grass is ideal for you to be able to get rid of them.
Using Glyphosate Herbicide
Using glyphosate herbicide is the most common type of chemical used to get rid of pampas grass. You can start spraying 100 ml of this chemicals for every 10 liters of water which you can then use to water the pampas grass and eventually get rid of them.
Removing Pampas Grass Manually
Removing pampas grass manually is possible especially if you do this at their earliest stage. It can be a task that is tedious, but this will help ensure that the grass won’t be able to grow back soon.
Here are some tips on how you can manually remove the grass:
- Before digging the grass roots, it is essential to use the grasses that are tall using shears. The shears should be sharp enough for you to cut the grass easily.
- Once you are done, you can dig the roots out, and you need to ensure that there will be no root that will remain underneath the soil. If you are having a hard time digging, you can hire someone to do this for you.
- When working on your pampas grass, it would be best to wear pants and gloves because the grass can cause itchiness and the blades of the lawn are pointed.
- Lastly, if you have crops planted nearby, it would be best to harvest them first before you start digging. This will ensure that you won’t be harming the plants.
These are all the tips on how to get rid of pampas grass and all the information as to why you should remove them.
Always make sure to choose the right herbicide and the good method that you are most comfortable working on. In this way, removing your pampas grass won’t be as daunting as it seems to be.
Read also: 5 Best Commercial Weed Eaters
Best Artificial Pampas Grass Plants of 2020 – Top Rated & Reviewed
|Product Names||Product Images||Check Price|
#1 Artificial Flower Fake Plant Plastic Greenery Shrubs Faux Pampas Grass Potted Plants with Pot for Home Office Indoor and Outdoo Décor (Setaria Flower, 16″/M)
#2 Collections Etc Faux Pampas Grass Picks – Set of 3 – Outdoor or Indoor Decorative Accent, Red
#3 16″ Artificial Plants Mini Onion Grass Greenery Faux Potted Fake Shrubs Plant Wheat Grass Leaves Plastic Planter Pot for House Home Indoor Outdoor Office Décor
#4 Dongliflower 60 Pcs Natural Small Pampas Grass, Dried Reed Plumes, Phragmites Communis,Wedding Decorative Flower Bunch, 24″ Tall(Natural)
#5 Beebel Artificial Plants Onion Grass Fake UV Resistant Faux Wheat Grass with Planter,Greenery Shrubs Plant with Clay Pot for Home Indoor Outdoor Office Decor
#6 MLSG 60 Stems Natural Dry Flowers Small Pampas Grass, Phragmites Communis, Dried Flowers Bouquet for Wedding Floral Arrangements Home Decorations (White)
#7 DAMEING 3 Heads Artificial Pampas Grass Plants 41.3” Tall Reed Grass Bouquet for Home Wedding Decor, 2Pack, Brown
#8 Artificial Flower Fake Plant Plastic Greenery Shrubs Faux Pampas Grass Potted Plants with Pot for Home Office Indoor and Outdoo Décor (Daisy Flower, 16″/M)
#9 Artificial Flower Fake Plant Plastic Greenery Shrubs Faux Pampas Grass Potted Plants with Pot for Home Office Indoor and Outdoo Décor (Ball Flower, 16″/M)
#10 Dongliflower 25 Pcs Natural Dried Small Pampas Grass, Phragmites Communis,Wedding Flower Bunch, 24” Tall Home Decor (White)
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You could see the Top 10 Artificial Pampas Grass Plants of 2019 above. The lists of best items are updated regularly, so you can be sure that the information provided is up-to-date.
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