CORTADERIA Pampas Grass

The silvery silky plumes of Pampas Grass are about 1.5 ft long and their tips are up to 10 ft above the ground. Female plants produce the best plumes and the display is always at its best after a hot summer. Plant in April as a single specimen in the lawn or against a background of dark evergreen foliage. The bluish green leaves are narrow and arching – wear gloves when handling them. In late autumn cut off the flowering stems and in early spring cut away or burn the dead leaves.

VARIETIES: C. selloana (C. argentea) grows about 7 ft high, bearing showy plumes on stiff stems. The tallest plants and the largest plumes are produced by the variety ‘Sunningdale Silver’ – the plumes are more spreading than those of other varieties. The dwarf is pumila, growing about 4 ft high and the decorative-leaved form is ‘Gold Band’ (6 ft), bearing yellow-and-green striped foliage.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Clumps can be divided in April but it is better to buy new plants.

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