Friday, July 18, 2008

PAMPAS GRASS BITTERSWEET LOVE AFFAIR

Stock photo of plumes
My Pampas Grass is not in full bloom right now and I wanted you to see why I keep the big green monster.
When we moved here, we bought two lots that were separated by huge mounds of Pampas Grass, right down the middle and gradually we have it down to one clump in the middle, up front and one on the corner that I rescued from the middle and planted on the corner. People who plant this sometimes regret it! Clumps get extremely large and thick, blades contain sharp cutting edges, and it takes a stick of dynamite to remove it! But having said that, when you see it in bloom, it is spectacular and it will bloom for three months. So I think it is worth growing, if you have the room. It will get 12 ft high, I think ours is taller than that, and it will spread 6 to 8 ft around. Right now, ours is a big green clump, and I wonder why we keep it until I see the big creamy plumes.

I fight to keep the ones we have left. Billy hates them with a passion. They are very hard to keep neat looking because to tell you the truth, it is a painful job, so it doesn't get done too often. I gave a lot of them away to my recycle group. They came and dug it out. They were happy and I was happy! It was a good deal for both of us. I wanted the space and they wanted plants. All who came, left with several big clumps. This is very old Pampas Grass, planted in the sixties, so it should have done really well for them.

35 comments:

Brenda Kula said...

That's what my neighborhood does. I might go outside and find a plant sitting on a chair that someone has left me. We split plants so we don't both have to buy the same specimen. Works for everyone!
Brenda

Amy said...

Thanks so much Eve for you comment on my blog today regarding awards and memes. There's some interesting debate going on, that's for sure. It sounds like you and I have a similar blogging style :)

That pampas grass is incredible. I had no idea they could grow so large or be so difficult to care for.

Eve said...

Amy, if your blogging style is to type furiously and then forget to spell check,,,have incredibly bad grammar and just can not ever, get the pic the way I want it to look but refuse to learn how to work a camera other than point and shoot...then you have my style. LOL

Susie said...

I think Pampas grass is very pretty when in bloom but honestly I am not a fan. I prefer the smaller Miscanthus varieties.

DP Nguyen said...

Wow! Its grown well.

tina said...

I tried pampas TWO times here, with no luck. Out it goes. I loved it when I lived in North Carolina and if it grew for me, you can bet I'd grow it!

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Hi Eve - I wish I lived closer - I would love to take some pampas grass off your hands. As my gardening interest grows - so does my interest in ornamental grasses. They look really cool!

Gail said...

Eve,

Having spent 3 days digging up a zebra grass that was ill placed by me, I don't think I want another plant that needs extraordinary strength to get it out of the ground! Whew! The edges on those grasses are sharp and the roots are never ending! Pampas is not my cup of tea...give me the Little Blues Stems and even a Switch Grass!

I think one problem with grasses, is that we don't get snow cover...grasses look great in the winter peaking out of the snow! But they give you pleasure, and unless they are very naughty plants you should enjoy them.

Gail

Skeeter said...

We had several pampas grass plants in the yard when we bought the house. They were not planted in good spots therefore in our way. The Saint hated them and wanted them out from day one. He finally got his wish but we have one that I would not allow him to dig out. It was also planted in a strange place with no sun which they NEED but I told the Saint to leave that one alone as it was not in our way. Since cutting down a few trees in that area, the Pampas has more sun now and is doing much better and blooms for us!

It was a bugger for the Saint to dig out and we found snakes under each of them! Everyone he talked to at work said they found snakes under their pampas also. So be aware of Snakes when around Pampas grass....

Eve said...

I've never seen any snakes but some yellow jackets had a nest in there one time. Now ask me how we found out? Poor DH! went out to trim it back and they found him. Ouch!

Rose said...

I've been wanting to plant some grasses, but I'm still not sure what kind to plant. I've seen the pampas grass in full bloom, and it is beautiful. Sounds like a lot of work, though...

Eve said...

Roe, it is really no problem to grow if you are in the right zone for the grass you choose. It is pretty well pest free and I have never fed mine. It is drought tolerant too.

The only problem is keeping it neat looking. And make sure you put it where you want it to stay. It is hard to dig up. It will spread so eventually you will have to remove some of it.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I planted Pampas Grass under the windows of my teenager who was sneaking out at night--stopped her for sure! LOL But, I am like you, it's kind of a love/hate thing. They look terrible in the winter, but when they bloom, my oh my, they are beautiful!

Jeff said...

Hi Eve-

I agree that Pampas grass can be a double edged sword (no pun intended!) I also struggle with balance keeping other ornamental grasses in check - miscanthus reseeds all over my yard. I think people that sing their praises need to include a few warnings for those of us in warmer climates.

Your blog is really interesting, and I like your choices of subject matter.

Jeff

cindee said...

They really are pretty. My grandpas yard has several and I love when fall comes and I can see them blooming. Believe it or not cows love to eat them. I have no idea why. If they get in his yard they go straight for them. I wouldn't want to get near them with their cutting leaves.

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