Cortaderia selloana 'White Feather' - Pampas Grasses are the ultimate architectural plant, adding texture, autumn colour and winter shapes to the home landscape. The plant flowers for a long time in late summer and autumn. Relatively easy to grow, this is a permanent plant that provides colour and interest for many years.
It's not unusual for the plumes of pampas grass to attain a height of up to 2.5 metres (8ft) at maturity, so low growing shrubs or perennials often are planted around the base for additional colour. They quickly form large clumps, perfect for large spaces. Big grasses also demand lawn space so you can stand back and admire them.
Cortaderia selloana is fast growing and makes a great screen for hiding unsightly views. Planted in a hedge, it makes a formidable barrier. It looks great used with palms, pines and other grasses.
It requires little maintenance, the plumes may be removed after the winter months just before the spring growth starts.
Female plants as they have wider, fuller flowers - the males' are thinner, more elongated and not as full. This garden beauty commands attention wherever it is used.
Sowing: Sow in Spring, February to April
Cortaderia germinates easily from seed sown in spring. Sow in well drained soil and keep at around 22°C (71°F). Germinates in about two weeks
Once seedlings are large enough to handle, take a small clump of seedlings and put them all in a one-litre pot of gritty compost. They will form a bushy plant and be ready to go into the garden in summer. Grow in sun and in well drained soil. Sow 6mm (¼in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart in well cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth.Thin out the seedlings to 23cm (9in) apart. Replant the seedlings that have been removed
Pampas grass grows well on a range of soil types but thrives in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. After time the tussocks can become very large and congested with old, dead foliage. Cutting back and combing regularly in late winter or spring should minimise the dead foliage and keep the tussock compact. Because of its sharp leaf margins pampas grass was commonly burnt in its native habitat to control its spread, but in the garden burning can be dangerous not only for the gardener but because pampas grass is a favourite place for hedgehogs to hibernate.
Fertilising ornamental grasses can result in over-lush growth and unmanageability. Don't be disappointed if your young plant does not have plumes for the first two or three years. When established plants do not form plumes, it is usually because they have been over watered or fed too heavily, which would tend to stimulate foliage growth instead of plumes.
Pampas Grass can be dried and make interesting focal or secondary flowers in dried arrangements. To dry, cut the flower at the height of bloom and hang upside down in a cool, dark place to dry.
Architectural, Cottage/Informal Garden, Drought Resistant, Flower Arranging, Flowers Borders and Beds, Low Maintenance or Mediterranean.
The species is native to southern South America and its common name Pampas is named after the Pampas region in South America from where this plant is native.
The name Cortaderia is derived from the Argentine name, Cortadera meaning cutting.
The species selloana is named after Friedrich Sello, the early 19th century German explorer who collected specimens in South America. It has been a popular ornamental grass since the Victorian era.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 50mg Average Seed Count 200 Seeds Common Name White Pampas Grass Family Poaceae Genus Cortaderia Species selloana Cultivar White Feather Synonym Austroderia splendens Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers White plumes up to 2.5m (8’) Foliage Strap like, 2cm (3/4in) wide, to 1m (3ft) long. Height Plant Height: 1m (36in) Spread 1m (36in) Position Full Sun to light shade Soil Prefers fertile well-drained loamy soils