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600 Miles of Roots

Untangling the fuzzy facts about pampas grass

Pampas grass, while beautiful, has a mixed reputationPampas grass has a mixed reputation, and rumors around lawn care circles allege that just one clump produces a root mass that can unravel to a length of more than 600 miles. If you drove that distance east from the Bryan-College Station area, you’d make it to the Florida panhandle. What else should you know about this unusual ornamental?

Are Those Fronds Friend or Foe?

The sight of a Texas sunset through those feathery plumes adds a special beauty to the evening, but early settlers saw them as something more practical. Pampas grass was imported from South America to feed grazing herds. This plan proved to be mistake, but the plant’s rooting tenacity and efficient reproduction techniques made it a permanent part of the landscape. The flowers are dioecious, which means that each shrub is either male or female, and all it takes is one gentleman plant to pollenate a Pampas grass invasion.

Should Your Yard Be Afraid?

Most nurseries only sell female-flowered Pampas grass, but each plant produces millions of seeds during its lifetime. When you prune back the plumes during the spring and summer, it’s wise to dispose of them right away. However, this shrub is determined and grows new shoots throughout its root system. If you ignore Pampas grass, it behaves as nature intended and quickly populates the yard with offspring. Keep an eye on it, and it grows into a stunning specimen that reaches heights of more than eight feet.

Why Love This Stuff?

The same natural strength that makes Pampas grass invasive is a source of instant garden gratification. It grows to full flower and height very quickly and lives for more than 10 years. This ornamental is easy to plant and easier to keep healthy. Those tough evergreen fronds don’t need any help resisting insects, disease and grazing deer. The graceful crown of plumes range in color from brilliant pink to snowy white, and the dried flowers make beautiful permanent arrangements. Best of all, Pampas grass is one of the few plants that laughs at a Texas drought.

Don’t let this gorgeous ornamental’s reputation stand between you and the graceful elegance it brings to the yard. If you’d like more pointers on Pampas grass, give us a call here at ABC Home & Commercial Services or fill out our online form to schedule service. We’ll be happy to help you separate frond facts from fuzzy fiction.

Les Stobart

Les joined ABC in 2008 as the Director of Marketing, overseeing marketing, advertising, and communications for ABC’s branches. Les started the Lean Line, Online Chat departments, and manages corporate recruiting. He has a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Advertising from Lamart University. He has been part of the Texas Banking Association, a Financial Literacy Volunteer Teacher, ABC Kite Fest Board of Directors, a Town & Country Youth Soccer Coach, and a Neighborhood Sports flag football coach.

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