The pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) belongs to the ornamental grasses and impresses with its enormous growth height. The plant, which comes from South America, requires special care and regular pruning. But can you cut whole fronds off the pampas grass?


In principle, all dried plant parts can be removed. This means that they can also cut off stalks and fronds that have survived the summer on the pampas grass. A pruning makes it easier for the plant to sprout in spring.

The following pruning tips ensure magnificent growth in the following year:

  1. The pruning itself should only be done with disinfected secateurs to avoid infection with fungi or bacteria.
  2. Use ribbon to tie the pampas grass fronds together before cutting. Cutting is much easier when bundled, because you no longer have to fight with each individual stalk.
  3. When separating, make sure you only remove dried fronds and stalks from the pampas grass.
  4. Cutting young shoot tips is taboo, as this causes the plant to flower . You should also avoid buckling the shoot tips, as these are very sensitive. Even minor injuries can prevent flowering, which gives the pampas grass a desolate appearance.
  5. The pruning can be done in two ways. On the one hand through a complete cut or a cut in stages.
Note: When pruning in stages, the pampas grass must first be divided into individual bundles. This reduces the risk of injuring young shoots.


In order not to affect the growth of the plant, it is important to find the right time for pruning. Pampas grass is extremely robust and, with adequate winter protection, can easily withstand cold winters in our latitudes. This consists of your own leaves, which is why the date of the pruning is of particular relevance. Its own foliage and fronds act as the first barrier against cold and moisture. The best time to cut pampas grass is therefore in spring, when the freezing cold or ground frost no longer poses a threat to the plant.

  • between mid-March and mid-April
  • dry and warm day
  • not too sunny
  • Shoot tips could burn

The plant is also particularly sensitive to moisture. If the snow that falls in winter melts and moisture gets into the hollow stalks, this can lead to the plant rotting. Cutting off entire fronds on the pampas grass is therefore prohibited in autumn, since it often rains heavily in our latitudes. A pruning at this time often means the death of the plant.

Tip: The dead inflorescences and stalks serve not only to protect against the cold and damp, but also as an attractive winter green. By not cutting in the fall, gardeners benefit throughout the winter.


The right tool and appropriate protective clothing make it much easier to cut back ornamental wood. In addition to a knife or sharpened scissors, appropriate protective clothing is advisable, as many varieties have barbs and sharp blades. The following tools are helpful when cutting off pampas grass fronds:

  • safety goggles
  • cut-resistant gardening gloves
  • long trousers
  • sturdy shoes
  • long-sleeved top

frequently asked Questions

Trimming pampas grass is a purely cosmetic matter that is not mandatory.

In general, the answer to this question is yes. In principle, all dried plant material should be removed in the spring. In any case, it is important that newly sprouting shoot tips are not damaged, otherwise there will be no flowering.

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