In order for pampas grass ( Cortaderia selloana ) to last long and remain attractive as a decoration in the house, important details should be observed. You should keep this in mind from cutting to drying to care.

wait for fronds

Pampas grasses have the highest decorative value when they have formed evenly grown fronds. They are referred to as flowers and thrive between July and November. They are available in different colors from the classic cream-beige to green, green-blue and silver-white tones. Once the fronds are fully formed, drying can begin.

Best time

The easiest and fastest way to dry pampas grasses is when they slowly lose energy and prepare for winter. This is given after flowering in November. If cut beforehand, the pampas grass is still too “juicy”. The risk of rot and mold is then higher than in late autumn because drying is more time-consuming.

Best drying place

In order for the drying to work without any problems, particular attention must be paid to a suitable drying location. It depends on the prevailing conditions and the weather. The drying location should meet the following criteria:

  • Fresh air – if possible outside or with windows open frequently
  • Cute
  • rainproof
  • Airy
  • Frost-free
  • Alternatively: in well-ventilated basements or garages if the humidity is low

duration of the drying process

How long it takes for pampas grass to dry cannot be determined in general. It depends on the number of stalks that are tied together and on the weather or drying conditions. The warmer and drier it is, the quicker you can achieve adequate drying. A higher humidity and many closely bound stalks ensure a slower progressing drying process. This can last between five days and four weeks.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Step: bundling

Once a Cortaderia selloana with strong fronds has been found, the first thing to do is to bundle it, as described below:

  • bring together as many stalks as desired (ideally a maximum of five to six)
  • tie straws together with a ribbon (loosely, the ribbon must not constrict)
  • ideal: tie stalks that are next to each other so that the cut can be made better and bundles can then be removed
  • If there are unsuitable fronds in between, do step 2 first and then bundle/tie
  1. Step: Cutting Instructions
  • use clean, disinfected and sharp cutting tools
  • Cut straws directly to desired length
  • if step 1 is not performed, bundle/tie after cutting
  1. Step: Optimize binding

It is important that plenty of air gets to the stalks so that they can dry well and do not soften, rot or form mold. For this, the binding of the pampas grass is to be carried out far down at the interfaces. Previously center-tied ribbon can be pulled down or re-tied. The ribbon shouldn’t be too tight, but it should be taut enough to hang the straws from. If you have a lot of space, you can also tie each straw individually and hang it up. Ideally, this shortens the drying time.

  1. Step: hang up

The straws are hung upside down and remain in this position for about a week.

  1. Step: ventilation

Airing is particularly important in late autumn so that moisture can escape. Bundled straws are opened, turned over and tied back together. The sides of the stalks that were previously on the inside are then directed outwards. If drying is carried out in a room, the windows should be opened daily so that fresh air can flow through the stalks.

  1. Step: hang out

If there are no longer any green spots on the pampas grass and the stalks are hard and inflexible, sufficient drying has been achieved for hanging. In the case of bundled stalks, the straps and suspensions should be carefully removed. The dried grass is very robust and not likely to break, but caution is still a good advice.

Tip: As a result of drying, the parts of the plant become porous over time and the fronds can fluff. Hairspray is ideal for keeping the pampas grass together for a long time, even when dry, without it trickling.
  1. Step: Move to destination

After the hanging drying process, pampas grass dries even when hung and the fronds spread out. For the time being, it should be placed in an upright position where it will not be jarred/joshed. A location near heaters, in front of chimneys or in the direct sun should be avoided, because the last drying has to be done slowly.

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