In general, Cortaderia Selloana, the pampas grass, is considered to be a late-blooming plant. Depending on which of the more than 600 existing varieties is cultivated, the new shoots may not appear until May or even June after the winter dormancy. Once this has happened, however, Cortaderia Selloana surprises with rapid growth, which in many cases only ends at a height of around one to a maximum of two meters. The inflorescences, popular for their opulent splendor, appear even later than the leaves. Several weeks pass before they finally tower over the clumps of leaves by up to one meter, because the main flowering time of the grasses is only in late summer and early autumn, but can extend into November.

Pampas grass does not sprout – why?

If you now find that the popular grass does not produce any shoots even at this late growth point, you should deal with possible causes. Because some things can be changed, while other causes are completely natural. Depending on the cause, more or less effective measures can then be taken so that the grass is stimulated to grow lushly again from this point on.

Wrong location

Like all plants, Cortaderia Selloana has certain environmental requirements in order to thrive and delight the gardener with lush growth. If these requirements are not met, it can react with inhibited growth. In extreme cases, the development of the plant can even come to a complete standstill and the pampas grass no longer sprout. The main requirements regarding the location are:


  • Best: Full sun location
  • Growth retardant: semi-shady or even shady location without sufficient sunlight for the required photosynthesis performance
  • Remedy: Choose a location without shade, if necessary cut back or remove overgrowth that forms shade over the course of the year


  • Optimal: Sufficient moisture, but without waterlogging – highly permeable soils are preferred
  • Disadvantage: soils that are too moist with a tendency to waterlogging
  • Remedy: Before planting, make the soil permeable with sand or broken clay


  • Optimal: High nutrient content to reach well-known heights of two meters and more
  • Growth retardant: depleted soils devoid of minerals and nutrients
  • Remedy: prepare the soil with compost before planting, appropriate care measures (fertilization) over the life of the plant

Lack of or wrong care

If the location meets all the requirements of pampas grass, the causes can also be found in the care. As a result of incorrect or insufficient care, the formation of new leaves is delayed and the plant does not sprout or only does so with a delay and to a lesser extent. When caring for Cortaderia Selloana, two aspects are particularly important:


  • Aim for: permanently moderately moist soil, but even temporary drought is not a problem or an obstacle to growth
  • Avoid: overwatering on poorly drained soil
  • Remedy: Adapt watering behavior to soil, reduce individual quantities if necessary, but increase intervals

nutrient supply

  • Ideal: Universal and constant supply of common nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus
  • To avoid: leaching of the soil, otherwise reduced growth and failure of flowers
  • Remedy: regular fertilizer application, eg by working compost into the soil; Alternatively, ready-made preparations, then observe the dosage instructions

Pampasgras neupflanzen

  • it takes up to several years before the first flowers appear

If the location and maintenance effort are right, you should consider that the time can also have a decisive influence on growth. After replanting, the perennial needs a season to acclimatize and develop the necessary roots. Opulent growth and in particular the formation of flowers can only be expected in the following season.

Special case: leaf growth yes, but without fronds

A certain special case is a selective lack of growth. It can happen again and again that the pampas grass forms a bushy clump, but it does not drive out the desired inflorescences. There are two main reasons for this, which account for most cases:

The sex of the pampas grass

Lush flowers form only the female plants. If your own specimen is a male plant, it will not produce flowers to the extent that is known from the usual illustrations. Against this circumstance, apart from replanting, no measures can be taken, since the sex of the pampas grass cannot be changed.

Damaged inflorescences

Pampas grass is often only cut back in spring, since the previous year’s leaves provide good winter protection for the root ball. However, if you damage the later inflorescences that have already been created and may have sprout from the ground during pruning, they will not develop further and the later flowers will no longer fully sprout. In order to avoid unintentional damage, the right time for the pruning is very important. Ideally, it takes place before the first shoots form in spring.

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