How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass

Did you know that pampas grass grows between 6-10 feet tall and can quickly spread and get out of control?

Pampas grass is considered ornamental in some areas due to its low maintenance and ability to grow where other plants cannot.  Homeowners use this grass to hide ugly fences, mark property lines, or act as a windbreak. However, pampas grass is invasive due to its size and number of seeds. Its ability to quickly spread over a portion of ground can make it challenging to control. 

Read on to learn more about pampas grass and how to get rid of pampas grass for goo

Tips on How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass

One of the mistakes most people make when trying to get rid of pampas grass is to burn it. While burning this grass will destroy the foliage initially, it doesn’t kill the roots.  You’ll notice new growth after 3-4 weeks. Sometimes the fire makes the grass taller than before and can put you at risk of wildfires if you live in an area prone to them. 

The best way to control and get rid of pampas grass is through a combination of physical and chemical methods. Note that pampas grass has sharp leaves and can cause razor-like cuts, which is why you need to be cautious when handling it.

Here are some tips on how to get rid of pampas grass. 

Physical/Manual Removal of Pampas Removal

Removing pampas grass is a labor-intensive task, but it’s one of the best ways to kill pampas grass that is at a manageable size. Manual removal of this grass also works if it is in a small place and not spread out. 

To get started, you need to wear protective clothing. You’ll need heavy work gloves, safety goggles, a long sleeve shirt,  pants, and a garbage bag to place the cut grass.

Start by grasping the base of pampas grass clumps. Ensure that the grass is not taller than 3 feet as you need to get to the roots. Jerk the grass out of the ground and remove the entire root crown. Doing this will lower the chance of new grass growing. 

You can use a mattock for deep digging the soil and to get rid of the roots. 

Place the grass in a bag, especially when you pull out a clump with seeds. Dispose of this bag in a landfill to avoid dispersing the seeds where you’ve removed the grass. 

When handling large clumps of pampas grass, ensure you have some heavy work gloves,  Cut the grass stalks down to 2-3 inches with gardening shears.  Do this to every clump until it’s all in a manageable size. Bag the cut grass and dispose of it. 

Cover the Grass With a Thick Tarp

You can get rid of pampas grass by covering it with a thick tarp. The idea is to ensure that no direct moisture or light gets to the grass. Start by cutting the grass to the base and then cover it with an opaque, thick tarp. Avoid watering the grass. 

The method works for a few growing seasons, and you need to be patient and give it time to work. 

Use of Salt

Salt is a readily available ingredient, and sprinkling some on freshly cut pampas grass can kill it.  However, pampas can be disruptive and persistent, which means you may need to use a lot of salt to notice any difference.  Moreover, using salt may harm any crops nearby, and you can’t plant in the salted location.

Use Chemicals to Remove Pampas Grass

Using chemicals to kill pampas grass should be the last resort as it can affect the crops nearby. You also need to be cautious and use the right herbicide as some contain toxic ingredients.  Using chemical control is faster and easier, but you need to follow the instructions to work effectively. 

If you have plants around the same area like the pampas grass, you’ll need to harvest them before getting started on chemical control. 

Some of the chemicals used are:

Glyphosate Herbicide

Products like Round-Up contain glyphosate, a systemic and non-selective herbicide.  The product kills plants by being absorbed by the leaves and transmitted throughout via a vascular system.

You can use Round-Up on pampas grass, but you’ll need more than one application.  Getting to the thick clumps with one application may not work immediately. Moreover, the blades could be attached to another root system. 

Wait for three days before doing another Round-Up pass.  Remove the dead foliage to expose the green foliage at the center or the base. Once you notice the growth, spray it with the herbicide. You may need a couple of applications before the grass dies completely, but with time, you’ll see a complete eradication. 

Remember to follow the instructions that come with the product to increase the herbicide’s effectiveness and prevent damage. 

Haloxyfop Herbicide

Haloxyfop is another herbicide that effectively kills pampas grass. It’s used for selective grass control, and it’s not as common as glyphosate due to the significant risk it poses to humans and the environment. 

When using this herbicide, make sure to trim the grass to the right height. Spray it on the affected area to avoid environmental effects. 

What is Pampas Grass?

Pampas grass, also known as genus Cortaderia is a native plant common in temperate regions like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The fast-growing ornamental grass got its name from the South American lowlands and features curved leaves, bunches of seeds, and decorated flowers. 

The grass thrives in loamy soil and sunny areas. In some areas like New Zealand and California, the grass is considered an invasive plant, and cutting it down only encourages growth the following season. Unfortunately, pampas grass is competitive, and growing any other crop next to it means these plants will die due to a lack of nutrients in the soil. 

Getting rid of pampas grass also becomes difficult due to its numerous seeds that germinate and are spread out through wind dispersion. The grass grows in clumps, and its roots are deep in the ground. 


Although some people consider pampas grass ornamental and decorative, controlling it can be challenging. You can get rid of pampas grass using both physical and chemical measures. Ensure that you choose a method that you are comfortable with, and seek help from experts if you find the situation daunting. 

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