If you want to kill pampas grass, our gardening experts are here to help you out! Pampas grass can be dug up, burned, manually pulled out, or treated with herbicides. There are many ways, but the ones we have proposed to you work better than others.

So, we’ll guide you through the best ways to remove your pampas grass, so read on to find them out. 

How To Kill Pampas Grass

The pampas grass removal process can be quick or take several months. It all depends on the size of the pampas grass plant you want to remove. If you have small pampas grass plants, you can just pull them out by hand. If they are larger, you may need to trim the plant down to the root and apply herbicide. 

Moreover, it takes the death of the root system to truly kill a pampas grass plant. Pampas grass plants have very hardy root systems, so it is often difficult. Burning, manual removal methods and herbicide application are three of the best ways to control pampas grass, and they are the ways that we are going to explore in the following section. 

Note: Always make sure to wear gloves! Pampas grass has extremely sharp leaf edges that can cause cuts.

– Get Rid of it With Herbicide 

The best herbicide to use for pampas grass is glyphosate, which can be applied in a variety of ways. First, trim or tie back the sharp leaves of the plant so you can access the base of the plant. Trimming the plant down to the root makes it easier to apply herbicide directly to the root ball. 

Next, apply the herbicide and wait. Pampas grass is tenacious, so it may take up to two weeks for the entire system to completely die. If you have a large bank of pampas grass plants, a backpack sprayer may make application easier. Remember, it is important to follow all directions on herbicide labels, as these chemicals can be lethal if used improperly. 

If you only have a few plants or are reluctant to utilize chemical herbicides like glyphosate in your yard, don’t worry. You still have effective options to remove pampas grass for good.

– Burning Pampas Grass To Remove It 

To burn pampas grass to remove it, first clear the area around it so that nothing else will catch on fire. Also, double-check the regulations and fire permits in your geographic area to make sure that burning is permitted. Then, you can start a fire by lighting a match and tossing it among the stalks. 

If the plant is green and less likely to burn, drizzling a little lighter fluid around the base of the stalks will help it catch fire. Don’t forget to keep a hose or water source nearby just in case of sparks that get out of control. 

 

– A Quick Primer on How To Dig up

The way to dig up pampas grass is simple: get out there with a pick and shovel and remove it! There are some tips that make the process easier, however:  

  • You can pull out the smaller plants which are under two inches tall manually. 
  • Soften the soil by moistening it with water around the root ball. 
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect against sharp leaves.
  • Tug on the stalks and ensure that the whole root system comes out when you pull.  

Always remember to put your removed plants into a lawn waste bag or receptacle so that seeds don’t spread everywhere! 

FAQs

– What Are The Pros and Cons of Methods To Kill Pampas Grass?

To illustrate all the pros and cons of each method, we have created an illustrative table with you:

Method Pro Con
Burning 
  • Quick 
  • No chemicals
  • Removes head of plant
  • Pampas grass returns in six months
  • May violate law & cause fires
Digging 
  • No chemicals
  • Cheap
  • Removes entire plant, roots & head
  • Manual labor
  • May be inefficient
Herbicide (glyphosate)
  • Removes entire plant, roots & head
  • Not eco-friendly
  • Higher cost

– Is Burning Pampas Grass Right For Me? 

It really depends and it’s something you should carefully consider before you do it. Burning pampas grass can be a tempting option – the stalks and leaves are extremely flammable. It is cheaper than buying chemical herbicides and takes less manual labor than digging. 

It is a great way to get large pampas grass plants (six inches plus) out of the way. With just the strike of a match, you can set your pampas grass plant alight and remove unsightly stalks and leaves. 

However, burning it is not recommended if you live in an area with a high fire risk. California and other western US states often have seasonal burn bans in effect with criminal consequences for starting fires, since they can easily grow out of control. 

If you want to kill the whole plant without using herbicides on the root system, you will need to dig up the pampas grass. The plant may also resprout stronger, so burning is not the best option overall.

– Can You Give Me Some Tips For When Burning Pampas Grass?

If you do choose to risk it and set your pampas grass on fire, here are a few tips: 

  1. Make sure the surrounding area is clear of flammable objects. This includes other plants, trees, buildings, cars and firewood. 
  2. Wet down the area immediately around the stand of pampas grass you want to remove. You can do this by sprinkling the area with a hose. If there are trees or buildings within 20 feet, it is a good idea to wet them as well.
  3. Start small, as pampas grass is extremely flammable. A match may be enough to set a stand alight. Light your match and delicately toss it into the center of the bunch, and if this isn’t enough, drizzle a small amount of lighter fluid over the stand of pampas grass. 

Allow the pampas grass to burn even to the level of the dirt. Remember: you have not killed the pampas grass, only removed the top. The root system is not affected by the fire and will likely attempt to sprout new blades of grass in the following growing season. 

– I Want To Dig Up Pampas Grass. What If My Pampas Grass Plants Are Big? 

The best way to dig up larger pampas grass requires dedication and customizing your tools to the size of the plant. Moreover, small pampas grass plants have smaller root systems that can be pulled directly out of the soil. These plants are generally two inches or shorter. 

Digging up large pampas grass plants is more complicated. The root system of larger plants is bigger. In some plants, the root system can reach over three meters in depth. What’s more, it’s harder to get rid of pampas grass that is well established, so the larger the root system, the more difficult the process. 

– How Do I Kill Larger Pampas Grass?

To kill larger pampas grass, first ensure that the root system of the plant is accessible to shovels, picks or trowels. If you have burned the foliage away from the top, you should see a barren mound with some burned stalks. If not, cut away the leaves and stalks with hedge clippers or gardening scissors. 

If you do not want to cut the leaves, another option is to bind the grass up with twine. Guide the stalks up until you can tie the twine around the pampas grass plant. This method makes less mess in your yard than cutting all of the huge leaves. Duct tape is another option that makes it easy to control the stalks of your pampas grass. 

Then, you can undermine the root system a little by moistening the soil around the plant. While wearing gloves, grab ahold of the base of the plant and pull soil away from the root ball. You may need to tug on the stems, since the plant can be very tenacious.

After the root mound is clear and the leaves have been removed, start removing the root system. Hack into the soil just around the root ball and slowly loosen its hold to the soil by prying it away from the ground. Do this all around the plant. After a few rotations, you should be able to sever the plant’s hold on the dirt. 

Just as you would with a smaller plant, immediately put the larger pampas grass plant into a tarp or lawn bag so it can be taken to a landfill. This prevents more seeds from being dispersed in your yard

– Why Does Getting Rid of Pampas Grass Matter? 

It matters, as this plant has more cons than pros, so there are a variety of reasons why removing pampas grass would be a great decision for you and your yard. Pampas grass is invasive, fast-growing and repels wildlife. Also, it is extremely flammable and can contribute to wildfires in dry climates. 

Furthermore, pampas grass is difficult to maintain because it has extremely sharp leaves that can cut and even draw blood. The sharp-edged leaves are inedible and the seeds are unappealing to birds that might otherwise visit your yard. 

One pampas grass plant can spread over 100,000 seeds per growing season, making it likely that they can outcompete with other plants and lower the curb appeal of your yard. These perennial grasses can live for up to 10 years too, which is not ideal for garden-building. 

Conclusion

Pampas grass is often a nuisance, but it is possible to get rid of, as our gardening experts have shown you. Here are the most crucial points about the ways to remove pampas grass:  

  • Pampas grass can be treated with herbicides, burned, dug out, or pulled out manually 
  • Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is the best herbicide to use on pampas grass. Keep in mind that more than one treatment with this herbicide may be needed  
  • The method you use for removal should be customized to your geographic area, your comfort level with herbicides, and the size of the pampas grass plant 

Control pampas grass and reclaim the space in your yard by removing it. That way, you will be able to plant something different that will beautify the look of your garden even more than before.  

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