Pampas grass is a large decorative plant that has enjoyed a recent resurgence in landscaping. When cared for properly, it can be a great addition to a balcony as a windbreak or privacy screen.
Let’s look at everything you’ll need to know to grow and care for pampas grass on a balcony.
Pampas Grass Requirements
Pampas grass grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 7-11 but can get by in Zone 6. Standard pampas grass grows up to 10ft. tall, but the dwarf variety (Pumila) stands around 5ft. tall. As such, it’s a better choice for balconies and smaller outdoor areas.
It’s considered an invasive species in some states, leading to restrictions or outright bans. Look into these before you buy pampas grass.
Important Things to Know
Sunlight: Full sun or partial shade
Grow in pots: Yes – 10-gallon or larger
Grow indoors: Yes, but don’t. Pampas grass sheds seeds!
Soil type: Well-draining
When to plant: Winter or spring
Growing Pampas Grass
Growing pampas grass on a balcony is pretty easy. You’ll need:
While it’s possible to grow pampas grass from seed, there’s little point. Established plants aren’t expensive and should be available at most hardware stores.
- Mix together your soil and perlite before adding an inch or two to the pot.
- Remove the pampas from its pot, shaking dirt off the roots. Don’t be afraid of being rough. Providing you don’t break the roots, you can remove as much dirt as possible.
- Place the pampas in the 10-gallon pot and hold it in place while you fill the pot up with soil.
- Every so often, press the soil down gently.
- Leave for up to a week and then water thoroughly. Doing so will give the roots chance to start growing.
- Place in full sun and leave it to do its thing!
Maintenance and Care
Pampas grass is pretty resilient and can tolerate pretty heavy droughts. Even in the height of a hot summer, you should only need to water it thoroughly once a week. Make sure your pot has drainage holes and water it enough for it to start draining out the pot.
Prune the grass in winter or spring, simply cutting off dead leaves and seed heads. Make sure you wear gloves – pampas grass is sharp!
As you’ll be growing it in a pot, water with fertilizer after its first full year. Do this at most once a month during the growing season, and once after pruning.
If you’re growing pampas grass for decoration, consider just buying the dried heads instead!
Final Thoughts on Pampas Grass
Providing you’re allowed to grow pampas grass in your state, it’s a super easy, low maintenance option for a balcony garden. Just be careful if you have kids or pets because it’s sharp!