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Is there any hope for my Pampas grass?

Pest county, near Budapest, Hungary Hu

My Pampas is still totally brown and dead looking after the winter. I bought it last Spring and it grew very well and also had a flower (plume). It is not showing any sign of new growth and it is now mid May. When do they usually start to sprout? I know the books say they are hardy but how hardy? Here is a picture.

On plant Cortaderia selloana




Oh dear, it does look a bit fed up. Speaking from experience of my pampass which I have had for 3 years, I "prune it" by setting fire to it at the base which burns off all the dead foliage which works well. This spring mine was so huge we set light to it, dug it up, divided it, replanted the two halves & because we had halved it I cut the foliage down to about 12" to give the roots a chance to recover. It is now about 2' high with new green foliage coming. So all in all I would say that Pampass is pretty hardy to stand up to that.
I would be tempted to lift it to have a look at the roots, I'm sure it is worth saving. Re-plant it with lots of feed. Clear the dead foliage if you can & watch for the the new growth. Good luck with it.

12 May, 2008

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