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How To Get Rid Of Pampas Grass? Use These 3 Safe Ways!

Destroying pampas grass: After discarding the plumes and wrapping the grass in duct tape, cut the grass down to about two inches. Mix 5.2 tablespoons of concentrated glyphosate or imazapyr with a gallon of water. Spray the plant carefully, following the instructions on the herbicide bottle.

Pampas grass may be beautiful, but as with cacti, it can literally be painful to get rid of. Worse, it can be invasive, depending on where you live.

If you’re trying to increase your home’s curb appeal or simply wanting to have more room for other plants be removing pampas grass, this article. is for you. Here, I’ll explain how to get rid of pampas grass manually and with herbicide.

How To Get Rid Of Pampas Grass – Three Methods

Manual Method 1 – Pulling

Thurston County Noxious Weed Control states that very young pampas grass can be pulled out of the ground. SFGate recommends pulling plants no more than three feet tall.



In order to get rid of pampas grass by pulling, follow these steps:

  1. Wait For It To Rain

    It’s easier to pull weeds when the ground is soft with moisture.

  2. Wear Protective Clothing

    Put on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, gardening gloves, safety goggles, and closed-toed shoes so you don’t get cut by the pampas grass.protective boots

  3. Cut Off Plumes

    Use pruning shears to carefully cut off any plumes and place them in a garbage bag. Don’t leave immature flower plumes on the ground, as they can still mature and spread seeds. 

  4. Pull Out The Grass

    Firmly grab the base of a plant and pull it up. tall pampas grass

  5. Bag It And Toss It

    Place the pampas grass in garbage bags and throw it out.

Manual Method 2 – Digging Up The Roots

According to Thurston County Noxious Weed Control, you can dig up the roots of both young plants and larger, more established ones. However, they recommend first cutting down large plants to make them more manageable.

Note that some people prefer burning ornamental grass over cutting it down. I’m not comfortable recommending this because of the obvious safety and wildfire hazard.


  • A dry day
  • A rainy day
  • An electric trimmer
  • Duct tape
  • A shovel 
  • Pruning shears
  • Garbage bags
  • Pants
  • A long-sleeved shirt
  • Gardening gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Closed-toed shoes


  1. Wait For A Dry Day
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It’s best to use an electric trimmer when it’s dry out.

  1. Wear Protective Clothing

Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, closed-toe shoes, gloves, and safety goggles so the pampas grass won’t cut you.

  1. Cut Off Any Plumes

Use pruning shears to carefully remove any plumes. Place them in bags and discard them. 

  1. Wrap The Pampas Grass In Duct Tape
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Grass Daddy demonstrates that if you wrap your pampas grass in duct tape, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning up after you cut it down:

YouTube player
  1. Cut Down The Pampas Grass
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With an electric trimmer, cut the pampas grass as low to the ground as you can

  1. Clear The Area

Take the cut pampas grass and bagged plumes to the curb.

  1. Wait Until After It Rains

It will be easier to dig if the ground is wet.

  1. Dig Up The Roots

Use a shovel to dig the roots out of the ground. Make sure you get them all!

  1. Bag And Discard Them

The roots you dug up can grow into new plants if left on the soil. Bag and discard them. 

Herbicide Method

Thurston County Noxious Weed Control states that two herbicide chemicals effectively kill pampas grass: glyphosate and imazapyr. Glyphosate is better to use around herbicide-sensitive plants you want to keep. Otherwise, they recommend imazapyr for “escaped populations of Pampas grass.” 

Glyphosate or imazapyr should be applied to actively growing foliage in spring, summer, or fall before “a killing frost.” Fall treatments tend to be more effective. Since pampas grass is wind-pollinated, you probably won’t have to worry about spraying pollinating insects. Just keep an eye out for them and avoid spraying any you do see.


  • Concentrated glyphosate or imazapyr 
  • Water
  • A gallon-sized container
  • A tablespoon
  • An herbicide sprayer
  • Pruning shears
  • One or more garbage bags
  • A hedge trimmer
  • Duct tape
  • Pants
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Long rubber gloves
  • Closed-toed shoes
  • A breathing mask
  • Safety goggles


  1. Repeat The First Six Steps From Manual Method 2.

By cutting down the pampas grass, you’ll be able to use less herbicide to kill it. SFGate says to cut it to about two inches in height.

  1. Dress Appropriately For Herbicide

Herbicides may pose health problems we have or haven’t discovered, and there’s evidence that glyphosate is carcinogenic. In addition to a long-sleeved shirt, pants, safety goggles, and closed-toe shoes, put on rubber gloves and a breathing mask.

  1. Dilute The Herbicide

Thurston County Noxious Weed Control has noticed that pre-mixed herbicides tend to be less effective than concentrated products diluted with water. To make a 2% solution of glyphosate or imazapyr, they recommend mixing 5.2 tablespoons of concentrated product with a gallon of water. 

Use only clean stainless steel or plastic sprayers for mixing the product.

  1. Apply The Herbicide

Apply the glyphosate or imazapyr according to the directions on the bottle. Imazapyr may leave a persistent bare patch on the ground if used incorrectly. Spray it at the recommended strength, just enough to wet leaves and stems. 

  1. Keep An Eye On The Pampas Grass
Pampa Grass Stalk
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Your pampas grass may grow back even if it looks dead. Check on it twice a year (or more often) to make sure it doesn’t.


Does Pampas Grass Have Deep Roots?

HGTV states that pampas grass roots grow deeply, making the plant difficult to remove. You may have an easier time digging up the roots when the plant is young and/or small. Young pampas grass can be pulled from the ground.

Are Pampas Grass Roots Invasive?

Pampas grass is an invasive species in some areas, which means it can cause ecological harm to native species. Make sure you bag and discard pampas grass roots after digging them up, as they can grow into new plants if left on soil. Do the same for the severed plumes, which can still release seeds.

Is Pampas Grass Hard To Dig Up?

Because pampas grass roots can get large, it’s easier to dig up younger plants. With older plants, you’re better off using herbicide. With either method, first cut the plants down to low pampas grass stumps.

Does Salt Kill Pampas Grass?

According to Backyard Workshop, because pampas grass can tolerate salt, it takes a lot of salt to kill it. This method also ruins the soil for other plants, so you might end up with an ugly bare patch.

That’s How To Get Rid Of Pampas Grass

Because it can cut you and be invasive, it’s important to know how to get rid of pampas grass safely. Whether you intend to dig up its roots or kill it with herbicide, it’s best to first cut it down. This keeps the blades out of your face and helps concentrate the herbicide near the roots. If a plant is young, you may be able to pull it out of the ground.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? If you did, please share it. Please also share your thoughts or concerns in the comments.

About The Author

  • Cole Trahan

    Cole Trahan is a gardening enthusiast, and he has been doing gardening as a hobby for more than 10 years. He lives in South Georgia in a house and enjoys tending his garden on regular basis. He also enjoys writing and here, on, he could combine his both passions! Follow him on LinkedIn.

Photo of author

About The Author

Cole Trahan

Cole Trahan is a gardening enthusiast, and he has been doing gardening as a hobby for more than 10 years. He lives in South Georgia in a house and enjoys tending his garden on regular basis. He also enjoys writing and here, on, he could combine his both passions! Follow him on LinkedIn.

1 thought on “How To Get Rid Of Pampas Grass? Use These 3 Safe Ways!”

  1. I just finished digging up 11 full grown pampas grass. It was hell on earth, days and days of back breaking work. You cannot simply reach down and pull them out of the ground. We used 8 feet long heavy duty firemen pry bars to force the roots free. We are left with 18 inches down and a million roots that go down 10 feet. Ugh!!!!! I don’t want to use herbicide. We are pouring boiling water on them now in an attempt to kill the roots.


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