Pampas grass is a wonderful, exotic addition to any garden and it is a simple task to grow pampas grass from seed. You can buy seed, or just collect some from a neighbour's plant.
You can grow pampas-grass for profit, too. From seed to saleable plants takes two years.
What Do You Need to Grow Pampas-Grass From Seed?
Seeds, compost and plant pots seed trays are all you need to start this cash generating business in your own back yard.
There are two colors of pampas-grass commonly available, pink and cream. The pink variety is a very subtle, attractive color, do not expect heads the color of pink roses. The pink ones have novelty value; so will sell for a higher price. If you grow both varieties keep them separate because you can only tell which variety is which when they flower.
Sow the seeds in compartmented seed trays, as thinly as you can. Try to get one seed per compartment, but if two or three go in then leave them there to grow.
How Do You Look After Pampas Grass Grown From Seed?
Once the seeds have germinated and started to grow, transplant each young plant to a four inch diameter plant pot filled with damp free draining compost. Do NOT let the pots dry out. You can sink the pots in the soil of an empty bed to reduce the water they lose. This enables you to keep the compact root ball of a pot-grown plant, yet have the drought resistance of one grown in the ground.
The young pampas grass plants will grow about a foot high in these pots before they need potting on to larger pots. After the first year, as soon as the roots are starting to fill the smaller pots transplant them to pots about 9 inches diameter. Bury these larger pots in the same way to prevent them drying out. The plants' roots will fill the larger pots by the end of the second year and some will flower at this stage. If you leave them in the 9 inch pots the plants' growth will be stunted and you will not get a good price for your plants.
In the spring of the pampas grass' third year of growth either plant the young plants in the ground, or put them into larger 12 inch diameter pots to sell, once they come into flower.
Plants this size sell in a nursery for $10-15, so you can see the potential profit. Keep your costs down by buying disposable 12 inch diameter polythene plant pots for selling the pampas grass plants in. You will be able to reuse rigid pots, but it might be worthwhile buying disposable polythene 9 inch pots as well because rigid pots this large are expensive
Reduce compost costs by mixing compost with topsoil and by buying your compost at the end of the summer when stores are trying to free up space for Christmas stock. Cover the bags of compost with plastic though, or all the nutrients will wash out.