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By Lisal

Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

I have two huge clumps of pampas which are very congested in the middle. We tried to rake out a lot of the centre in each ... which took hours and hours and only reduced the debris by about a 3rd and the leaves are vicious. I have heard about burning them and that they will regenerate is this true? I dont want to kill them as they are really beautiful when the plumes come . If it is ok to do this when is the best time. I thought originally late autumn when the plumes look sad after wind/rain battering that happens in October, but dont know whether the winter period would the kill them off! any suggestions? thankyou .



If you can get permission to burn them, I would do that in spring, preferably on a still, cool day. Another way to deal with them, if burning isn't allowed, is to cut them down into a dome shape, and drench the hard little haystack remaining with diluted beer, about 1/2 can per gallon. That will start the thatch to decaying rapidly: turns black in a week or two, then gradually frazzles away over the next few months. They should produce plumes at the normal time, which they wouldn't, if you cut them back now.

27 Jul, 2011


Thank you, if allowed??? do you mean bonfire laws? I am fortunate to live in splendid isolation with no neighbours that will complain about the smoke, so i guess it'll be ok.If I wait till spring , it wont harm that years growth will it?

27 Jul, 2011


Yep, bonfire laws--or "burn laws", as they are called here. They are pretty ferocious here in the arid West, as you could imagine, but I wasn't sure what they would be like where you are. Pretty annoying to have the fire company come roaring up and fine you!! : )

I would do it as early in spring as it is dry enough. Any new growth that is sprouting at the time will burn, but there are always buds below the burned area that will sprout later. Don't use a barbeque starter, since that may chemically damage those buds.

27 Jul, 2011


Usual time to cut or burn in Britain is March - burn or cut off all the growth, right back to the central stump, then rake out the middle, having first clipped out the flowered plumes. Or just burn the lot with a flamethrower if you have one.

28 Jul, 2011


We always 'burnt' ours during the Easter hols, so March would be right as said! It gives them a new lease of life.

28 Jul, 2011


thankyou all for your comments they are most helpful,we dont have fire "police" here so thats ok.

28 Jul, 2011


Better plant a tree or two to counteract the carbon you'll be shoving into the atmosphere with your burning, lol!

29 Jul, 2011


I think youll agree if you look at my garden I have enough trees! hehe the only ones I would love to get rid of are the sycamores!!! LOL

31 Jul, 2011


Ooh, yea, don't blame you for that, blasted things - where there's one there'll soon be loads. I was only joking anyway, Lisal.

1 Aug, 2011


no offence taken bamboo, i find if I keep the lawn mowed regularly they dont take hold. In the beds I have to pull all the little "bleeders" out as the seed everywhere!

1 Aug, 2011

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