How can I improve the growth of my pampas grass plants?

We planted several large (2-3 feet in diameter) pampas grass plants four years ago. They all grew to about 12 feet tall. They are planted a few feet from the house, and each spring we cut them back to about 6 inches tall. This year, new growth is appearing only on the sunny, south side of the plants. What can we do to improve their growth?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Depending on your recent winter weather, it's likely that the plants suffered some winter damage. True pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), which is invasive enough to be considered a noxious weed in many areas of the country, isn't as cold-hardy as many people think. If you live in Zone 6 or colder, you may be outside the plant?s comfort zone.

 

Your grass may be a look-alike called Ravenna grass or plume grass (Saccharum ravennae), which is far less invasive than pampas grass but is reliably hardy only to Zone 6. Both sometimes have the problem of the older, main clump dying, with any new growth coming only from the younger edges. These and most other ornamental grasses require full sun. If they are getting too much shade, they may need to be moved to a sunnier location.


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