Pampas Control

Do's and don'ts of pampas control

Pampas flowering plant, image: Karen Stewart, DPIPWE

Do's

  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your pampas problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Use a combination of different control methods: combining both physical and chemical measures can be effective;
  • Be sure to eradicate every last plant: pampas seedlings may continue to 'appear' at a treated site, indicating that a parent plant is still present in the area;
  • Remove all root material in the ground, as pampas can regrow from these root fragments;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Revisit the site and use follow-up treatments over at least several years.

Don'ts

  • Don't let pampas plants set seed - stopping seed production is the key to stopping the spread of the weed;
  • Don't leave root fragments in the ground, as pampas can regrow from these root fragments;and
  • Don't dump live pampas material, as this can spread seed and allow plants to regrow from root fragments.

Spread of Pampas

  • Pampas reproduce mainly by seed, but can also grow from root fragments.
  • Sexual reproduction varies between pampas species. C. selloana needs the presence of both the female and bisexual plants for pollination and seed set, while C. jubata plants are all female and produce large quantities of seed without the need for pollination. Up to 100, 000 seeds can be produced per flower head. Seeds are light and can be windblown for distances of up to 25 km.
  • Pampas can also spread via fragments of rhizome (underground stem) being moved during cultivation, on dirty equipment and machinery or when pampas material is dumped and allowed to regrow.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading pampas.

Physical removal

  • Small pampas plants can be removed manually by hand-pulling or digging out the entire plant with a mattock. Ensure all root material is removed.
  • Plants can be slashed with a brushcutter or burned to make root removal with a mattock easier.
  • Larger plants may require machinery to remove the whole plant including the root system.
  • Removed pampas material should be burned or buried more than 1 meter deep. Plants can also be left upside down with roots exposed to die. Never dump live pampas with root material as pampas can regrow from root fragments.
  • To prevent seed spread, cut and remove flower heads as soon as they appear in autumn, and securely bag and dispose of.

Burning

  • Pampas can be burned to reduce mass and prevent flowering.
  • Plants can regrow from roots left in the ground, so follow up after burning is essential.
  • Pampas is highly flammable, and care is needed when burning.

Grazing or replanting

  • Where possible, graze infested areas or replant to native tree and shrub species.

Chemical control

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