Learning how to trim pampas grass can help you keep your plant, and your neighborhood, healthy. Your pampas grass will have the energy to put up new shoots if you remove old, dead shoots. Additionally, disposing of pampas grass fronds after pruning can keep the plant from spreading into neighboring areas where it may not be wanted.
Pampas grass should be pruned to a foot above the ground in the very early spring. While you're pruning your pampas grass, wear thick work gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. The branches can be tough and sharp. Tie a rope around the base of your pampas grass to collect all of the fronds together. Using very sharp garden shears, cut through the grass right below the rope.
Your trimmed pampas grass will contain several fronds, full of pampas grass spores. These spores are lightweight and can disperse in the wind without much help from you. For this reason, your pampas grass should not go in your compost heap or garden recycling bin. Instead, put all the fronds in thick garbage bags and throw them away.
If you notice, once you've cut back your grass, that the center of the plant seems dead while the outer ring is healthy, it's time to separate your plant. Dig the plant up using a shovel, and split the root system into several new plants. Keep one small portion in the original location. If your neighbors would like the pampas grass, give it away. If not, put the unwanted roots in another garbage bag and throw them away.
You may be tempted to prune your pampas grass by lighting it on fire. While this is certainly a quick method, it is certainly not advisable. Pampas grass is extremely flammable, and the fire can quickly spread to your house. Avoid this method for your own safety.