Saccharum ravennae or Northern Pampas Grass is a tough, hardy, tall grass plant that substitutes for Pampas Grass in northern climates. Here’s how to grow it easily.
The flowering on this grass is a dull, muddy white (almost a beige) and not the clear white (or light pink) you’re looking for with the southerly Pampas grass.
- This is a plant of damp and rich soils. And that’s the key to growing it well.
- Full sun is best although a light afternoon shade won’t slow the growth rates down.
- This is a tall grass reaching 6-8 feet easily.
- The plumes in catalogs are described as silvery-white but personally, I find it to be a muddy white and not overly attractive.
- Hardy to USDA zone 4/5. I note it is hardier in damper soils than if you try to grow it in a drier soil (been there – killed this one).
By division in the early spring is best although fall will work. It will self-sow if happy.
This plant will not perform well in the regular perennial border as it requires a very damp soil to thrive.
If you want the height and flower of this plant to show itself off, you’ll do best to provide a large damp or bog-style garden for it.
Soils that are allowed to dry out will not give it the conditions it desires.
In this sense, it is not a substitute for southern pampas grass although it is often sold that way in garden centers.