You don’t have to give up using this stunning ornamental plant in your landscaping just because you want to keep snakes at bay, but you do need to know how to care for pampas grass well. Start with a good pruning and cleaning out during the fall months. Pampas grass grows quickly and typically doesn’t need a lot of hands-on care during the growing season. However, when the foliage begins to dry during the fall months, it’s time to cut it back, leaving no more than about 8 inches of the plant’s fronds present. That may seem drastic, but it will help them to grow back in the spring. While pruning, take it one step further and clean out all of the dead organic material at the base of the plant. This is the ideal time to do a significant chop since the plant is entering its dormant period.
Don’t make the mistake of burning the stubs, though. This will create a matted material under the plant that will encourage snakes to hide. It’s also a good idea to remove any clumps or sprouts that have popped up outside of the main area. This is how the plant spreads, but keeping it more controlled minimizes the snake-like habitat. Without enough foliage to hide under, the snakes will move on.