Pampas grass was popular in the 1970s. This is due to an urban myth that suggested plants in front gardens in suburbs were code for indicating residents are up for wife-swapping.

These species were originally from warmer climates. There are currently 24 of them, the majority growing to between two and three meters tall with fluffy plumes, which can then be dried.

Incredibly invasive, it’s banned in some U.S. states, but is now popping up in trendy flower shops at between £3 and £16 per stem. It has been reported that some British councils have had to issue warnings about theft after it was found on plants along the coasts, in parks and even in gardens.


Celebrities like Stacey Solomon and Mrs Hinch, cleaning influencers, as well as Rochelle Humes (ITV host), have multiple displays. Easily this year’s must-have home decor item, there are more than 554,000 #pampasgrass mentions on Instagram.

‘We’ve seen a real rise in the popularity of dried flowers and grasses like pampas recently, fuelled mainly by people’s interest in sustainability, as unlike perishable real blooms, dried ones are long-lasting,’ says Selina Kerley from London florist McQueens Flowers, who recently launched dried-flower-arranging classes after a surge in demand.

‘Pampas has such a lovely nature. It’s really versatile and suitable for both large-scale installations and just a few stems in a vase. Anyone can style it; it can be left natural or dyed different colours; and it looks good anywhere.’

Overhead arrangements and Pampas wreaths were first introduced last Christmas. But this year it seems we’ve reached peak pampas, with whole trees made of the frothy foliage and decorated with lights and colour-coordinated baubles.


These are not affordable options. You’ll need as many as 200 stems to make a 6 ft tree, costing upwards of £600, and even a 2 ft ready-made tree can be almost £300.

They’re also not for anyone with hay fever because the abundance of grass seeds makes it a trigger for allergies. Your tree shouldn’t attract bugs, as long they are properly dried.

Make one by first bending a long piece of chickenwire into a cone. You can also use a pre-made polystyrene conical (available at craft stores and Amazon). You will need to place pampas grass stems in the holes. The longest ones should be at the top. If you’re using a foam cone, cut the stems at an angle, so they make a point at the ends. They will be able to push more into the foam by doing this.

Pampas are more trouble than pine for shedding. Prevent bits dropping off by spraying your tree with hairspray — but be careful, as hairspray is flammable.

Are you not up for making an entire Christmas tree? You can make a Christmas tree with just a few plumes of grass, dried flowers and some other decorations.

You’ll need as many as 200 stems to make a 6 ft tree, costing upwards of £600, and even a 2 ft ready-made tree can be almost £300

You’ll need as many as 200 stems to make a 6 ft tree, costing upwards of £600, and even a 2 ft ready-made tree can be almost £300


When it comes to decorating, pampas ‘branches’ aren’t like a normal pine — they’re wispy grasses. So you can’t really hang things on them. To wire the baubles, you need to attach them under the pampas. You can also use dried flowers or pampas grass in other colours to add interest.

It can be used to wind fairy lights, however, only battery-operated LEDs are allowed. LEDs, which are brighter, won’t heat up — but make sure to place the transformer for the lights in a safe place because it will get hot. Pampas is already flammable — and spraying it with hairspray makes it even more so. Take your Christmas tree down and place the plumes in an airtight container until next year.


Most local florists will stock pampas —expect to pay £3-6 per stem. offers a large selection of colours and sizes. also sells faux pampas for people with allergies. Dedicated online sellers include, threesisters and who also sell ready-made wreaths

Abigail Ahern is an interior designer who has designed a series of pampas heads with faux stems that make for simple arrangement ( While you can pick your own, be warned it needs to dry out hung upside down for almost three weeks before it can be fashioned into a tree — meaning you will just about be able to put one up on Christmas Eve.