How Do You Grow Gunnera Manicata?


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Shelagh Young answered
Gunnera manicata is a huge impressive plant often seen growing by ponds and streams. It is happiest in the balmier climate of southern England than the windier, frostier north but can grow just about anywhere in the UK. It looks like a vast rhubarb plant with large wavy edged leaves up to 1.8m across. The stalks and undersides of the leaves sprout bristly hairs and the plant produces an alien-like flower which spikes up in summer like a giant bottlebrush. It grows from a rhizome which is gnarled looking and covered in brown scales. It can be bought as a container grown plant and is widely available. Gunneras need lots of moisture and love to be raised in boggy conditions. They are not fully hardy and can be killed by frost. Covering the plant with bracken, straw or some fleece from the garden centre is advisable in frosty areas. They can be grown from seed or propagated by dividing the rhizome in Spring.

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