Help me to create an ideal area for Gunnera

farslayrMarch 4, 2005

I have a hot dry yard, but I want to try growing Gunnera. I've read all the other threads about this plant and I've read the threads about creating a bog. Can some of these ideas be combined to successfully grow this plant?

My idea has been to create a smallish bog area, with a large mound on top for planting. I'd dig a 3'x3' area down to about 24", place a used tarp into the hole and fill with manure/dirt. Then I'll create a mound above this for planting the Gunnera. How's this sound? Do you think I'll kill it with wet roots? I've read where they won't live IN a bog, but near one. Think this would be far enough away?

Anyone got any better ideas to help me out?


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they live in ponds, not just bogs, they need lots of water and they also need the right climate. Where do you live?
There is a small park near us that has two monstrous gunnera growing in the pond. Ours is in a bog and we just started a new one in another bog.
Their original habitat are the "cloud forests". They are similar to rain forests only higher up so they don't have the horrendous high temperatures but are almost constantly bathed in mist.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2005 at 3:50AM
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I have planted a couple of these Gunnera and of course have my own opinions and please take them as that.... my opinions only.

If you can they do prefer shade from the midday sun if possible, they of course will do ok in full sun with lots of water but this can be more of a challenge due to the high sun location. Shade will help both you and the plant in keeping moist conditions at all times.

Under the plant I first dug in somewhat of a liner in the shape of a donut(that is a circular basin with a hole in the middle of about 2ft in diameter. My theory is that it does not sit in water but has a regular moist ring around it at all times. I must add that I have run an old hose underground to the location that comes off a splitter on my outside tap which I use for the watering every morning and evening if it gets very hot, otherwise once in the morning is alright.

By using this method the plant can be placed just about anywhere. If you put your bog in full sun yoiu will need a constant supply of water at the source anyway so run your waterline before you put the plant in the ground so that everything is ready. I have foound that with very hot temps even in the shade it will droop alot due to lack of moisture even when shaded so IMHO full sun would be abit difficult to deal with. But mine is also under150ft fir trees so that may be where all the moisture is getting used up!

I have personally noticed that Gunnera will grow alot taller and more impressive when planted in the shade. More dense, short and stout in the sun. Being as big as they are maybe the stout version would be better for you and your planting scheme.... But if you want a giant shade is the key I think. And lots of water!

Hope that helps


    Bookmark   March 16, 2005 at 9:59AM
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FariesAngel(z8 S AL)

After five attempts in every conceivable conditions on my hot wetlands, I can honestly say, if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO GROW GUNNERA, unless you are rich and can afford to throw money at the nurseries who grow Gunnera and will gladly sell it anywhere even if they know that it won't grow where you live.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 10:51AM
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bimmer_1985(7a MD)

I have no problem growing my GUNNERA plant in my full sun garden here in Maryland!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 1:03AM
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I purchased a Gunnera plant from someone who grew it from seed. I just planted it along our fence area in the backyard which faces a West location. I live in Beaverton, OR. I just planted it in the ground with no bog. From reading about bogs, I am assuming the plant will die; that it needs a bog. My concern is we used to have 60' Poplar trees behind our fence and several have been cut down. We still have lots of Poplar roots in our yard. I don't know if I can build a bog due to Poplar roots that are still in the ground. The roots all over our property. We still pull out starters from the roots even though the trees have been cut down. Does anyone have any suggestions I might try? Thank you Cynthia

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:07PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

had the pleasure of seeing these growing at 7500 feet
on the mist side of a mountain in Costa Rica They were growing in a seep area where water is forced from the ground due to pressure , Also were surrounded by constant mist with day below 80 nights into the 60's Both above and below this altitude they didn't exist. Understand why I can't grow them in florida lol. The locals called them "Poor mans umbrella " Good luck with them they are magnificent!!! gary

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:42PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

I have three clumps of Gunnera in three different locations. The one with the most shade and water has done the best and even it needs a more water in our dry summers. I'm going to transplant part of it this winter into a more favorable spot. It's surprising how much water these plants can take. Two of my clumps are under water for over 7 months of the year. I mulch them with Miscanthus grass in the winter.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 9:10AM
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