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Do i cut the leaves off a gunnera?

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I planted a gunnera manicata this year, it grew lots of new leaves but not very big. Do I cut the leaves off for winter, they havent died down. or shall i just put straw in the middle near the base? Do the leave s get bigger next year? Thanks for your help.

On plant Gunnera manicata



I both grow Gunnera and take care of two gardens that have mature plants. (Bought from me over ten years ago!)

Just before heavy freezing I cut the leaves off and tent the crown with these leaves. Cedar boughs work as well. You do NOT want to cover with straw or leaves as these will compact and possibly cause the center to rot. Worse yet they provide nesting for rodents that may eat the plant.
I have lost them to wood rats, mountain beaver and one near a stream. A muskrat tunneled unseen and at the entire root system.

21 Nov, 2008


I do what Secateur says - break the stems and pile them on the crowns. I read somewhere that a good way of doing this was to cut the stems and spear the leaves onto the stems! I shall try this next year.

Your Gunnera should grow larger leaves as it matures.

21 Nov, 2008


Both Secateur & Spritz are right pile all the leaves over the crown and keep an eye to make sure the centre is not exposed to frost.

22 Nov, 2008


I grow both G. manicata and the more common G. tinctoria also known as G. chillensis.

Established plants in the lowlands of the Olympic Pennisula WA, USA seem to do fine even without mulching. Go up 600 ft. and they definately demand it. When we get that proverbial ultimate winter even these lowland plantings will die. In 1984 we dropped to 0 degree F. and the arctic freeze lasted a week.Where I lived at 800 ft. I got to 10- below zero. No snow, no cover. The native trees could be heard splitting and I lost everything. People forget about arctic outbreaks and exceptional weather events. Up here we are joyously planting many CA. plants that are at least two climate zones above us. Some day they will be lost and the investment as well.

I was wondering if anyone had an idea if one was hardier than the other in the U.K..? Both need a lot of room!

We are beginning to freeze up, so I am leaf mulching my gallon cans. It is most wonderful when you can run into opportunites of picking up free leaves already bagged for you! I picked up 15 huge bags of freshly fallen Cherry leaves.

BTW, I have appealed to the powers of this site to rejoin as skyline. It was a website name I had for ten years, bindweed was the other one. So, if they allow it, I might be deleted and will rejoin as skyline. In the States NO ONE understands the word secateur, nor can spell it. Too many friends I invited to join this site and view my blogs said WHAT is a secateur? Much less know how to spell it. Skyline is much easier.!

My daughters Bolax and Hoya agree. Why pick a name for something that cuts!

23 Nov, 2008


The G. tinctoria is hardier in the UK althought there are a few mini ground cover verisons that i have grown, but lost thanks ot overly keen digging dog!

8 Nov, 2009


OOPS! I didnt realise this question was posted over a year ago!

8 Nov, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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