What is eating my gunnera stems?

ikhendersonikhenderson Posts: 13
edited June 2018 in The potting shed
Sorry, wrong part of the forum - look at problems.
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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,045
    it all ends up in the same place whatever part you post it in.

  • I'm a new user, not used to the forum yet.  Apologies.
  • but just in case people meet this post rather than the other one here is my query:

    I have a bog garden in which I have planted a gunnera, hoping that it will settle and grow following two previous attempts with smaller specimens, one of which was eaten and one of which I failed to overwinter.  However, something is eating this new plant - mainly the stems.  I have seen reports elsewhere about slugs eating the leaves, but in our case something is stripping the stems specifically.  I have taken slug precautions, but the stripping continues and all three main leaves are now collapsed.  Please help as I would love to be able to grow this magnificent plant.  We don't have deer or rabbits in the garden.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,941
    Could you post a picture of the problem please?
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,639
    I have a gunnera that has been thriving for 20 years. I also have a particularly bad slug problem. The slugs don't even look at the gunnera: it's difficult to imagine anything chewing on those stalks and leaves. We have had rabbits, too, and they won't touch it. Could there be some sort of rot or disease or are you sure it's being eaten? 

  • Thanks for the responses.  I've definitely seen posts on other forums about gunnera being subject to slug damage, but the way the stems are being methodically stripped doesn't look like that to me.  Nor can I see it being any form of disease.  Any ideas?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 17,976
    I have never known any critter eat gunnera stems so can't help but I have t o say yours looks very dry.   They like their roots moist so can you water it?  It should have far more leaf stalks than that and I suspect it's struggling.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PosyPosy Posts: 1,639
    Yes, mine grows in mud and is wet all the time. I would remove the slug pellets because you have too many and they are not working, anyway. I have found that most of the things that eat plants in my garden - and they are legion - do so at night. If you take a strong torch and pop out to have a good look round, starting at about 10 o'clock and going out again later if you find nothing, you may discover your culprit. Remember that the things which eat damaged plants are seldom the things that damage them in the first place, apart from slugs, so you may find woodlice and beetles of various sorts but don't kill them on the off-chance, they may be innocently clearing up!
  • Yes, sorry about the slug pellets - I went a bit over the top when I saw the damage.  No it is not dry at all - it's just the weed matting around it that is showing and it is good and moist underneath - it is in a very low a damp part of the garden.  The plant was only purchased six weeks ago and had three main leaves and one small one as well as the spike - it was a good, healthy plant at the time and remained so for the first couple of weeks after I put it in the ground.  We do have squirrels in the garden - might it be these?
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