Gunnera Manicata Overwintering

I have a newly acquired (this spring) young Gunnera in a pot. I quickly transferred it to a permanently boggy, north facing area of my bed and as a resuly has flourished this year.

My question is, as there have been a few frosts in the morning, when should I go about protecting the crown (with mulch, etc)? I'm aware its a good Idea to fold over the dead/dying leaves onto the crown and cover with mulch, etc, but the leaves still look very much alive to me, and I don't want to end up killing it!

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc57/750lbs/DSC_0323.jpg

 Please ignore the messy compost everywhere!

Cheers

 

Posts

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 7,614

    I would cover the crown with some straw, and then when the leaves die back, you can cover with those.

    Time is never time at all
    You can never ever leave
    Without leaving a piece of youth
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,371

    I have lost 2 of these in the past from unexpected first frosts below -5C.  Previously they had survived winters of -20C for several weeks because I got to them before the frosts and folded over the large, dying leaves to cover the crown and then buried the whole plant under 3' of garden compost.   

    My third and last attempt at growing these is in a pot and gets potted up to the next size in spring so it can grow well.  For winter, I bury the pot in the border in the greenhouse.  Once it gets to a size where I can no longer move its pot it will be planted out and I will keep a weather eye on the frost forecasts and use my judgement when I think the forecasters may be wrong so I, and te gunnera, don't get a nasty surprise.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Great - thanks for that!

    Better get some straw in then...

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,660

    I have one which is partially submerged in the lake, and two more next to the pond which I just leave to  look after themselves. I never cover them up , or give any protection. North Devon here, but previously lived in Hants, and I've never lost one.

     

    Devon.
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