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I bought a small gunnera for the pond side a couple of weeks ago.  I planted it in a very large pot which has been sunk into the ground (I'm not sure that I have it where I want it and thought the pot would make it easier to move).  The leaves are going brown and curling.  Does it need more water than it's getting? Should it be in loam rather than compost? Help!!!!


In my experience gunnera like to have their toes in the water, or at least in a bog - it does sound as if yours is drying out.


This one is growing in our peat bog, and is in such an area, that not only sucks your wellies off but eats them too. I was doubtful that it would live at our altitude, but boy it just loves it. It's root is always in water.  But I visited Aberglasney last year. Theirs was in moist soil but not wet. Shame really, it was fighting with all sorts of weeds, from nettles and dock to goose grass. But theirs seemed happy.

I didn't think "small" and "gunnera" could appear in the same sentance together. 

I tried the same ploy with a bamboo last year to try and contain its spread by putting it in a very large pot, and then sinking that in the ground.  Bamboo hasn't liked it at all - think the problem came in the winter and early Spring because didn't feel inclined to water it because the grouond seemed wet enough, however, not enough rain was getting into the pot.  I'm going to dig it up and put straight into the ground but in another bit of the garden that can withstand the spread.  The bamboo is also more of clumping kind and spreads slowly so may be several years (hopefully) that will need to be controlled.


It could be frost damage,  the young leaves are very easily damaged.


Gary Hobson
MuddyFork wrote (see)

It could be frost damage,  the young leaves are very easily damaged.

I agree with that. If touched by frost, the leaves very easily go brown and crisp.

If a Gunnera is short of water then the leaves remain green, but simply flop. The plant is easily rehydrated.

If the leaves are brown and crisp then it's frost,

Gunneras can give an impression of being tough macho plants, but they are actually quite delicate.


Ahhhh, frost! That'll be the culprit.....out with the fleece then.  Thanks all

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