Gunera plants in concrete planters ?

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by vicarious1, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    We arrived from a 22.000 sq feet garden in South Africa
    JHB and now rent a house in Willingdon heights Burnaby
    with 3 terraces facing full SOUTH.and quite some nice
    shrubs, Cypress, Holly, Xmas pine etc. protecting the top area
    BUT the 2 terraces are barren earth with gravel on top.
    It needs green and fast and big :-).

    We brought several big heavy 2x3 feet concrete planters

    I got 2 Gunera plants in a Nursery in Richmond
    and want to put them in the planters as we only RENTING NOW
    and I will be moving in a year or two and want to KEEP the plants.

    QUESTION;
    Do Gunera grow in concrete pots ?
    Do they stay small if the root system can't grow unlimited ?
    Will they somehow mature, I don't expect total growth in a pot, but somehow bigger than what they are now.

    In the moment the total plant with 3-4 leaves is 2feet high and 4 feet across in small free brown plastic pots from the nursery.

    Will they survive a winter in Burnaby ?

    Will these concrete planters be too cold for the root system ?

    What if I sink the them 1/2 into the ground ?

    Would your recommend wooden round planters available here in nurseries?

    Or shall I simply plant them and when we move unearth them and take them with me.

    BUT how deep are the roots?

    Are Gunera roots like trees, equal under earth what is above ground or shorter like palms etc.

    I had loads of normal Rhubarb in South Africa and the roots were not very deep, say max 1 foot depth for 3-4 feet high leaves.

    Would anyone know if they would survive an unearthing and transplant ?

    Can they be divided like normal Rhubarb, say one or two three years from now and take them to a new house and leave some for the landlord who is nice.

    Don't want to leave him with an impression I take away all the plants that I grew IF not in pots.

    As we are ONLY renting at this time I would rather stick to the planters but am concerned the Gunera may not like it.

    Have seen HUGE ones on 49th street south facing but in the earth that is what prompted me to buy them at the nursery.

    Thanks for any 1st time advice for my new garden in Canada.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2007
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    This plant is too big for my garden, so I don't have personal experience. I did see one growing in a very small pot on a recent trip to Seattle. The plant was very small as well, I almost did not recognize it. It did not look completely happy. I think they will grow in pots, but the bigger the better. They like deep, rich, moist soil, so that would seem to indicate that pot care would require careful watering. Winter protection will also be necessary, typically the plants are covered with a mulch of their own leaves to protect them from cold. In a pot extra care has to be taken to keep the roots from freezing. You could bury the pot or cover the whole thing with deep mulch.

    Maybe someone who grows this monster, will chime in here.
     
  3. Debby

    Debby Active Member 10 Years

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    From what I've seen at VanDusen Gardens and Queen Elizabeth Park, where the plants grow in ground beside water, the stems are cut down and piled atop the crown over the winter. So I should think moist conditions during the growing period and protection over the winter will see you through. Putting bubble wrap around the containers and moving them nearer the building might be in order; not too attractive, but prudent.
     
  4. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    Can't beleive this Gunera died in the very bad winter 2 years ago. and did not show nothing for 2 years I ripped out the rotten center.. and now 3years later the plant has made 4 small 4inch leafes again..AHHMazing.
     
  5. Aisya

    Aisya Member

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    Ok its an old post but I could'nt believe Vic was even contemplating a pot for this tropical plant.

    Eric it would swamp my small garden.

    http://aq.be/04783a
     
  6. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    Well mine keep dying and I have them planted in a place with a direct underfloor connection to a roof downpipes given up on them since as they are like 60-90$ a shot ...Only the 1st year was sort of OK then they got smaller and smaller and finally dissipated..I know their size that is why I wanted one for privacy from neighbors. But thanks for the lovely pics
     

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