Essential info for growing dinosaur food
Gunnera manicata, commonly known as giant rhubarb or dinosaur food, is a large and impressive perennial plant that is native to South America. It requires a moist and shaded environment to thrive. Here are our tips to help your Gunnera thrive:
1. Optimal Planting Location:
Choose a shaded area with consistently moist soil, enriched in organic matter. Shield the plant from strong winds to prevent leaf damage. Plants do well near water sources like ponds or streams, where their roots are able to access moisture. The reflection of the large leaves in the water also creates a pleasing visual effect.
2. Soil Enhancement:
Improve the soil quality by incorporating compost or well-rotted manure before planting. This enhances nutrient content, creating an ideal growth environment. Established plants also require annual feeding with manure and respond very well to the increased soil fertility.
3. Planting Technique:
Dig a hole larger than the root ball, positioning the plant with the crown slightly above or at soil level. Enrich the soil (as mentioned above) and once planted, thoroughly water to establish strong root-to-soil contact. Continue to water well until the plant is established.
4. Ongoing Maintenance:
Nourish with a balanced, slow-release fertiliser in spring, prune as needed to remove dead or damaged leaves, and insulate the crown with substantial mulching during cold winters.
5. Growth Management:
Consider the plant’s spreading nature when choosing its location, preventing overcrowding in the area. With proper care, Gunnera manicata will flourish as a captivating centerpiece in a shaded or damp landscape.