I came upon a Gunnera manicata at Woodley's garden center in Columbia last week, and couldn't resist buying it. I'd appreciate advice concerning best sun exposure and moisture needs here in zone 8a. Also, if anyone has pics, I'd love to see your plant.
I'm afraid the Gunnera is more suited for the West coast I've found that most plants that thrive in the British isles and the Pacific NW can't handle our summers. I plan to plant it next Mar in a low lying area in dappled shade, but I'm afraid it's going to melt in next summer's heat.
I also contacted a DG member in Columbus, Ga, who planted one last Feb and it immediately died. Really hate the idea of wasting time and labor on a plant that will never thrive. Maybe it will grow enough to qualify as baby dinosaur food.
I tried one a few years ago and it croaked in about 2 months. It had morning sun and afternoon shade .. If you want something big then go for colocasia gigantea .. with a good water supply and in the ground, the leaves can get over 5 feet long .. I just happen to have some pups if you're interested.
Sounds like they're just not east coast plants - must pass this info on to the folks at Woodley's. I bought a dozen expensive bulbs - can't remember their names - from my local Ace hardware garden center last April, and they all turned out to be plain jane elephant ears. They were in bins side by side w/regular elephant ears, but the price for the more exotic bulbs was over twice the price. The leaves were supposed to be erect and quite large - sounds similar to your bulbs.
Anyway, a couple weeks ago, I told the garden dept manager that there was a mix up w/the bulbs,and she insisted they were not the common elephant ear. She said the shape of the bulbs in question was different and the bulbs were too long to be the common elephant ear. When I first returned down here, I bought many of the common elephant ear bulbs, and I know the bulbs vary in size and shape.
Bottom line, I will never buy anymore loose bulbs in bins from that store.
Thanks for your generous offer, MmeX. I'll contact you soon .
Forgot to mention buying an alocasia 'Sarian' from Woodley's. I assumed it was cold hardy in my zone, but according to DG plantfile page, they're only cold hardy to zone 9a.Do you know if this true? Thanks again!