The planting area should be thoroughly weeded prior to planting. Rhubarb
is generally purchased as crowns , rather than propagated from seed.
Planting Rhubarb seeds is not recommended, except in extremely southern
areas of the United States. In addition Rhubarb is generally not
propagated from seed since seedlings are not always true to type.
Quality nursery stock for starting new plantings is recommended; this is
due to freedom from virus, crown rots, root rots and weeds.
Rhubarb crowns can be purchased from seed catalogs or a local nursery,
garden center . Plant the crowns as soon as possible so they don’t dry
Rhubarb is normally planted as early as possible in the spring since
growth begins when soil temperatures are still well below 50º F. Rhubarb
can also be planted in the fall after dormancy has set in.
Plant with the crown bud 2 inches below the soil surface .
Space the roots 36 to 48 inches apart in rows approximately 4 feet
apart. Work plenty of well-rotted manure or compost into the rhubarb bed
before planting .
Since rhubarb is a perennial, it should be planted
to one side or at the end of the garden so as not to interfere with
planting and growing annual vegetables. The rhubarb plant has bold
ornamental texture and size, and some gardeners find it suitable to
include in a perennial flower border.
Plant (or divide) rhubarb roots in early spring while the plants are
still dormant, in well drained soil
Old roots may be dug and divided to make new plantings by cutting the
roots into no more than eight pieces. Each piece must have at least one strong
Cultivate shallowly as often as necessary to remove weeds. Apply a
complete garden fertilizer in early spring before growth begins and
side-dress with a high-nitrogen fertilizer in late June. Except in
poorly drained sites, organic mulches help moderate soil temperature and
moisture. Do not cover the crowns. Flower stalks should be cut off as
soon as they appear.
Lime - should be applied to maintain the soil pH in a range of 6.0 to
6.8 ..ranges as low as 5.0 are tolerable but not recommended.
Nitrogen - rhubarb has a high nitrogen requirement . Apply as necessary
in the first year, otherwise apply nitrogen at bud break along with the
phosphorus and potash . Apply a side dressing of nitrogen after harvest
Fertilize with a handful of a 5-10-10 fertilizer in the spring. A modest
midsummer application will also benefit these vigorous plants.
Do not harvest rhubarb during the first year of planting.
Newly set plants need all their foliage to build a strong root system.
Stalks may be harvested for 1 or 2 weeks during the second year and for
8 to 10 weeks (a full harvest season) during the third and subsequent
years. Harvest in the fall only when the plants are to be discarded the
If seed stalks and flowers develop during the spring and summer, cut
them from the base of the plant as soon as they appear and discard them.
Rhubarb is an extremely hardy plant. It is a beautiful garden plant,
with huge extravagant, lush green leaves and pink or red stalks. Rhubarb
is an ancient plant as well.
There are several different varieties of rhubarb grown all over the
world and used in a variety of cooking preparations. One characteristic
consistent with all rhubarb is the toxicity of the leaves and roots. The
rhubarb leaves contain high amounts of oxalic acid, a toxic and
potentially deadly poison. Only the stems are edible.
Victoria Red Rhubarb -Perennial - Easy to grow
One of the largest and most
Rhubarb Cherry Red
BThis winter-hardy variety loves cold weather!
Rich red through and through, this heavy producer is juicy,
tender, and sweet. Cherry Red is a winter-hardy rhubarb that
thrives in cold weather. Perfect for Northern growers.
- Valentine Rhubarb Loved for its hardiness, delicious flavor,
thick flesh and fine grain
- Victoria Rhubarb
Easy-to-grow rhubarb variety
- Bastard Rhubarb
- Chinese rhubarb
- English Rhubarb
- European Wild Rhubarb
- Garden Rhubarb
- Himalayan rhubarb
- Indian rhubarb
- Ornamental Rhubarb
- Sweet Round-leaved Dock
- Wine Plant
Seed & Nursery Catalogs