How to Grow and Care for Rhubarb Plant

How to Grow and Care for Rhubarb Plant

Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that comes every year. It is used for making pies, sauces, jellies, and jam. People love to have it in combination with strawberries.

It is a simple and low maintenance plant to have in the garden but needs cool weather. The stalk of Rhubarb is edible and has a rich, tart flavor, but the leaves are poisonous. So, make sure you don’t eat the leaves of this plant.

Things To Know About Rhubarb

  • Botanical name: Rheum rhabarbarum
  • Soil type: Any fertile soil
  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Height/spread: 1 to 3 feet or 3 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide.
  • Season: Early spring

When To Plant Rhubarb?

How to Grow and Care for Rhubarb Plant

Choose the site which is well-drained, highly fertile, and is exposed to full sunlight. Clear this site by removing perennial weeds, and the site is ready for Rhubarb cultivation.

This plant is suitable in regions with an average temperature below 40F in winter and below 75F in summer. It is best to plant the one year plant in early spring as soon as the land becomes workable. The one-year-old plant has dormant roots, and the leaf just began to grow a little.

How To Plant Rhubarb?

How to Grow and Care for Rhubarb Plant

If the dormancy of the plant is set in, you can plant it in the fall. Dig a large bucket-sized hole and place the plant into the pit such that the roots are 1-2 inches below the surface. Keep the plants 4 feet away from each other.  

If you wish to sow the seeds, you can do it in early spring. You can grow it in an indoor pot and then transplant it in the garden.

Don’t forget to add compost into the soil to improve the fertility of the soil. Rhubarb is a heavy feeder and needs enough amount of organic or commercial compost in the soil to grow healthy. Avoid adding chemical fertilizer for at least the first year.

Care Tips

Water the plant regularly to give them the dissolved nutrients. Make sure the plant enjoys full sunlight and are planted 4 feet apart from each other. This expands the growth of the plant by giving it enough space to spread.

If you observe any flower on the stalk, remove it so that the plant will get full nutrients. Remember that the leaves of this plant are poisonous.

Don’t harvest the plant early as this may lead to a lack of the taste and benefits of the plant stalk. Wait until you see the full growth and then harvest. You can find various recipes of the Rhubarb stalk on the internet.

Which disease does it face?

It majorly suffers crown rot. To prevent the plant from rotting, you should add organic fertilizer to the soil and remove the unnecessary weeds around the plant.

When to harvest the stalk?

Do not harvest the stalk in the first year. It is better to harvest it when the plant stalk grows 12 to 18 inches tall, i.e., after 3 years. If you found that the stalks are thin, don’t harvest it. The thin stalk means the plant food reserves are low.

Are the leaves poisonous for pets?

Yes. The leaves are very poisonous. So keep the pets away from the plant and stop them from eating the leaves. You can fence the plant so that your pets are not able to reach it. Also, make sure your kids are away from the plant leaves.