How to Grow Rhubarb

by on November 20, 2012


A prolific and beautiful perennial that will look just as good in the ornamental garden as it does in the vegetable garden, rhubarb is a cool weather plant that requires a dormancy period under 40 F degrees for proper growth, so if your planting zone meets those criteria, rhubarb just might be the plant for you!
Temp Range: 50 F – 75 F
Seed to Plate: varies
Light Needs: 6+ hours of full sun per day
How Much to Grow: 1 plant / family
Average Space Needs: 1 plant / 1 Square Yard
Water Needs: moist, well drained soil
Soil pH: slightly acid, 6.0 –6.5

For the most part, rhubarb is best grown in the Northern United States because of its cool weather needs. Once planted and established though, a rhubarb plant can thrive for up to fifteen years without the need for much care on your part.

Plant rhubarb as transplanted roots early in the spring, but take special care not to crowd these prolific growers as a 2-3 year old plant can take up as much as 4+ feet square! Resist the urge to harvest rhubarb in the first year, and if you do only take a few leaves. After year 1 though, you can harvest the entire plant cutting it off at ground level and it will come back year after year.

Rhubarb will respond favorably to fertilizer, and I recommend adding about a cup of 10 – 10 – 10 fertilizer around the base of each plant when the growing season begins.

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