Rhubarb Plants from Gurney's
Buying the Right Rhubarb Plant
Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that'll produce stalks year after year. If you buy rhubarb plants for your garden, consider your grow zone as well as what's most important to you, such as yields, flavor, color and harvest time.
Rhubarb: Getting the Most Out of Your Purchase
To get the most out your rhubarb plants, select a sunny spot with well-drained soil in either your flowerbed or the vegetable garden. Then, take time to let the plant establish itself. Don't harvest any stalks the first year, and only take a light harvest the second year. Use our zone finder
to check out all of our information and recommendations before planting your rhubarb plants.
Getting Started with Rhubarb Plants
Rhubarb is a fairly easy perennial to grow. Pests and deer generally don't bother it. Properly planting your rhubarb plants helps ensure good yields for years to come.
When to Plant Rhubarb
Rhubarb crowns can be planted in the spring or the fall. Because growing rhubarb from seed to harvest time takes years, most people plant rhubarb crowns.
Where to Plant Rhubarb
Select a sunny spot in the vegetable garden, along a fence or in the flowerbed. Remember that unlike many vegetable plants, your rhubarb plant will be there for years. The soil should be well-drained, with plenty of organic matter. Also, give your rhubarb plants plenty of room--about 3 ft. between plants.
How to Plant Rhubarb
Dig a hole that accommodates the root; place the rhubarb crown in the hole, making sure the root buds are upright and 1-2 inches below the surface. Fill in with dirt and gently tamp down. Water the plant. If rainfall is inadequate, water the plant weekly during the growing season.
How and When to Transplant Rhubarb
Rhubarb plants can be divided in early spring. This is usually done with the plants start become less productive, about every 8-10 years. To divide rhubarb plants, dig up the entire plant, and divide it, making sure each division contains one or two root buds. Plant each division.
When to Harvest Rhubarb
Two years after planting, you can lightly harvest rhubarb stalks. Harvest stalks in the spring when they are about 12 inches long. To harvest a stalk, pull and twist it slightly. Do not harvest by cutting the stalk, as this can introduce disease to the plant. After harvesting a rhubarb stalk, cut off the leaves, as they are poisonous.
What to Do With Rhubarb
While the rhubarb stalks can be eaten raw, most people cook rhubarb. Rhubarb's tart flavor lends itself to desserts and preserves with strawberries. It's also a favorite for making into rhubarb pie, sauces and chutney.