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Plant Details


Bonnie PlantsRhubarb


Best known as an ingredient in pies and tarts, rhubarb is a perennial with edible celery-like stalks. The leaves contain high concentrations of oxalic acid and should not be eaten. While rhubarb is sometimes eaten raw with sugar sprinkled on it, most uses for this plant are in recipes where its tart flavor is a unique addition. Because it is perennial, choose a permanent spot in your garden for rhubarb.

Planting Tips

Plant crowns in spring as soon as soil is workable. Tuck plants into slightly acidic soil rich in organic matter. Rhubarb crowns require shallow planting, but because plants are such heavy feeders, you should dig planting holes at least a foot deep. Water newly planted crowns, and keep soil moist throughout the growing season. As summer heat arrives, mulch plants with a 2-inch-thick layer of organic mulch, such as compost, straw, or shredded bark. Replenish mulch throughout the growing season as needed to maintain 2-inch thickness.

Typewarm season
Categoriesvegetable fruit or berry, warm season vegetable
Lightfull sun
Soilmoist, fertile soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.8
Spacing4 to 5 feet
FertilizerPrepare the ground well by adding soil amendments such a compost and blood meal. Rhubarb is perennial, so you won't get a chance to work the soil well again.
DiagnosisCrown rot settles in when soil drainage is poor. The cure is to dig out and burn infected plants. Don’t replant rhubarb in areas where crown rot has damaged plants before. Established plants need to be divided every 5 to 10 years. You’ll know it’s time to divide when stems are crowded and thin.
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