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Rheum rhabarbarum

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Belonging to the Rheum genus, Rhubarb has a botanical name of Rheum rhabarbarum.

Rhubarb is a robust perennial with thick fleshy stems below ground and very large sturdy leaves with bright pink or red leaf stalks (petioles).
It is the leaf stalks that are harvested. Make sure not to eat the leaves of Rhubarb – they are poisonous to humans.2. The leaves and petioles being rich in harmful oxalates.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Cream and   Light pink and   Light green. Leaves appear approximately as a   La Salle Green and   Dark red

Rhubarb grows as a perennial and is a flowering semi-edible vegetable / fruit. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).

Rhubarb normally grows to a clump-forming habit with a max height of 3.25 feet (that's 1.00 metres metric). Expect blooming to occur in late spring and harvesting to start by mid spring.

Popular varieties of Rhubarb with home gardeners are Victoria, Glaskin's Perpetual, Crimson Red, Timperley Early and Canadian Red.

Russia is thought to be the country of origin for Rhubarb.

Due to how easy it is to grow in a variety of conditions, Rhubarb is great for beginner gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Rhubarb have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Rhubarb

  • Full Sun

Cut off any flower spikes as they appear. Rhubarb is a cool season plant that is easy to grow in northern areas. Warm climate gardeners may grow it as a winter annual 1.

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun. A soil ph of between 6.0 and 6.8 is ideal for Rhubarb as it does best in weakly acidic soil. Keep in mind when planting that Rhubarb is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.

See our list of companion Plants for Rhubarb to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Rhubarb from seed

If you grow from seed it will take an extra year to produce stalks and will not always be true to type.

Plant or divide when plant is dormant, in early spring or fall. Soil temperature should be below 50º F.

Transplanting Rhubarb

Thrives in rich, well-drained soil. Loosen the dirt to a depth of at least 10 inches and mix in plenty of compost, well-rotted manure and a handful of fertilizer such as 5-10-10. Rhubarb plants are very heavy feeders and manure should be added to the soil every year. Plant the crown so that it’s covered with only an inch or two of soil. Allow each plant about one square meter of space.

As Rhubarb is hardy, ensure temperatures are mild enough to plant out - wait until after your last frost date to be on the safe side.

Harvesting Rhubarb

Break off the stalks at the base. Rhubarb is traditionally ‘pulled’. Cut off an throw away the poisonous leaves—it is the stalks you want. Stop using the rhubarb when the plant begins to produce spindly stalks. Always leave plenty of foliage to sustain the plant’s roots for next year’s growth. Do not harvest after a frost.

How long does Rhubarb take to grow?

These estimates for how long Rhubarb takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Rhubarb to germinate?
10 days

Average 10 days | Min 6 days | Max 345 days (13)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Rhubarb?
+ days

Average days | Min days | Max days (0)

Days to Maturity How long until Rhubarb is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 175 days

Average 175 days | Min 34 days | Max 298 days (35)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Rhubarb?
= days

Rhubarb Etymology

The roots contain anthraquinones and have strong purgative properties

Rhubarb Folklore & Trivia

Indigenous to Mongolia, but widely cultivated as a vegetable

Other names for Rhubarb

Garden rhubarb, Ruhbarb

Rheum rhabarbarum L.

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