We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Best Tips for Growing Rhubarb?

By Sandi Johnson
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Once established, growing rhubarb is practically hands-free. Some growers, in fact, report that established rhubarb is more difficult to kill off than it is to grow, much like an infectious weed. As such, the best tips for growing rhubarb primarily apply to establishing the perennial plant in a new location. Tips to increase success include proper soil preparation and fertilization, choosing a good seed supplier, the proper application of mulch to deter weeds, and choosing a spot in a mostly sunny location.

Successfully growing rhubarb begins with either good seeds or good crowns. Seed suppliers vary in terms of the quality and germination rates for the various seeds sold. Pick a reputable nursery supplier based on recommendations from other gardeners, gardening publications, and adherence to any preferred seed procurement methods. While few studies indicate heirloom or organic seeds have a higher rate of germination, poor quality or old seeds can affect the success rates for growing rhubarb.

Crowns, the divided sections of established plants, offer a far greater success rate than seeds. Most nurseries and plant suppliers offer crowns for growing rhubarb, rather than seeds. Whether using seeds or crowns, planting is best when done during dormancy in early spring or late fall. It is best to space plants to allow for two square feet or more per mature plant. Like many common vegetable garden choices, rhubarb enjoys full sun, in addition to ample space for leaves to spread.

Growing rhubarb is an excellent choice for novice gardeners, owing to the plant's hardiness and versatility in a variety of soils. Although rhubarb will grow in most any soil, it does prefer well-drained soil with a pH between six and seven. Organic matter, such as compost or worm castings, ensure the soil is well fertilized for new plantings. To keep plants healthy, cast compost or similar fertilizers with a high potassium and phosphorus content around the plants. Experienced growers and gardening experts typically recommend casting fertilizer during the summer months, after plants have established.

In addition to using quality seeds or crowns and preparing soil with fertilizer, growing rhubarb is easiest when weeds are kept to a minimum. Perennial weeds pose the most threat to young rhubarb plants. Using a quality mulch not only deters weeds by suffocating unwanted plants but also helps the ground retain valuable moisture.

As flowers appear, remove the stalks to encourage better leaf growth and heartier fruit production. When harvesting, remember that rhubarb leaves are toxic to humans and some animals, so only use the fruity stalks. Leave tops will die off during the winter months, but the roots remain and will regrow in spring, provided good fertilizer is used.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.