Now is the perfect time to plant new rhubarb plants, and maintain any trees that you have. Preparing them for winter will mean that your rhubarb is ready to start growing as soon as the soil starts to warm up in spring.
- Rhubarb can be grown in the ground or in a large pot.
- Rhubarb grows best in well-rotted organic matter such as compost or manure.
- When planting the rhubarb crown, place the growing bud at or just below the surface of the soil. If your soil has poor drainage plant the rhubarb so the growing bud is above the surface of the soil to help prevent the stem from rotting.
- The plant will need approximately 1 metre in diameter to grow well. This is because rhubarb is a large plant that produces wide areas of foliage.
- If you’ve planted 1 year old rhubarb plants, do not harvest the stems until the second season, otherwise you will weaken the crown.
To keep your rhubarb plant productive and in good health, divide the crown every 4-5 years. This is also the best way to propagate your favourite varieties – we use a Vitopod Propagator to propagate ours.
The crown of rhubarb plants is made up of thickened pieces of root called rhizomes. The rhizome can be split into multiple parts and each will produce a healthy plant as long as each piece of rhizome has at least one growing point.
To divide rhubarb crowns
- Lift the plant using a garden fork. This will allow you to ease the crown out of the ground without cutting through too many lateral roots.
- Place the tip of a sharp spade where you would like to make the divide in the crown. Make sure that the new plant has at least one growing point.
- Apply firm pressure to the spade making a clean cut in the rhizome.
- The old plant can be returned to its original spot along with well-rotted manure or compost. The new plant can be moved to a new location or potted on.
Our favourite rhubarb varieties
‘Champagne’ varieties of rhubarb are among the most popular and reliable varieties, ‘Victoria’ is also fantastic.
If you have any questions about growing rhubarb, give our Gardening Angels a call on 0845 602 3774 or pop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.