Posted: 13/04/2014 at 19:41
If the result is unimportant to Nathan and he does not really want more rhubarb then I'll agree with Christopher Hodgkiss - grow the seeds and see what he gets - however he'll have to wait 3 or 4 years before he gets a plant big enough to make a judgement about the quality of the plants he's grown.
However, what Nathan said he has is an immature crown which is already running to seed - not a trait that I would want to reproduce.
Good practice is only to propagate from strong and productive plants.
And if he allows an immature crown to run to seed it will weaken it so much it is unlikely to ever grow into a substantial and productive crown, even if it has the energy to survive the following winter.
If he wants more rhubarb plants my advice is
- remove the flower stalk from the small crown at it's base. Do not pick any stalks from that crown this year. Mulch the plant with well-rotted farmyard manure and keep the soil around it moist in any dry spells.
- Next year take a light crop from this crown. Do not pick after June.
- Divide the larger crown into two or three plants in November - do not take a crop from the new plants in the following year but mulch and keep moist as before.
In two years' time the smaller crown will be a larger and productive plant and the divided crown will also be cropping. A much quicker and more reliable way to increase your rhubarb plantation.