Rheum rhaponticum


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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial





Skill level


Rheum rhaponticum

Plant details

While technically a vegetable, rhubarb, Rheum rhaponticum, is considered by many to be a fruit, owing to its sweet flavour and use in desserts. For first-time vegetable growers, rhubarb is the perfect choice. Perennial, it flourishes without too much attention, bearing delicious stalks to stew and eat with porridge at breakfast, or to use as an ingredient in crumbles and tarts. Rhubarb is ready to harvest in early spring, when little else is available, making it one of the most prized crops in the vegetable garden.

Plant Rheum rhaponticum crowns from autumn to spring in a sunny spot in well drained soil. Prepare the soil well by digging in plenty of well rotted manure and remove all weeds. When planting crowns, ensure the top of the crown sits 3cm below soil level, and space them at 75cm intervals. Keep plants well-watered in their first year and mulch annually with home-made compost or well-rotted manure.

Family: Polygonaceae

Genus: Rheum

Species: rhaponticum

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Fruit

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 140cm

Spread: 140cm

Time to divide plants: September to November, March to April

Time to plant: September to November

Reader reviews


I have a rhubarb crown which I have planted in the usual manner in the correct place and over the winter it had a forcing jar over it and grew some lovely sticks of rhubarb - however, it is now uncovered and was beginning to grow away nicely then one morning I noticed that all the leaves had been eaten down to the top of the Rhubard stalk, what can be doing this and how can I stop it ? Any answers would be appreciated thank you.

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