32268

How to grow rhubarb

Home-grown rhubarb is delicious and nutritious. We explain how to grow it for the best results.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is not at its best in July

Plant is not at its best in August

Plant is not at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Rhubarb is easy to grow and, once established, will crop for many years. Many varieties look ornamental enough to grow in a garden border, as long as it has plenty of rich, moist soil and is watered regularly.

Find out how to grow rhubarb, below.

Advertisement

You Will Need

  • Rhubarb
  • Fork
  • Garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure

Total time:

Step 1

Planting rhubarb crown
Planting rhubarb crown

Plant bare-root rhubarb crowns in late winter or early spring, and pot-grown rhubarb in autumn. Prepare the soil by forking in lots of well-rotted manure or compost before planting. Make sure the buds are just below soil level.

Step 2

Applying a mulch around rhubarb crown
Applying a mulch around rhubarb crown

Apply a mulch of compost or well-rotted manure around the roots in spring. This will provide extra nutrients and also keep the roots damp in summer. On poor soils, apply a general fertiliser beneath the mulch, too.

Step 3

Large rhubarb leaves
Large rhubarb leaves

Rhubarb’s large leaves form a massive canopy over the soil. creating a ‘rain shadow’, so water doesn’t reach the roots. As it’s a thirsty crop, water thoroughly, even after heavy rain.

Step 4

Removing the rhubarb flower
Removing the rhubarb flower

As soon as any flower stems appear, remove them with secateurs. If they are left, the plant devotes all its energies to flowering, which can seriously weaken, and sometimes kill it.

Advertisement