Growing Rhubarb

Organic Vegetable Gardening
Fact Sheet

Botanical name: Rheum rhabarbarum



Rhubarb stalks

Planting time: SP
Seeds per ounce: 1700
Ounces per square foot: .03 per 100sqft
Minimum legal germination rate: 75%
Germination type:

Long Germination

Growing Rhubarb is a permanent situation (perennial). A cool season perennial, Rhubarb is very winter hardy. Rhubarb grows from crowns of rhizomes and buds. 

Following a season of growth the Rhubarb crown becomes dormant during winter. Bud development requires temperatures below 40°F.

Rhubarb shoots that appear in spring are edible. These emerge sequentially as long as temperatures remain below 90°F. Top growth is suppressed as temperatures increase and appearing dormant in periods of high heat.

While Rhubarb leaves do contain poisonous materials, they can be used in the compost pile.

Once planted, Rhubarb plantings remain productive for 8 to 15 years.

Caution: The leaves of rhubarb contain oxalic acid and soluble oxalates. Eating Rhubarb leaves can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, and even death. The concern expressed by some individuals is that the oxalic acid and soluble oxalates would move from the leaves to the stalks upon exposure to freezing temperatures. In fact, however, the movement of these compounds into the stalks is not a problem.


In garden spacing (inches): 24
In flat spacing (inches): 1
Planting depth (inches): Cover seed with soil
Maximum number of plants per square foot: .25
Nutrient relationship:: Heavy Feeder


Days to maturity: Seeds - 3yrs
Roots - 1yrs
Harvesting period (days): During the Spring
Minimum yields in pounds /square foot: Stalks


Diseases: Botrytis Blight, Oedema, Powdery Mildew.
Insect pests:(Insect Pest Finder) European Corn Borer, Flea Beetle, Japanese Beetle, Rhubarb Curculio, Slugs and Snails, Yellow Woollybear


Carleton Club, Canada Red, Chipman, Cherry Red, Crimson Red, Egyptian Queen, German Wine, Glaskin's Perpetual, Hawke's Champagne, Holstein Bloodred, Linnaeus, Macdonald, Mammoth Red, Mammoth Green, Monarch, Paragon, Prince Albert, Redstick, Riverside Giant, Ruby, St. Martin's, Strawberry, Sunrise, Sutton, Tilden, Tottle's Improved, Timperely Early, Valentine, Victoria


Organic Gardening Seed and Plant Sources:


More Information on growing healthy rhubarb from Savor The Rhubarb. They also have amazing dishes using Rhubarb.


Return to Organic Gardening Vegetables from Growing Rhubarb



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