Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)


Knotweed family (Polygonaceae)

glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Division: beginning of October
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Planting: from March to end of April
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Distance: 80.0 – 100 cm x 80.0 – 100 cm
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Height: 50 – 100 cm
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Harvest: Year 1: no harvest, year 2: from mid April to beginning of July
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Habitat: sunny, partial shade
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Good Neighbours: Broad beans, Brussels sprouts, Bush beans, Kale, Pointed cabbage, Red cabbage, Salad, Savoy cabbage, Spinach, White cabbage
glyphicon <%# Eval("Title") %> Perennial. It likes heavy, deep soil.
It requires a lot of patience to grow your own rhubarb from seed.
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Rhubarb is a perennial plant. The parts above ground die back in autumn. Its rest period begins in autumn. Rhubarb starts to grow again in spring with underground buds. (see Wikipedia)


Rhubarb needs a sunny to partially shaded location with heavy, deep soil.


Rhubarb can be vegetatively propagated by dividing the rootstock in autumn or spring:

  • Each piece should have at least one bud
  • Before planting, dry off the cut surfaces, so that they do not rot in the moist earth.
  • Plant pieces of root about 3 cm deep
  • Rejuvenate the plants no later than every eight years by dividing and replanting.
Please note:
With rhubarb plants bought in pots, it can take 1 to 2 years until the plant grows enough stems of rhubarb.
Generative propagation from seeds requires a lot of patience and usually only results in quite weak plants.



Plants that are well suited for next year cultivation:

(not specified)


The following plants should not be planted in the following years:

How many years: Not to plant:


It is winter-hardy so protection is not required in winter.
Rhubarb is a shrub where the parts above the ground die back in autumn.


  • Water a lot
  • Cover with a layer of mulch to prevent the ground from drying out too much
  • Regularly add compost to the soil
  • Regularly remove the flower shoots which appear from late spring (May in central Europe) through to midsummer.


Pests: Nematodes, beet cyst eelworms, root eelworms
Diseases: Rhubarb mosaic virus (caused by the cabbage black ring virus and the arabis mosaic virus).


Twist out the rhubarb stems (never more than 1/3 of the stems with leaves), do not cut.


Wrapped in a moist cloth, rhubarb can be kept in the fridge for up to one week.
Stalks of rhubarb can be frozen. This is how to do it.

  • Cut the stalks into coarse pieces
  • Put the rhubarb pieces singly onto a tray or baking sheet and freeze like that for about two hours
  • Then put the pieces together into a freezer bag and freeze.
Do not put rhubarb into aluminium foil or metal tins.


Only the leaf stems, peeled or not are edible. Rhubarb can be stewed, amongst other things.
Do not eat raw stems.

  • Do not eat raw leaves as they contain toxins and can cause vomiting and circulatory disorders.
  • Rhubarb contains oxalic acid, whereby the harvest in early summer contains more than in spring .
  • Do not eat excessive quantities.


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