Rhubarb Growing Guide

Rheum rhabarbarum


Crop Rotation Group



Well-drained soil with plenty of compost dug in.


Sun or partial shade.

Frost tolerant

Yes, but leaves and shoots die back.


Mulch with extra compost each year after the leaves have died down.


Single Plants: 90cm (2' 11") each way (minimum)
Rows: 90cm (2' 11") with 90cm (2' 11") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Grown from a crown (root) which can be split from a healthy plant and planted out, usually in mid winter.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


Early sweet stems can be produced by forcing and blanching the rhubarb: in mid winter to early spring add dry material such as leaves or straw and cover with a deep container or bucket to exlude light for about one month.


Do not harvest during the first year of growth. After this, pull a few of the thicker sticks when long enough. Stop harvesting in early summer and allow plants to grow freely for the rest of the season.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Rhubarb