Rhubarb is an easy-to-grow perennial plant that grows best in cooler climates like ours. Once planted, it does not require much maintenance until the mature plant needs to be divided every 5 to 6 years and can be used to grow new plants. Read how to plant, maintain, harvest and divide rhubarb.
Growing rhubarb at a glance
Rhubarb should be planted in a partially sunny location in well-drained soil. Mix the soil generously with compost and other organic matter.
Select a site where the plant can grow undisturbed for 5 to 6 years. Because rhubarb needs time to become established, you can begin harvesting stalks only after the first year.
There are many different rhubarb varieties, ranging from red and pink to green. Some varieties do better in certain locations than others, so find out what variety of rhubarb other gardeners in your neighbourhood grow – or even better, try to get a piece of their mature rhubarb plant when it needs to be divided, which has to be done every 5 to 6 years.
Caution: Only the stalks, not the leaves of rhubarb are edible. The leaves contain oxalic acid, which is toxic. However, the leaves may be composted.
Also, note that there is also ornamental rhubarb, which is not edible. Procure your rhubarb from a reliable source to make sure you plant an edible variety in your garden.
Rhubarb is usually trouble-free of insects and diseases.