Growing rhubarb – when, how and with what to fertilize?

Opublikowano: 2022-06-21 img


Rhubarb is best planted in the spring or fall. The best results are achieved by planting rhubarb between September and October, but this plant can also be planted in March.

It is necessary to cover the plant’s buds with a 5-centimeter layer of soil. Regular weeding is very important in rhubarb cultivation. This procedure is particularly important in the first years of growth. Excessive weed growth can threaten the plant’s life. Weeds in the first year of its development are most harmful to rhubarb. It is also necessary to remove flower stems. They weaken the plant and also delay its growth.

Rhubarb can be grown from seeds or by dividing crowns, known as vegetative propagation. It is a plant that rarely gets sick. However, sometimes leaf stalk rot may appear.

If rhubarb is planted by dividing the root crowns, they should be divided with a sharp spade. Each seedling should have one strong bud. They should be planted immediately after division. For proper rhubarb growth, space is needed, so it must be grown in rows 1 × 1 meter. It is good practice to cover the seedlings from the top with a layer of compost. To plant rhubarb from a divided root crown, rows of holes about 30 cm deep should be prepared, spaced 1 meter apart. Compost or manure should be laid at the bottom of the hole.


Various types of organic fertilizers can be used to fertilize rhubarb, such as manure or compost. Nitrogen fertilizers, such as urea, will also work well. Thanks to it, the amount of oxalic acid in the plant’s leaves will decrease.


Rhubarb is considered a very easy-to-grow plant. It can be planted even in areas that are not very fertile. Interestingly, the plant can grow and yield crops even for 10–12 years in such places.

The rhubarb root system reaches very deep. To achieve abundant and early yields, it is best to plant the plant in a warm and sunny location. It will also yield in the shade, but it may happen a bit later.


Rhubarb is a very versatile plant with modest requirements. Due to its high frost and cold resistance, it can even be planted in cooler regions of Poland. Rhubarb is not afraid of even spring frosts (up to -10ºC). Even if it has spring buds, it can withstand negative temperatures.

In rhubarb cultivation, water is an extremely important factor. This plant requires a lot of watering. This ensures that the leaf stalks have the right taste, juiciness, and quality. If rhubarb has too little water, the stems will become fibrous and not very juicy.

The soil in which rhubarb grows does not have to be particularly fertile. The best choice is fertile and humus-rich soils, with a neutral or slightly acidic pH. However, the plant will cope even in much worse soil. However, it should be remembered that rhubarb does not like clay soils. Despite its high water demand, if the water persists in the clay soil, it is not suitable for it. Such a situation can lead to the rotting of the plant’s crowns.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that in the first year of cultivation, only a small amount of leaves should be picked. Only those at the base can be picked but with great care and moderation. They are very important for rhubarb to develop properly. They stimulate the growth of the plant in subsequent years.


Rhubarb is also known as common rhubarb or garden rhubarb. Its stems can reach up to 1.5 m in height. It is very frost-resistant. It can survive even temperatures as low as -10ºC – the above-ground parts of this plant then die. In this way, rhubarb can survive the winter, and in spring it begins to produce new stems and leaves.

The leaf stalks of rhubarb, which contain a lot of vitamin C, are suitable for consumption. It should be known that eating large amounts of rhubarb can be harmful to health. Therefore, consumption should be approached with great moderation. Rhubarb lowers the level of calcium in the body and contributes to the formation of calcium oxalates, which are very harmful to the kidneys.


In Polish gardens, the most common varieties include:

  • ’Cherry Rhubarb’, which is a medium-early variety – has a dark red hue. If proper growing conditions are not provided for this variety, it may yield fibrous stalks;
  • ’European Pioneer’, which is an early variety – produces both dark red flesh and skin;
  • ’Karpow-Lipski’, which is an early variety – has a red skin;
  • ’Coral Rhubarb’, which is a medium-early variety – yields dark green flesh and red skin.

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