1. Fall Harvesting of Rhubarb

Asked by Anonymous - September 20, 2011

I have used up all the frozen rhubarb that I put away this spring. During a normal year, I quit picking my rhubarb plants at the end of June and then add a layer of compost and aged manure to let them build up reserves for next year. They and my asparagus are starting to fade down for the winter. Can I harvest the rhubarb stalks that have good texture now without hurting the plants?

  • It is not a good idea to harvest this late. It may cause the plant to go into a late season growth spurt, which opens it up to damage. It will use up the energy it needs for the winter and may not be able to last through the winter due to this.

2. New Rhubarb

Asked by Anonymous - September 25, 2011

I just planted rhubarb this year. Now that it is fall where I live, what do I do to my plants? They around 18 in. high. Do I cut them to the soil or do I leave them alone for the winter?


3. Is My Rhubarb Safe to Eat?

Asked by pbernauer - October 30, 2011

We just had 2 heavy frosts. I planted my rhubarb 2 years ago and never had a harvest until today. My rhubarb, when sliced, is pitted and browning. Will this affect flavor and safety?

  • It won’t affect the safety, but may affect the flavor. In the future, you should not be harvesting Rhubarb this late in the year. The reason is that it affects how well the plant can deal with the coming cold. Cutting the leaves signals the plant to grow more leaves, which distracts it from preparing for the cold. Harvest rhubarb only in the spring and early summer.

4. Rhubarb

Asked by pamela humeniuk - December 7, 2011

The leaves on my rhubarb are very large and the stems have remained mainly green. I have picked quite a few stems but they are woody. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Some varieties of rhubarb are green stemmed. You may have a variety like this or one that does not turn red, but perhaps just gets a blush of it. You may be waiting too long to harvest. This would explain the woody stems, as if they will get woodier as they get older. Try harvesting younger stems, which will be more palatable.

5. Rhubarb Plant Has Lots of Blooms

Asked by bwatts - March 31, 2012

My rhubarb plant has a lot of blooms. Should I just leave them alone?


6. Why Does My Rhubarb Have a White Flower/Seed Pod

Asked by pamroop - April 2, 2012

The rhubarb is just now coming up for the spring season.   Why does it flower already?


7. Rhubarb Going to Seed

Asked by weasle - April 8, 2012

Why is my rhubarb going to seed? It’s a big green ball on it.

  • Rhubarb bolts (flowers) normally due to stress, be it from lack of water or heat or damage. Given the unusually warm temps this spring in many parts of the country, I would guess that heat is why it is bolting. They are also more prone to bolting when they are older. If your clump is a few years old, you may want to divide it to help rejuvenate it and reduce the chances it will bolt.

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