Rhubarb is one of those old fashion veggie garden plants that often gets overlooked and forgotten. If you are looking for a productive plant that 'gives' year after year, with only a little bit of care, then this one is for you.

What is Rhubarb

Rhubarb's scientific name is Rheum rhabarbarum. It is a herbaceous perennial that grows from short, thick rhizomes. The stalks are edible and known for their strong, tart taste. However, the leaves are poisonous and need to be avoided.

Uses of Rhubarb

The stalks are often stewed with sugar to make a beautiful dessert with ice cream or custard. It is also commonly used in dessert pies and even pickled.

Growing Rhubarb

If cared for, Rhubarb will grow and produce well for at least 10 to 15 years; and even longer. Some growing specifics are:

  • It is best grown in cooler climates - excessive prolonged heat is its enemy.
  • Rhubarb will tolerate periods of dry.
  • The crown will rot if in excessively wet soils for prolonged periods of time.
  • Slightly acidic soil is preferred - pH 6.0 to 6.8.
  • Fertilise regularly with liberal amounts of well aged manures (must not be fresh - these can burn the leaves).
  • Space rhubarb crowns at least 60cm apart.
  • Once mature, harvest is best during the months of spring.
  • When mature (best at about 5 years) the crown can be divided to produce additional plants. 

With only a little bit of care, you should enjoy your rhubarb for many years to come.

About the author: Steve McLean
I am an educator and passionate gardener and traveler. I love helping others to grow productive gardens and am always looking for new ways to develop my own gardening knowledge. I believe that that by working together with gardening as a common theme for us all, the world will be a better place.

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