Whats wrong with my Rhubarb?

sally_growerMay 3, 2012

My rhubarb is declining and I don't know why. Last year I noticed that one plant was small with weak little stems and this year it's even worse. Last year I put 10-10-10 fertilizer on it to try to help, I hope I didn't make it worse. Does Rhubarb have a life expectency? It's been in the same spot for probably 30 years. The one beside it seems OK, not great, but much smaller than it usually is

Any advice is greatly appeciated.

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tedgrowsit(6b PA)

Sally, believe it or not rhubarb likes to be fed, it thrives on humus, manure, compost. It should be dug and divided every few years to keep fewer larger plants that produce thicker stalks. Rhubarb tends to proliferate into smaller, weaker plants over time. Take your shovel and "trim" off some of the smaller plants around the edges, then surround it with some compost/manure/grass clippings/leaves/wood chips or something like that. You can either replant some of your trimmings, give them to friends, or throw them on your compost pile. Hope this helps. Ted

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 8:23PM
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...that's excellent advice, also, keep any bloom stalks cut off as soon as it is apparent they are not a normal leaf stalk.

30 years is a long time. Mine came with the property 22 years ago and are still going strong, just by adding occasional compost.

I don't know if rhubarb is subject to underground damage by critters or not.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Where I live its too hot for rhubarb and the roots get diseased in a few years. So, while rhubarb can last forever if it gets a root disease its doomed. I don't know if your stand is weakened as Ted points out or has a disease, its one of the two.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:40AM
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