Rhubarab froze

HomegrownandhappyApril 14, 2013

Need some input on rhubarb. We planted 2 plants last year, the leaves just started to come up when it got warm and then they froze with the recent cold snap. Does anyone know if they will rebound? Should we do anything? They currently have straw around them, but not deep. Open for input!


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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi HomeGrown,

Mine froze too! I'm almost 70 and I have NEVER seen rhubarb freeze before! Had all kinds of things freeze this time that "shouldn't" freeze, like German Iris foliage, tulip and daffodil foliage, and all my hyacinth flowers bought it too! It wasn't the cold temps, it was all the unseasonably warm weather we had and then the instantaneous drop to single digits--and without snow cover, that did it!

Rhubarb is "sturdy" stuff and I don't think there will be a problem with it recovering. (and I don't have anything "around" mine) What I'm doing with mine is to leave the frozen foliage on it for now until this next batch of cold is over and then I'm planning to cut off anything that froze and just wait. If I'm right I expect to see new growth starting again in a couple weeks. I recommend you just leave it exactly like it is for now and when it warms up again I'd get the straw out of there and clean up any bad leaves and stems so they don't rot around the crown of the plant. Then just hang out and wait for it to get going again. And, if it doesn't get going again--which will really surprise me!--at least we can cry on each other's shoulders! :-)

Welcome to RMG,

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 1:07AM
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Ours froze too despite my throwing some wood mulch on top of it, but new leaves are popping up already. That plant is hard to kill.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 2:10PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Well, the early growth on mine freezes just about every year! It will send out new growth.

When I was growing up, my dad used to complain because we lived too far south to grow it, and Strawberry Rhubarb was his favorite kind of pie. Rhubarb is built to handle the cold. If you've ever seen the roots on a full sized plant, they are as big as your forearm!

So no worries.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Sorry to hear about the rhubarb setbacks.

Not having grown rhubarb before, I wanted to find out what varieties grow well in the Denver area (figure this year was an exception) and how tall and wide they get. I was mainly planting it for the ornamental quality but if I can get some food out of the deal, that much better!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:34AM
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