Is anyone in the deep south or at least the warm southern states growing rhubarb successfully. If so would you be willing to share a start and what is our secret??
Rhubarb is tough to grow as a perennial in areas hotter than zone 6 - and even here, I can't get it to survive other than in a shady spot. It can be grown from seed, as a winter annual, in the Deep South - I've seen reports of folks as far south as Tampa, FL doing it that way.
Have a look at the site below - has some info on growing it from seed, as a winter annual
Here is a link that might be useful: The Rhubarb Compendium
I would kill to be able to grow gunnera in my yard, but alas, it's a relative of rhubarb, and won't grow here.
My rhubarb comes out each spring growing vigorously and sending out shoots like mad, but by the end of June/early July, the plant starts looking droopy and doesn't recover the rest of the summer. Giving it extra water doesn't help nor does the fact that it is in a partially shady area. It does seem to return faithfully each year but I am thinking on yanking it out due to the fact that it sulks most of the summer.
I tried it this year and it did great until July. Dont think it can handle high heat and humidity. Mine got morn sun and afternoon shade, before it "cratered".
I originally brought a plant from WI when I moved to TN in June '97. Died immediately! Have planted it twice since then. One died fast and this year my third try is in the shade with plenty of water and has done pretty well. Droopy in the afternoon. Hoping it makes it for next spring. My husband loves rhubarb pies!
A friend in NE TN has it growing successfully. She uses soil from the root area to protect other plants in winter and apparently that helps the roots get the cold they need.
Our next door neighbor remembers his parents (who lived about two miles from here) growing a number of varieties of Rhubarb in his childhood...we have no idea which ones they were.
I have tried it several years as well since my husband is from Iowa and loves rhubarb. This year, I ordered small plants in August & am putting them in pots. Hopefully that will give them freeze time in winter and when it gets too hot here in Houston, I am going to bring them into the a.c. A lot of work, but I am hoping it will be fruitful. Hirt's Gardens has plants available for sale right now. They were delivered yesterday and very high quality.
People, it is important to know that even up north rhubarb is a spring vegetable. It dies off in summer up there too .... we picked it the same time of year as strawberries and even earlier too. But not in hot temps. Now I have not had luck getting it to come back here in east Tn, but i just planted again and put it where it gets morning and early afternoon sun. Wish me luck. I want a rhubarb patch.