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Rhubarb questions re: division? light? age?

Posted by connie1946 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 24, 05 at 16:07

I have a rhubarb plant comes up every year. It's probably over 15 years old. It was here when I bought the house and it probably just sprung up where it isa..because it is growing right against a row of bricks bricks over plastic sheeting that was placed on the lot line many years ago to "edge" the yard.
Si I imagine the roots will be speading under that.
It's also located about 6 feet from a huge lilac bush and about 5 feet from an apple tree. So it gets shade most of the afternoon.
I wonder if it would get bigger and spread if it was moved somewhere else. However I also wonder if that is a good idea with an old plant.
Should rhubarb be divided or left alone? When would that be done Spring, Is full hot sun best for rhubarb..or might that kill it?
Is rhubard a plant that has deep deep roots that will be difficult to dig out without killing it?
Lastly when a plant (any plant) is divided is the new plant considered an immature plant. In other words would it be necessary to refrain from picking the rhubarb the first year? Or is a plant from divison considered mature when it
survives the division and gives fruit or veg?
Dividing plants seems dangerous to me I guess.
This plant does give nice rhubarb every year...but only enough for perhaps 2 decent pies.
In Northern Wisconsin we stop picking our rhubarb
in June. (end of June I think).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rhubarb questions re: division? light? age?

This company seemed to have a bit of culture info.

RE: Rhubarb questions re: division? light? age?

Rhubarbs are incredibly tolerant of getting dug up, divided, moved and anything else you might want to throw at it. It will do *much* better in full sun or most sun. It's not considered a "new" plant after you move it. If you were moving from a full sun area to another full sun area, you should expect next year's growth to be less than the year before. However, since you're moving from shade into sun, you might not notice a difference. I'd recommend moving it ASAP in the fall to give it the most amount of time to get it's roots re-established. Oh... make sure to keep it well (but not overly) watered and I'd also recommend cutting off some of the bigger leaves (they'll get droopy anyways), to cut down on transpiration loss.


P.S. I moved mine 2x last year, and they came back great for me this year.

RE: Rhubarb questions re: division? light? age?

I just moved mine that had been in the same spot for 3 yrs. It was just getting too big. I moved it in June. It really had a lot of big roots that went out a ways. Well I moved it to another sunny spot and a few of the stalks wilted, but after a week or so it took just fine. I didn't split it, I just just up as much as I could. It is really big. It's been going well all summer.
I've got a question here. Mine still is getting new stalks and I keep cutting the bigger ones off and eating them. Connie, you said you stopped picking your rhubbard in June. Why? Mine still tastes good. I don't let it bolt, I cut the stalk if I see it's a flower head. I haven't gotten sick or anything and I was wondering if I shouldn't be eating it.
Just curious.


RE: Rhubarb questions re: division? light? age?

I also have no idea why you'd stop picking so soon. My neighbor just asked if she could come over and pick some for a pie. I suppose some of the older stalks would get tough, but the newer ones should be good.


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