Growing Rhubarb

Rheum rhabarbarum : Polygonaceae / the dock family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P P

(Best months for growing Rhubarb in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Plant crowns
  • Easy to grow. Plant pieces of rhizome or roots 8 - 10 cm (3 - 4 in.) deep. Best planted at soil temperatures between 41°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 35 inches apart
  • Harvest in approximately 1 years. You will have a stronger plant if you leave it for about a year before using..
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc)

Your comments and tips

03 Sep 19, anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have not seen rhubarb growing for 50+ years but I would guess it depends on the size of the crown and how fat/big and healthy the stalks/crown looks. I bought asparagus crowns - about 50mm diameter - how old probably 6-9 mths. I grew some from seed and at 12 mths they were 150mm dia. Judge by how good the plant looks.
28 Nov 18, Heather (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
We have just arrived In New Zealand and our place has a rhubarb plant in the garden. I have been trying to find out how to look after it and I think I have that information but I can't find out the best time to harvest the rhubarb in New Zeland. Can you help tell me when to harvest please? Thank you.
29 Nov 18, Mike (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
It says dormant during winter so when it has a good production of leaves/stalks in the spring you could start harvesting depending on the age/size of the crown. Probably ease off harvesting late autumn. Other people here might have a better idea than me as I don't grow it.
14 Jul 18, christine cunliffe (New Zealand - temperate climate)
can you grow rhubarb in shade
12 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Read the notes here. A cool weather crop. In warmer climates it can be grown in some shade.
29 Jul 18, Brigitte (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Our Rhubarb was grown in semi shade with sun for the morning till afternoon under a leaky spouting ;) and it grew beautifully, huge leaves also. We moved one crown to a rather shady area which got little sun and it failed to thrive for a start - again we got large leaves, but the stalks were quite thin, so in a nutshell....semi shade with some sun seems to be best :)
28 Jul 18, Bob Jenkins (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Christine, I live in the Bay of Plenty NZ and have copious crops of rhubarb from four well established plants that grow to the south of a lemon tree . The most southern plant is much more vigorous than the plant nearest the lemon which is partially shaded by it. In fact the rhubarb plants are progressively happier the further they are away from the shade which certainly proves that they are sun lovers, however the shadiest plant does provide a reasonable yield.hope this helps Bob jenkins
15 Jul 18, John (Australia - temperate climate)
All plants need some sunshine. Rhubarb as a leaf crop will grow with less than tomatoes, beans, etc. An hour or two in the morning would be good but if you don't get direct sun but still plenty of light I would give it a go. You can always transplant it to a better spot, maybe in a tub, next winter
18 Feb 16, Relda (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We planted a rhubarb plant at the beginning of last year which has been growing well. I have been watering each day over these hot summer days. I have used sheep pellets and we have been eating it lately. However, the plant is healthy looking but as the leaves grow something seems to be eating them and making them like a lace cloth. It's awful. I cannot see anything under the leaves. I have seen a couple of ants running around. I have snail and slug bait out - not seen any. What is ruining the look of my lovely rhubarb plant. Please help.
25 Apr 16, Raewyn McConnell (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
This damage could be done by earwigs. Layer some damp newspapers nearby. Earwigs love to live between the layers. Paper can then be disposed of earwigs and all.
Showing 11 - 20 of 31 comments

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