Planting & Caring for Rhubarb


  • Choose the right location: Rhubarb likes well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and a sunny or partially shady spot. Make sure to choose a spot where the soil has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.
  • Prepare the soil: Remove any weeds, grass, or debris from the planting area and till the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. If your soil is heavy with clay or sandy, mix in compost or peat moss to improve its structure.
  • Soak the bare root rhubarb: Before planting, soak the bare root rhubarb in water for about an hour. This will help rehydrate the roots and ensure better establishment.
  • Plant the rhubarb: Dig a hole that is deep enough to cover the roots of the rhubarb plant but not the crown (the top part of the plant where the roots and stem meet). Place the plant in the hole and spread the roots out. Backfill with soil and gently press down to remove any air pockets. Space the plants 2 to 3 feet apart.
  • Mulch: After planting, add a 2 to 3 inch layer of straw or wood chips around the base of each plant to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
  • Water: Water your newly planted rhubarb thoroughly, making sure to moisten the soil around the roots. During the first growing season, water the plants at least once a week, making sure to water deeply to encourage deep root growth. During dry periods, water more frequently.


  • Fertilize: Once the plants have established, begin fertilizing them every 4 to 6 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Prune: To encourage healthy growth and maximize yields, remove any yellow or damaged leaves and cut back any flowering stalks as soon as they appear.
  • Pest control: Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids and control them as needed using organic methods.
  • Harvest: Rhubarb is usually ready to be harvested about 2 to 3 years after planting. Wait until the third year to begin harvesting and only take a few stalks at a time, leaving the rest to continue growing.