Rhubarb with short stalks

vignewood(z6 CT)May 9, 2012

I planted rhubarb last spring and it came back with beautiful green leaves this spring but the stalks are only about two inches long. What in the world is wrong with it?

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I would expect the plants to be smaller and shorter for a couple years. In your case I would feed, water, and mulch it well.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:06PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

It needs to be fed and fed well. And if it develops any bloom stalks this year be sure to cut them off ASAP.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:22PM
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Maybe it just needs a little more time for the stalks to get some length? I planted my first rhubarb plant last Spring too. It was a first year plant in a gallon pot. I found a nice sunny spot for it on a slight slope. It got so huge I probably could have harvested some stalks, but I controlled myself, lol. This spring I scratched some 10-10-10 granules into the soil as soon as the leaves were showing. When the stalks were about 8" tall the plant put out 4 flower stalks within a few days that I removed. I've read that the variety that I purchased is more prone to flowering(Victoria)so I'm keeping an eye on it. I have taken a few stalks to use, and I may take a few more in a week or two, then let it be for the season. I recently gave it a shot of the blue stuff(1 TBS in a gallon of water)and mulched it with some leftover shredded cypress from last year. I'm really happy that my first 'barb is doing so well...I don't even have to protect it from the deer, but the Japanese beetles love the leaves.
Hope all goes well with yours...keep us posted.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:10AM
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feijoas(New Zealand)

Rhubarb is greedy. As in starving. It's also really, really thirsty, all the time.
It's one of the few plants I know that really appreciates being fed a big pile of fresh horse manure, a load of seaweed, a sack of coffee grounds, a pile of grass clippings and lakes, rivers and oceans of water.
Ok, I'm exaggerating, but not a lot!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:39AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

I am in rhubarb envy. Would love to try it but it's too hot here. A caution to rhubarb lovers. Both my son and I got GOUT years ago in NJ from eating a whole lot from our plot there. Lordy, that is so painful.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:13AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

rosiew, When you harvested the stalks, did you cut them off 2 inches below the leaves? The leaf area is high in oxalic acid. For gout, eat 15 cherries a day.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 2:31PM
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