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Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

Posted by linnea56 z5 IL (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 18:02

I tried posting in another forum but received no replies. But I need to get this thing planted! I have a few other questions too. I know it prefers full sun. The variety is Valentine.

What is a typical diameter? My parents grew it but they had acres and I have only a suburban yard: I don’t recall how big they really get. This plant is in a gallon pot, and is leafing out an growing like crazy since I bought it 2 weeks ago, so it already looks pretty big to me. I could plant it in my main flower garden (raised bed) but I don’t know if it will gobble up territory.

Water needs? In the main garden it will get plenty of water, but have some dappled shade for part of the afternoon. I have an alternative location, where it could grow as wide as it wants: which gets more sun but it is hard to get the hose over there. I tend to plant things that like it hot and dry there. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 19, 13 at 19:22

Don't plant the rhubarb in the hot and dry place. A 4' diameter should be plenty. You could get by with less.

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

I have my Rhubarb against my house in a 6 ft by 2 ft area. It recieves 4-6 hours of sun and recieves runoff water from the roof as well as ocassional fertilization and occasional watering. SOme leaves are bigger than my 14 year old son. Rhubarb will put roots dwon over 5-6 feet into the ground. I know my Grandpa had a plant over 40 years old that the neighborhood kids used to eat as well as the grankids. Minimal care is needed.

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

Morning sun is the best and some afternoon shade may actually help. If you give it the right soil and water, expect about a 3.5 to 4.5 ft spread.

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

A mature clump of rhubarb can be kept to 4x4, especially if you keep the older stalks that lay flat on the ground, and tend to take up most of the space, harvested or discarded, leaving the more upright stalks for later use.

Rhubarb can take a lot of sun and heat if kept watered, otherwise shade is needed. If you want 1" diameter stalks or larger, good soil and water is a must.

I've had some leaves 30" across, larger than some dimensions of a 14-year-old.

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

I have a Valentine with a spread of more than 6'. It's amazing. The stalks are 1.5" across, with a nice red color. Valentine is the only variety to plant, IMO.


RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

I don't know what type of rhubarb I have but the stems are as thick as my wrist and as long as my arm but remain tender. The plant is about 5 feet across and 3 feet tall. It is in a clay soil at the bottom of a slope in damp ground. It gets a good deal of shade.

RE: Rhubarb : Typical diameter? Water needs?

...and which forum was it that didn't answer rhubarb questions? They should be put on probation:)
Rhubarb that is consistently watered and/or shaded can have tender stalks regardless of size, and can be harvested from April through Labor Day. It's not just for mixing with June strawberries!

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