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Rheum rhabarbarum


When the first rhubarb is ready to harvest, you know it's spring! This old-fashioned favorite is excellent in pies, crisps, and other desserts. Its distinctive tangy flavor is a classic with strawberries. And it could hardly be easier to grow. Just give it a sunny spot and good sun and your rhubarb plant will reward you with harvests of tart, colorful leafstalks for decades. (The leaves contain oxalic acid, which in certain concentrations is an irritant and mild poison.) The plant grows best in rich, well-drained soil and cool temperatures. Divide plants every six to eight years, or when leafstalks become thin from overcrowding.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
1-3 feet tall
Plant Width:
1-4 feet wide
Top Varieties

features large red stalks that provide a sweet-tart flavor to pies, jams, and desserts.
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is a high-yielding variety that grows well in heavy soils. It has green stalks with red overtones.
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Harvest Tips
Allow plants to grow without harvesting stalks the first year. In the second year, harvest for one week only by cutting large stalks with a knife or break them off by hand, pulling down and to one side. In the third and successive years, harvest 1-inch-diameter stalks for up to eight weeks.