The Q&A Archives: Rhubarb Not Growing

Question: Last year I transplanted some rhubarb root from a friend's rhubarb patch. I fertilized it and it grew great and by the end of the summer I cut off a little rhubarb. Well this year all of my rhubarb stalks are very small and like the size of your pinky, where as last year they were like the size of my thumb. Could this be caused by lack of water? bad soil? Not enough sun? If I do decided to move this rhubarb when is a good time to move it?

Answer: Rhubarb does best in a very rich, evenly moist yet well drained soil (meaning not soggy) in full sun. Since it grew well last year, I would suspect lack of moisture to be the most likely problem now. You might check the soil with your finger to see if it is moist or not. If not, water deeply about once a week rather than sprinkling lightly more often. You might also provide it with several inches of organic mulch to help conserve soil moisture. If you decide to move it, fall or very early spring, even before it begins to grow would be best. Good luck with your rhubarb!

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