The Q&A Archives: Rhubarb Bolting

Question: We have rhubarb plants that are 3-4 years old, planted at the edge of our garden. It has never been really nice since we planted it. It bolts immediately and is rubbery & spindly. We have put manure around it both years but it still looks the same. It was suppose to be a red variety.

Answer: Early bolting on rhubarb could mean it's not getting enough fertility and is stressed, or maybe even crowded. I'd say the solution either way is to move it. Choose a full sun location and amend the soil heavily with compost. Dig up the existing plants, separate any younger plants out and plant the individuals about 3 feet apart in a bed. Keep them well watered and mulched. If you don't like the variety anyway, try another such as 'Valentine' available through Burpee (1-800-888-1447)

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