Growing Rhubarb - Knowledgebase Question

Bellevue, OH
Question by nataliek
September 26, 2000
We planted rhubarb plants given to us by friends who have a well established bed. They did well all summer, but have never gone to seed. Are they suppose to go to seed and any special treatment before winter? Thanks.

Answer from NGA
September 26, 2000


Rhubarb is a perennial plant and although the leaves will die back in the winter, new leafy stalks will return in the spring. It's not a good idea to allow rhubarb to develop a flowering stalk or to set seeds, and the plant isn't usually propagated by seed anyway, so you haven't missed a thing if your plant didn't set seeds. In fact, once you recognize a stalk is going to develop a flower instead of a leaf, cut it off the plant right away. For now, you can cut the remaining leaves off the plant and mulch over it with a few inches of organic material (leaves, pine boughs or straw) to help it survive winter weather. Remove the mulch in the spring when new growth begins.

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