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How to Plant Rhubarb in Containers

rhubarb image by Alison Bowden from

Growing rhubarb in a sunny home garden space can be a gardener’s delight due to the easy way that rhubarb will flourish and thrive. The perennial rhubarb plant puts forth large, green leaves on the end of long pink stalks during the spring months. Harvest the stalks when they are long and thick and discard the leaves. If you lack garden space, select a wide and deep planting container and plant rhubarb in containers instead.

Fill the planting container approximately 3/4 full of potting soil.

Place the rhubarb crown into the center of the planting container and fill in additional soil around the crown to cover it with 1 inch of potting soil. Tamp the soil down firmly with your hands.

Provide water for the rhubarb crown in the container immediately after planting it and place the container in a location that receives full sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist by watering the plant before the soil dries.

Move the container to a garage or a shed during the winter to provide some protection from winter temperatures, yet allow the rhubarb to enter dormancy. Water the soil in the container approximately once per month throughout the winter.

Move the container back outside in the spring when the temperatures moderate. Resume watering the rhubarb again to keep the soil evenly moist.

Fertilize the rhubarb plant each spring by adding 1/2 tbsp. of fertilizer around the soil and lightly scratching it into the soil with the hand rake. Water the soil immediately after adding the fertilizer.

Harvest rhubarb stalks for the first time during their second spring of growth, cutting up to two stalks only with the scissors to avoid stressing the new rhubarb plant too much. During subsequent springs, harvest up to 1/3 of the total stalks when the stalks are 2 feet long.

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