Rhubarb trouble...help please!

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Keith Elliott, May 8, 2021.

  1. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Here are some photos of a rhubarb plant which we got from an agricultural store in Kamloops about a month ago. Actually we got two and the other one is doing really well.

    IMG_4495.JPG IMG_4496.JPG IMG_4497.JPG IMG_4498.JPG IMG_4499.JPG

    We have separated the two plants just in case whatever is wrong with this one might get transferred over to the second one. Does anyone know what might be wrong?

    We are at Anglemont, about 115 kms east of Kamloops, on the North Shuswap.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Not much point in worrying about this rhubarb plant any longer. Val barely pulled on the leaves and they all came off. Is the root worth keeping, or is it done?
     
  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I suppose it really depends on how much time etc you want to invest

    I can’t tell what is wrong - if anything - maybe it got frosted after opening early — maybe the roots (what does rhubarb have below soil?) are rotted?


    Burned by fertilizer?

    ———

    It seems (based on other posts) you have SPACE to baby this along

    And the summer water

    Maybe gently remove from existing pot and look at root area - that will inform your next decision (keep or compost)

    If KEEP - I would put in a new clean large pot with new soil and see what happens

    ——
    For the other happier plant - here is old advice we got from the neighbor pioneer farmers 50 yr ago —

    Rhubarb is a heavy feeder - so those deer who camp on your manicured lawn? I think rhubarb would feel refreshed by some “deer drop tea.” We grew up on a sheep farm and well rotted barn manure spread in winter (so it rained in to the soil) was a big treat for our prolific rhubarb - plus the English “jar” over the emerging rhubarb — our dad would use stove pipes but you could cut the bottom out of any tall cylinder that is clean & food-safe and place it over the plant before leaves emerge in spring (it makes the stalks tall and tender)

    Ideally your rhubarb spot will be morning sun and then shade during heat of day - given your microclimate and your overarching climate, probably you’ll have to protect over the winter with straw etc

    Give the plants a couple of years to settle in and become vigorous before harvesting

    Never harvest ALL the stems

    Gently pull the stems to harvest (ie don’t cut them off close to soil thereby leaving a cut injury stem that bugs eat)

    The leaves apparently have toxin in them so don’t give to neighbors livestock or boil it up for human veggies.

    I try rhubarb growing to some success - but usually a neighbor gives me some - I am very happy with that arrangement !
     
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  4. Keith Elliott

    Keith Elliott Rising Contributor

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    Right, so I will remove it from the pot and check the roots. That should determine the direction we head from here.

    No chance it was hurt by fertilizer, since it didn't't get any, at least not from us.

    I haven't grown rhubarb for at least 10 years, but I do remember it being a heavy feeder, so will keep that in mind.

    There is a spot to the east side of the house where it might go, depends on what the root situation turns out to be.
     

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