What’s The Best Location To Grow Rhubarb?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:45 pm

If rhubarb bushes are to be planted, then attention should be paid to the correct location. If this fits, then the first and the coming harvest in subsequent years is guaranteed very abundant.

  • Rhubarb is perennial (up to eight years)
  • can remain in the same location for years
  • sunny to semi-shady bed ideal
  • deep and humus-rich soil because it is a heavy grower
  • plenty of surrounding space of about one square meter per plant for growing

Rhubarb: ideal location

The ideal place for the tasty rhubarb is a sunny bed. It may also still be semi-shaded. For the perennials have the following characteristics:

Rhabarber, Rheum rhabarbarum

What's The Best Location To Grow Rhubarb?

  • little sun allows only thin stems
  • therefore avoid too much shade
  • the harvest will be smaller
  • too much sun may lead to early flowering
  • harvest is over sooner

Note: Even though rhubarb is mostly used for sweet dishes like compote or sweet pancakes, botanically it does not belong to the fruit but to the vegetable.

Sufficient space

Rhubarb bushes need sufficient space at their location so that the individual plants can spread well. This is because runners are formed via the roots and the individual perennials are very wide as a result. Thus, a sufficiently large bed should be chosen here if the vegetable is to be planted:

  • at least one square meter for one plant
  • for small varieties like “Holsteiner Blut
  • large varieties need more space
  • “Goliath” grows up to 90 cm high
  • choose a space of about 1.5 square meters or larger
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wachsende Rhabarberstaude im Beet

Tip: Since rhubarb perennials are very spreading and even a single plant will give a good harvest in just a short time, it is often also sufficient to plant only two or three perennials in the bed if it does not have enough space.

Soil quality is important

Rhubarb perennials are so-called heavy growers that require a lot of nutrients. Therefore, in addition to the ideal location, soil quality is also crucial for a bountiful harvest.

  • deep and humus-rich soil
  • Water must be able to be held well
  • Soil always slightly moist
  • avoid waterlogging
  • loamy-sandy soil is ideal
  • always fertilize again with compost
  • bed before planting fold in compost
  • mulch regularly
  • provides additional nutrients
  • in mixed culture not suitable for every plant

Note: If the rhubarb is to be cultivated in the vegetable bed together with other plants, then here it is important to note that not all plants are compatible. However, kohlrabi, lettuce, spinach, beans or peas are ideal.

Frequently asked questions

When should I plant my rhubarb perennials?

If the appropriate bed has been found in partial shade or sun, then the ideal time to plant rhubarb is in the fall. This is quite unusual, but so, as a rule, the plants can be harvested the next year. If the vegetable is planted only in the spring, then you have to wait a year until the first harvest.

Is rhubarb a perennial plant?

Yes, the vegetable can remain in the same place for up to eight years, if the soil was always well prepared and fertilized. Only then the plant will lose its strength and the harvest will slowly fail. However, you can always put new plants in the bed between the old rhubarb bushes and harvest the vegetable for more years.

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Does a rhubarb plant require much care?

As a rule, rhubarb perennials are very low-maintenance plants. You should fertilize adequately in the spring and through the growing season until the last harvest in mid-June. After that, you can let the bed rest until the next spring. Even though perennials are hardy, they can be protected from drying out in the winter by mulching.

Do I have to change the location in between?

It is usually not necessary to change locations in the garden, as vegetables can produce yields for up to eight years. However, a change may be necessary if the chosen site is not well suited. It may be that the stems of the plants remain too thin, and as a result the harvest will be less. Then the chosen bed in the garden is too shady for the rhubarb bushes. If flowers form too early in the year, it is too sunny and the plants should be placed in more shade accordingly. In this case, too, the abundant harvest will fail, because flowering rhubarb plants are no longer edible.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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