Rhubarb: How to Grow and When to Plant in Your Backyard or Patio Garden!

Rhubarb blog post
Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that is easy to grow in certain areas. It is best grown as a perennial in climate zones 6 and cooler, but can be grown in others as an annual in the cool season in warmer climates. The plant will die back after the first frost, but will come back in early spring. Rhubarb will thrive in a cool climate and can keep giving you a harvest for up to 20 years!

How to Grow:

Rhubarb can be planted 8-10 weeks before your last spring frost indoors and outdoors 2 weeks before your last spring frost. It can also be planted 10-12 weeks before your last fall frost. You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App.

Rhubarb seeds are planted 1/4 inch deep, 1 per square, in the full sun to part shade. Take care to notice what plants are around the area as well, see the companion plant section below. Rhubarb seeds will sprout in around 14-21 days with constant moisture.

Companion Plants:

Companion planting is a vital part of organic gardening. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. There are also plants that do not like being next to each other. Some plants get too tall and can provide too much shade for your plant. Sometimes certain plants attract the same pests, so it is important to try and separate these.

Banana PeppersMarjoramBeans (bush & pole)
Bell PeppersNasturtiumsPeas
Bok ChoyOnions 
ChivesSummer Savory 
Collard GreensSunflowers 

See companion plants for 70+ foods in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web app!


Pests can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in the garden. We strive to grow food without the use of pesticide and luckily there are natural solutions for most of these nasty pests! The pests listed below are common ones for this plant:

Learn more about how to manage pests and attract beneficial insects in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App!


If you are growing rhubarb as a perennial, do not harvest until at least after a year of growth. Do not harvest any rhubarb during the first year that it is growing if you are growing it as a perennial. You can begin to harvest the following year once the stalks begin to approach 12-18 inches in length. Simply twist the bottom of the rhubarb away from the plant and it should pull away easily. You may use scissors if it is easier for you. Make sure to leave at least 2 stalks per plant to keep it alive and thriving.

Cooking & Eating!

Rhubarb can be eaten as a fruit in pies and also used in jams. Be sure to only use the stalks because the leaves of the plant are poisonous.


Learn more about growing over 70 different foods, including how to manage various pests in our FREE iOS, Android, or new Universal Web App!


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