How to Remove a Rhubarb Flower Stalk

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Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is one of the earliest spring crops. This cool-season crop is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 8, and grows 2 to 3 feet tall. In the spring or early summer, some rhubarb varieties produce flower stalks, which may reach heights of 5 feet. Allowing the flower stalks to grow reduces plant energy and takes away from leaf production. It is best to remove flower stalks immediately, which will help extend the harvest season.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Monitor the plant during the growing season in the early spring and summer. Look for seed heads -- large buds that have white clusters of clumpy flowers inside of them -- starting to form. Typically, seed heads form in the middle of the plant and grow on stalks that are taller, rounder and thicker than leaf stalks.

  • Find the stalk on which the seed head is growing, following it all the way down to the base of the plant. Cut it as close to the bottom of the plant as possible with a sharp knife.

  • Continue removing flower stalks for as long as necessary. Flower stalks will form throughout most of the growing season, depending on the variety.

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