When Should You Pick Rhubarb?


Grown for the tart flavor of its edible stalks, rhubarb (Rheum x cultorum) is a staple cool-season crop that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. It is picked primarily in spring when the stalks taste best, but can be harvested into summer. Consider other factors, too, when harvesting rhubarb, including the plant's age and the appearance of the leaves and stalks.

Maturity Matters

  • Rhubarb takes three years to mature and its stalks should not be harvested during its first two years in the garden. Harvest your first crop of rhubarb over a four-week period in early spring of its third year. From fourth year onward, harvest the leaves for eight to 10 weeks in spring.

What to Look For

  • Rhubarb stalks provide clues about when to harvest with their size and color. Harvest-ready stalks are 10 to 15 inches long with a diameter of 1/2 to 1 inch (Ref 3, "Rhubarb"). Varieties such as "Canada Red" (Rheum x cultorum "Canada Red") develop a red stalk at maturity while "Victoria" rhubarb (Rheum x cultorum "Victoria") has a speckled stalk that fades to green at the tip.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit jlmcloughlin/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Grow Rhubarb

    Rhubarb is one of the few perennial vegetables. It favors cool climates, but in territory it likes (USDA zone 8 and colder)...

  • How to Cook Fresh Rhubarb

    In much of the United States, the earliest reliable sign of spring isn't that first robin arriving on your lawn. Instead, it's...

  • How to Transplant Rhubarb Plants

    Transplanting rhubarb (Rheum x cultorum or Rheum rhabarbarum) gives fading and overgrown plants a new lease on life. A perennial vegetable that...

  • How to Care for a Rhubarb Plant

    Although rhubarb does not require as much care as other plants, if you provide proper care, your plant will produce better stalks...

  • How to Plant Rhubarb in Containers

    Rhubarb is a perennial that is normally grown in the ground. It is possible to plant rhubarb in a large container. The...

  • When to Split Rhubarb Plants?

    Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a vegetable used for making pies, pastries, jams and sauces. Two sweet varieties are Canada Red and Valentine....

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!