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 long pink rhubarb stalks are edible and can be used in making deserts and wine. Simply cut the stalks from the plant with a sharp knife and remove the leaves, which are not edible.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container at least 12-inches wide and 12-inches deep
  • Pot shards
  • Potting soil
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Perlite
  • Fertilizer (10-10-10)
  • Sharp knife
  • Find a deep, large container. You need a container that is at least 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Make sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom.

  • Place pot shards over the drainage holes, and then add a potting soil mix that drains well. You can buy potting soil or mix your own by combining equal amounts of soil, compost and perlite.

  • Center the rhubarb crown in the pot. Cover the rhubarb with more potting soil so that the crown of the plant is 1 inch below the soil surface. Tamp the soil with your hands to remove air pockets.

  • Set the container in a sunny location. Rhubarb grows well in full sun, but it can have some partial shade.

  • Water the rhubarb plant thoroughly. Keep the planting container moist, but not soggy wet.

  • Protect the rhubarb during the winter months. Move the container into an unheated garage or shed. You can leave the pot outside, if covered with 2 to 3 inches of compost, leaves or hay. This will protect the plant and keep the winds from drying out the roots. Water the rhubarb container once a month if you are keeping it in a shed or garage.

  • Place the container outside when spring comes. Water the rhubarb plant and keep the soil moist until winter.

  • Feed your rhubarb plant with 10-10-10 fertilizer as new plant growth is just starting.

  • Harvest no more than 2 rhubarb stalks from each plant, for the first year. In the following year, you can harvest a third of the stalks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rhubarb plants grown in containers must be allowed to reach dormancy.
  • Remove the flower stalks from the rhubarb plants. This will increase the plant's vigor and production next year.
  • Do not eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant--they are poisonous.

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  • Photo Credit rhubarb stems image by Maria Brzostowska from
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