Growing Rhubarb in Winter

Rhubarb in Winter

Most rhubarb varieties will reach a good height in their second year, but those listed below are all evergreen perennials. It is important to make sure they are remained trellis-free over the winter, to prevent the crowns of the plants from poking through and damaging plants below.

Plants in pots should be moved outside in late spring when they will establish well. Small plants and rhubarb will establish well in pots in warm conditions, but large plants and varieties will need some form of support to prevent them lifting Too much of the root system can kill the plant or make it unstable. Wire mesh, netting, or a trellis will keep erecting plants up off the ground.

For good rhubarb flavour, plant in the following combination of varieties:

Hibiscus sylvatica, also known as the common rhododendron.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, the also well-known kentia rose.

Hibiscus planting is a year-round, great activity for the keen gardener:)

Cover plants with a cloche or polythene barrier when cold weather is forecast because cold spell during the winter months is a common cause of death for rhubarb.

In the growing season, select a sunny spot with fertile, well-drained soil. Plants need full sun to produce a good crop.

To begin, break or cut off a small selected branch roughly 6 inches (15cm) long, trim the lower leaves and follow the grown-ups upwards.

Transplant into fresh soil when they are 6 inches (15cm) tall, repeating in early summer for a second planting.

Midday heat and strong winds are known to bring down the growth of the stems of rhubarb in winter, so if you’re planting at a distance of more than a metre take some precautions.

In the first few years, leave a gap of 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.5 m) between planted and allow them to grow together. In subsequent years, space the plants 6 inches (15cm) apart.

Periodically, prune the trimmed stems to cause the formation of new shoots to be closer together. The challenge for the enthusiastic gardener is not to get a thick layer of stems before the first leaves develop!

Harvesting for Rhubarb in Winter

In most temperate climates, rhubarb is best harvested after it has flowered. Over-ripe fruits will deteriorate faster and will change colour from green to russet. All in all, its harvesting is not as rigorous as its label makes it sound though.


Seeds should be sown at intervals of 10 to 12 weeks during the growing season for continued affiliation with your local garden centre.

Some varieties of rhubarb will self-seed, allowing you to recover plants from under the ground (thus making new plants possible). Rainor and Snow King are two varieties of rhubarb that will do this.


As mentioned previously, rhubarb likes a sheltered spot under partial shade in hot summer months. You can also grow rhubarb in containers, making sure that the containers are located in a cool but protected position.


As previously stated, rhubarb was developed in Europe and Asia (specifically, China) during the 14th century as a Kitchen Herb used in the kitchen, but did not become generally available to Englishmen until the 17th century.

ration meaning

One stalks = a heart

Two stalks = finely chopped meat

Three stalks = a chopped scion of a root

Four stalks = a minced meat flavouring

Five stalks = a chopped vegetable

Six stalks = an aromatic condiment

Stem (stems) = the Heart

Florets (flowers) = the Nut

Seven Stems = an attributed scientific name

eight stems = an attributed scientific name

nine stems = an attributed scientific name

Ten stems = an attributed scientific name

For Example:

One stalk of rhubarb = a heart.

Two stalks of rhubarb = a heart and a piece of fat lettuce.

Three stalks of rhubarb = pepper, small onion, carrot, a generous sprinkling of parley.

Four stalks of rosemary = a aromatic herb

Five stems of rosemary = a aromatic herb, dried potpourri for beauty.

Six stems of mint = a culinary herb

Seven stems of mint = a kitchen herb

Eight stems of basil = pepper, a large piece of garlic, thyme and a generous sprinkling of oregano.

Nine stems of basil = oregano, parsley, sage and chives.