Plenty of people love to grow a bit of rhubarb in their garden, knowing that once they get this, sometimes frustrating to start plant going, it can produce crops for 10 years (or more) with almost no real hands on help whatsoever. But can you grow rhubarb in pots?
The trick is starting your rhubarb correctly!
You can grow rhubarb in pots indoors, starting the seeds in conditions you can almost completely control yourself, only to transplant rhubarb outdoors later down the line?
Let’s find out together.
Can You Grow Rhubarb in Pots?
This might blow your mind (especially considering just how big rhubarb plants can get), but it is in fact possible to grow rhubarb in pots if you’d like to.
Obviously, you’re going to need some pretty decent sized pots to start your rhubarb plants (more on that in just a moment). And you’re going to want to consider transplanting your established plants into your garden just as soon as possible, too.
But the good news for those asking “can you grow rhubarb in pots?” is this – yes, you definitely can!
How Easy Is It To Grow Rhubarb In a Pot?
Truth be told, growing rhubarb in a pot is often a little simpler than trying to start rhubarb seedlings (or rhubarb seat) out in your garden.
Indoors (or just in a pot that you can move around) you have a lot more freedom to position that plant exactly where you need it to be, maintaining the ideal temperature for rhubarb to grow and thrive but also guaranteeing it gets plenty of light and water as well.
The pots themselves can get pretty heavy and unwieldy (especially once the rhubarb starts to establish), but actually growing this plant in a pot is sort of straightforward.
What Size Pot Do You Need to Grow Rhubarb?
You’re going to need decent sized pots to grow your rhubarb in – and the containers need to be well-built and solid for sure.
Containers that have at least 20 inches of depth (ideally even a little more) and are at least 20 inches in diameter work best. This gives your rhubarb plenty of room to sort of “stretch” without becoming too big or too bulky to move on your own.
Can You Grow Rhubarb in Pots at Home?
Rhubarb doesn’t need a ton of bright light, which means it can be grown indoors all year round without too terribly much headache or hassle.
One of the coolest things about growing rhubarb in a container is that you can started indoors, move it outdoors during better weather, and then move the whole thing back indoors when temperatures start to cool off and not negatively harm the plant even a little bit.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Rhubarb in Pots?
The trickiest thing about growing rhubarb in pots (especially from seed) is that you’re going to have to wait at least two years until you can actually harvest your rhubarb plants.
Yes, you read that correctly – you’re in for a two-year haul that requires a little bit of babysitting the rhubarb in your pots and containers until you can harvest this crop.
As we mentioned earlier, though, once rhubarb has established itself you can pretty much put the plant on autopilot and harvest crop after crop for a decade (or longer) before you have to rinse and repeat the raising rhubarb from seed in a container process all over again.
Rhubarb Growing Problems
Rhubarb can be pretty frustrating to grow. But if done correctly, then you will have this lush, sweet tasting vegetable, which you can use in all sorts of dishes and desserts. On the one hand, if you ignore it completely, and just sort of let nature take its course, you almost always end up with too much rhubarb on your hands. Sometimes it feels like rhubarb just goes crazy. When you’re really trying to grow a flush crop of rhubarb it’s almost like every single one of the rhubarb growing problems that exist start to slam into your garden simultaneously.
Armed with the inside information below, though, you won’t have to worry about all that frustration ever again.
Yes, rhubarb is a pretty hardy perennial that (when ignored) seems like a real “set it and forget it” kind of plant to keep in your vegetable garden.
As soon as you start to focus on rhubarb, though, things just sort of go sideways. You start to bump into rhubarb growing problems like crown rot (and others) that wreak havoc on your rhubarb crop.
What Are the Most Common Rhubarb Growing Problems?
Crown rot is by far the most troublesome of the rhubarb growing problems you’ll want to get out in front of ASAP.
What happens here is the crown of this plant literally starts to rot (almost out of thin air), and the rot begins to move lower and lower into the stems – and other rhubarb plants – and kills it pretty quickly.
Pest damage is another of the common rhubarb growing problems you’ll have to contend with. Slugs and snails love to eat rhubarb – they absolutely love it – and will devastate a rhubarb harvest quicker than you thought possible.
Rhubarb diseases can take hold, too.
These usually manifest as little blisters that are sometimes sticky, and obvious sign that your rhubarb has a fungal growth that’s going to devastate the plant for sure.
How Can You Avoid Rhubarb Growing Problems?
The best way to avoid common rhubarb growing problems is to simply keep an eye on your plants, always staying vigilant for signs and symptoms that something is beginning to “go sideways”.
You don’t necessarily have to babysit your rhubarb, but you are going to want to check in at least every couple of days.
Look for pest damage, signs of crown rot, and other fungal infections so that you can stop these small problems before they snowball into major emergencies later down the line.
Treatments for Rhubarb Growing Problems
Thankfully, resolving these rhubarb problems is relatively simple and straightforward (for the most part).
Crown rot can be prevented by allowing your rhubarb to stand up to a bit of frost, hardening your plants (the leaves and the stems) against this kind of devastation.
Pest damage can be prevented entirely naturally or with commercial chemical concoctions, which is totally up to you, but we would recommend naturally.
Fungal infections are a little tougher to treat, but removing infected leaves during the growing season and making sure that the soil and water conditions your rhubarb gets are perfect will clear up most of those problems for you.
Signs That Your Rhubarb Has Growing Problems
Rhubarb will let you know pretty quickly when it’s starting to experience growing problems.
First, look at the healthiness and vibrancy of the plants themselves.
If they look strong, if they look vibrant, and if they look flavorful you probably don’t have much to worry about. If they look weak and limp, though, they’re going to need a little bit of doctoring up.
Second, be on the hunt for obvious signs of pest damage, rot, and bacterial infection. You’ll know almost right away that something’s wrong if there’s little holes, rot spots, or fungus on the leaves and stems of your rhubarb.
The moment that you notice something amiss you’ll want to swing into action (using the tips and tricks we highlighted above) to clear things up in a hurry.