unhealthy rubarb

Asked September 28, 2015, 6:37 AM EDT

I transplanted lots of adult older rhubarb plants from friends healthy rhubarb bushes, The new growth is slow growing & their not thick & bushy. more long & sparse. the big leaves are all torn up from insects. I planted them 4 years ago, out in the open lots of wind. Also never cut them back or protected it from 30 below winters. This year I put new organic soil with fertilizer mixed, dug grass out 4 ft circle for more room. Im covering it with mulch & dried leaves for winter. What else can I do? I thought of transplanting them back along the garage wall.

Richland County North Dakota

1 Response

You are on the right track. Rhubarb likes fertile soil as long as the crowns are not planted too deep. In addition, cutting out the grass and digging up weeds will help the rhubarb. Rhubarb does not compete well with other plants.

Is your rhubarb in a sunny or shady area? Rhubarb likes a full sun exposure. If your current planting in the shade, consider moving it to a sunnier location. It also likes a well-drained area and does poorly in wet areas.

It is possible that you began prematurely harvesting your rhubarb. We generally advise not harvesting rhubarb the first year. Also, we do not advise harvesting beyond the end of June because the plant must grow and replenish its energy reserves for next year.

Good luck!