Victoria Rhubarb problems

Asked July 28, 2018, 6:06 PM EDT

Our 3 year old Victoria rhubarb is ailing. Yellow leaves, slow, pathetic growth, wilting, nothing harvestable. Last few years one of two was a good producer. The sister plant was always ill so we moved it away. Perhaps one infected the other? Diagnosis, recommendations needed. Suggestions for rhubarb plants for our 4,000 feet Bend, Oregon yard. Thank you! Sincerely, Sarah and Charles Gradek

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

Hello Sarah and Charles,

Thank you for your Victoria Rhubarb question. Victoria is a variety that is recommended for Central Oregon. Other varieties that do well in our climate are Chipman’s Canada Red, Crimson Red and Glaskins Perpetual. Following is a link to an Extension Publication entitled, “Growing Vegetables in Central Oregon”. You may find this publication helpful:

Specific to your rhubarb problem, it is difficult to definitively diagnosis without seeing the plant. Following is a link to a publication entitled, “Grow Your Own Rhubarb”. This OSU Extension publication includes information regarding soil, fertilization, irrigation and pests. All of these can impact rhubarb growth.

Toni Stephan, the OSU Horticulture /Small Farms Instructor for the OSU Extension Service provides the following advice: “Rhubarb does very well in dry areas as it doesn't like waterlogged soils. Your rhubarb will need space to grow, at least 4 feet across and will not take well to being transplanted once it establishes where you plant it. So make sure to plant it where you want it to stay. Plant the new plant once the soil becomes workable, with just the main bud sticking up above ground. Be sure to incorporate compost (20-30%) into the soil. Insulating the soil during the summer months with compost or mulch is a good way to regulate moisture loss during hot spells.”

If you have more questions, or need additional information, please call the OSU Master Gardener Plant Clinic. We welcome your home garden questions. You can call and talk with the Master Gardener on duty at 541-548-6088. You can also submit questions with photos to the Master Gardener Plant Clinic email:

Best regards, Susan P., OSU Master Gardener Volunteer