Thursday, September 22, 2011

Is it possible to kill a rhubarb plant?

My rhubarb looked like it was thriving, then it's two remaining leaves
turned reddish yellow and they were no more. Is it dormant or dead?

Savory


Sunflower from my height of 5'10" looking up

13 comments:

Joan said...

Rhubarb should die back each fall and be dormant over the winter. Last year I actually had two crops of rhubarb. The first was in the spring and then it looked like it was dying back for the year but for some reason perked up and had a second crop. Hopefully it will start again for you next spring. :)

Erin said...

Thank you Joan. I'm so very new to veggie gardening and just figuring it out as I go. I am very thankful for people like you in the blogging community who are so generous with their experience and advice. Thank you again. I'll just wait and see if mky rhubarb comes back in spring.
Maybe one more question. Do you have a red or green rhubarb? Is one better than the other?

Anonymous said...

Mine has yellowed and died back - it does this every Fall - but comes back in the Spring. How's the Pumpkin doing? - Melinda

Erin said...

Hi Melinda...that makes me feel better. Hopefully it will set in over the winter and be okay. I have a pumpkin about eight inches across and a little one about three inches. How about yours?

Joan said...

My rhubarb is reddish-green. I think the red rhubarb is supposed to be red all the way through the stack and supposed to be sweeter. Mine is green in the centre. I've never tried completely red rhubarb so can't tell you if it is better or not. Next year, if you get enough rhubarb you'll have to try to rhubarb squares from on my blog. Everyone who tries them loves them. They have a shortbread-type of crust and the filling is a bit custardy.

Erin said...

I'm going to go in and get that recipe right now. One way or another, I will have rhubarb next year. Thank you for the info.

Mark Willis said...

Erin, you must also try rhubarb baked in the oven with orange juice and grated fresh ginger. Best served with pannacotta...

The key to success with rhubarb is twofold: lots of rich organic matter to feed it (horse manure preferred!), and secondly patience / restraint. If you pick all the stems it will not be able to build up energy for the next year, so always stop picking it by early July and let it produce some stems that you don't pick, before it dies down for the Winter in September / October.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

My first time to your blog and I was quite taken with your new lifestyle reading your About Us. It sounds so liberating getting back to roots. The farm where many of my photos comes from pretty much lives off the land too. They hunt the property and grow the vegetables organically. I have eaten deer, buffalo and all kinds of fish that I never could buy in the grocery store. They have huge freezers to store all the meats. Thank you for visiting my two blogs, Garden Walk Garden Talk and Green Apples.

Mel said...

oh, man. thanks Mark. I am totally trying that.
I have made rhubarb bread off a recipe I got from chickensintheroad.com, it is really good!
http://chickensintheroad.com/farm-bell-recipes/rhubarb-bread/

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Many of my nursery customers tell me that they have planted rhubarb over and over and it never takes. If yours is new, you may have the same problem. If it has been there a while, then I wouldn't worry.

Erin said...

It is new. I'll just see what happens in the spring. If it doesn't make it, I'll buy an established plant or get a division from a friend.

Cathy and Steve said...

You'll know for sure in spring, but my guess is that this is the natural course for this plant - dormant now for the fall and winter. I would mark the spot with a wooden stick so you know where to look for it in the spring. Hopefully, it will winter over just fine. Actually, it really IS tough to kill!

Erin said...

Hi Cathy or Steve...I'm so happy to hear that. I have totally lost the leaves twice this year. Once I lifted the leaf to see if anything was coming up and I snapped off the only leaf. Then, I was spraying near it with vinegar for weeds. A small breeze came up and covered the leaves. I washed them off within a couple minutes, but they turned red and were dead within the hour. They came up a third time, see the picture, and then they turned red and died. So I panicked. I'll just be patient until spring!! :-)