How to Propagate Rhubarb

by Sharon
(Grand Rapids, Michigan)

My mother has some old red rhubarb plants that originally came from my grandfather (deceased now for 20 years).

I gathered the plants when she moved from her last house to her current one, and took a couple for myself...had mine in a large barrel planter for a few years.

She lives in a condo...and I was able to plant hers there...until groundkeepers kept trampling all over them and killed them.

I took mine over and planted them...made sure there was a small fencing around it so they wouldn't end up like the first ones...they survived...the soil isn't the greatest, and now mom want's the bed bigger...hmmmm

So told her I would make it bigger, and divide the plants at the same time...now my big question is where are the seeds...it's never gone to 'flower' and have never seen any 'tassles' on them...

Above you show a picture of some stems in jars of water, but nothing said about propagating in this manner...would like to try either way in propagating these wonderful plants that have been passed down and hold memories for some of us in the family. Any solutions here? Thanks.

**************************************************
Sharon,

Rhubarb is propagated in 3 ways:

1) By seed
2) By division
3) By tissue culture

Tissue culture is best left to the experts, but when you uplifted your mum's rhubarb plants and divided them up between yourself and your mum, you planted them by division.

You can allow rhubarb to go to flower and then seed only if you are doing so because your plants are old and you want to collect the seeds for a new generation of plants.

Allowing your rhubarb to flower will weaken your plants. As a result, you should never allow that to happen.

By leaving your rhubarb plants alone they will get bigger on their own over time, and then when they are big enough you will be able to divide them once again.

Regards
Kathryn
Countryfarm Lifestyles

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