If you plant in a good soil with adequate moisture the stuff is very
forgiving. Nurseries dig up a mature plant and saw the crown into
several pieces, each with at least one crown and some root. They ship
that and you look at it and curse them.
With more care you dig deeply and get the long tap roots and then
divide so each piece has a crown and a tap root. With one like that
it is hard to fail. But it is fairly critical to not plant too deeply
(a bit like planting strawberries) or too high and even established
plantings can fail if the summer is too hot and dry. As with most
things a generous amount of organic matter in the soil is of great
I was forced to move a crown when I put in a new outbuilding that
required some grading where it grew. That was in October and I was very
busy. I dug the crown and dumped it without soil in a bucket and placed
that in another outbuilding and forgot about it until I noticed in
April that the crown was sprouting. I had assumed it would be dead, but
it looked pretty good so I planted it. It is doing great. This is
Valentine Rhubarb in SW Virginia.
Dig it up, give it away. It takes napalm to kill rhubarb. Don't bother
being gentle with it. Give your neighbor a couple of crowns out of a
clump, and, if you have any, some cow manure or compost to plant it in.
The best time to move rhubarb is in early spring, just because it hasn't
sprouted all the big growth yet.
It's a weed. Just do it. The rhubarb will be fine. If yours is in big
clumps and you separate it to give it away, it'll go wild when it gets
replanted. It likes to be separated every few years, or the yield drops
If anyone has a good rhubarb wine recipe, email it to me, okay? I've
put about 30 pounds of stalks into the freezer so far, for wine.
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