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1st Year Rhubarb Victoria is about to flower

Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster In the Cambs FensPosts: 527
The crown was planted in January. Two sticks had to be cut off because of damage (maybe my big footed dog was the culprit hence the ring of canes) and there are only two sticks on the plant now but it's started to flower. I'm aware it needed those two damaged leaves to conserve energy, and no doubt the flower will take its toll on the plant. Think therefore I need to remove the flower, but to remove it looks like it will take the 'heart' out of the plant.

I've read 'Victoria' is an older variety and it's normal for it to flower, but I'm wondering if there's something I've done wrong? The rhubarb's bed hardly gets (if any) any sun being NE facing, and seeing that most of the garden along this side is still pretty sodden I didn't think it necessary to water it.




Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,281
    The normal reason for a plant to flower is to reproduce ... rhubarb reproduces in two ways ... one is for the crown to get larger and produce offsets, and the other is to flower and seed.  If you have a good strain of rhubarb you can often prevent it flowering by not allowing the plant to get stressed, keeping the crown growing by not allowing it to dry out at the base (my rhubarb is now ten years old and has never produced a flower spike 🤞) ... however the first year or two is always a time of stress for a plant while the roots get established.  

    I would do as you suggest and remove the flowering stem at the base.  Keep the roots well watered ... have a look at the soil 6" to 8" below the surface where the roots are .. that needs to be damp.  A bucketful of water two or even three times a week through the summer will be better than a sprinkle every day.   Bear in mind that your plant is quite close to the fence so that will be preventing a proportion of rain reaching it. 
    Good luck  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster In the Cambs FensPosts: 527
    Thank you @Dovefromabove, I can see I need to pay a heck of lot more attention. It's been growing so well too.

    Wonder if I should give it some fish blood and bone? It's already had a good amount of rotted manure mulch, maybe a bit more of that might help it along too. 
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,281
    My instinct would be to water and mulch rather than to feed, if you used FB&B when you planted it. 
    If you didn’t then I’d give it sort of half a dose now but that’s all. It’s not very big yet and the roots really need to develop before the top growth does. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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