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Does rhubarb die back?

SwedboySwedboy Posts: 394
I've just noticed that my rhubarb plant seems to have either died or totally died back. Can't see a trace of it. Don't think it has died back totally previous years. It is not very old about 3 years I think.


  • BiljeBilje Posts: 771
    My rhubarb completely dies back every year. Leaves and stems rot away and I clear them into compost bin. It leaves behind knobbly lumps which sprout away as spring moves on. 
  • Not grown if for a while but it will die back when outside.  Unless anything drastic has ocurred, the centre should begin to show when the weather warms up a bit.  It has been exceptionally cold this winter so that could be why you are noticing it now,
    I think others on here grow Rhubarb so hopefully informed advice will be forthcoming :)

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,846
    Yes, it dies back then regrows when spring arrives.  You can encourage it by giving the crown a good dollop of well-rotted manure or some garden compost enriched with pelleted manure but do this on or after a rainy day and not when there has just been a frost.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 394
    Pew. So it might live to see another day!
  • janetfossjanetfoss Posts: 300
    My little clump has gone through its first winter. I mulched it in the Autumn and it's showing new fresh stalks and leaves. It's bitterly cold here, so I wouldn't worry too much. @Swedboy.
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,390
    I was worried about mine, as the leaves started going black quite early in autumn. While everyone else’s at the allotment and in gardens we visited were still in full leaf.

    I thought maybe last summer had killed it. 

    But thankfully I have now spotted the red blobs of new growth appearing!
    East Yorkshire
  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 394
    Fingers crossed 
  • LunarSeaLunarSea Posts: 1,767
    Ours is just starting to poke through. But yes - it dies back completely. 
    Clay soil - Cheshire/Derbyshire border

    I play with plants and soil and sometimes it's successful

  • Ours are growing really well now. It could be that we can pull some for eating in the next few weeks.
  • bédébédé Posts: 3,012
    Swedboy said:
     Can't see a trace of it. 
    Do you mean no black shaggy roots?  Have you tried scaping back a bit of soil? Or are just looking at what is above ground?

     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
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