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Last year I planted a Victoria Plum tree on a patch of ground, where previously there had been some rhubarb. Unfortunately, the plum tree has died and I really dont know why. Someone has told me that it could be because there had been rhubarb planted in the same spot. Could rhubarb affect the soil and growth of other plants/trees ?


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    I have never heard of that before but I suppose it is possible. Rhubarb leaves are packed with oxalic acid and it is possible that the roots are too. Some plants do send out chemicals into the soil to deter other plants from trying to move in.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,800

    We'd need to know more about the plum tree and what's happened to it in it's short life.

    I've never heard of rhubarb poisoning other plants - after all, we put the leaves on the compost heap image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • PeterE17PeterE17 Posts: 129

    I have had two new plum trees die after fungal attacks on the roots. One was eaily explained after the event (it replaced a dead plum so fungus was already present in the ground), whilst the other went into ground from which hydrangeas and a rotting stump had been removed. I don't know what the stump had been, but plainly something had been feeding on the roots and had recued them to powder.

    So Paula, I would imagine that any residual fungus hanging aound after you took out your rhubarb had a go at your plum. If I recall correctly, rhubarb roots have lots of dead bits where fungus could thrive.

    This is just an idea - don't be too hard on me if it's wrong.

  • chickychicky Posts: 10,332

    We, too had a newly planted plum tree (Victoria) that failed in its first season. The company we bought it from had a guarantee scheme, so replaced it the next winter.  The new one is thriving ( same spot) 3 years later.  So sometimes these things just fail for no particular reason.

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