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Hi there. I am wondering is my rhubarb edible? 

I have a rhubarb plant in my garden and I know from previous experience that there is such a thing as ornamental ruhbarb and was wandering if there is a way to tell the difference between the species


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  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,846

    Edible.   The ornamental kind has much rougher textured leaves.  I have both kinds.

    Yours looks like it could do with a good feed and watering to get it going.   The best thing is to apply a good solid layer of rich mulch - garden compost or well rotted manure on the crowns in autumn when the ground is wet and all the foliage has died down.  The worms will work it in over winter and you'll get much more vigour next spring.

    For now, scatter around some pelleted chicken manure and water well.  Do not remove more than half the stems for eating and don't pick any after mid July because a) the levels of oxalic acid increase and the plant needs the foliage to feed its root stock for next year's crop.   

    You can put the leaves on your compost heap but I usually lie one or two down on the ground as they make good daytime shelter for slugs and snails which are then easy to find and destroy so they don't eat your foliage. 

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank yoU very much. I have just moved in and was planning on having a rhubarb patch to get my green fingers going as the my are hardy plants.

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