Victoria Rhubarb Guide

This heirloom was introduced in honor of Queen Victoria in 1837 and has been going strong and producing high yields since. The succulent leaf stalks are used to make pies, jams and sauces. Victoria  rhubarbs have bright, red stalks and a tart flavor with a hint of citrus. Rhubarb can be grown as a perennial in zones 2-7, and annual for zones 8 up.

TO SOW

Victoria Rhubarb grows best in cooler weather between 40°F-75°F. They do great in bigger containers and small gardens. Keep in mind rhubarb can continue producing for years and years so picking the spot is important. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 2 weeks before last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 20 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 40°F-75°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the rhubarb seeds indoors in trays or pods 8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 60°F-75°F. It can be transplanted outside 8 weeks later.

Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 24 inches apart with rows spaced 36-48 inches apart. Germination will take 7-14 days. Thin seedlings to 24 inches apart when they start competing for space.

TO GROW

Rhubarbs like well-draining, well-worked light soil free of weeds. They also love full sun and cool weather. Water regularly to keep the soil lightly moist, not soggy. Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Make sure to water at the base and not from above the plant to prevent rot or disease.

Adding a layer of mulch helps in retaining moisture, regulating temperature, and preventing weed growth. Use aged compost, aged manure or 5-10-10 fertilizer a couple of times a year.

TO REAP

Victoria rhubarbs develop over a year. The roots will have grown deep and strong during this time. You can start harvesting in the second year and all subsequent years. Pull stalks from the crown with a twisting motion or use a sharp knife. Don’t take more than one third of the rhubarb stalks in one year. Remove and discard leaves (large amounts can be toxic if eaten so don’t eat it!)

PESTS/DISEASES

Generally pest and disease free

Weevil - hand pick off

Crown rot, leafspot - ensure adequate space between stalks, cut off and remove affected parts, insecticidal soap, neem oil

*Companion plant rhubarbs with asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, beans, onions and strawberries. Avoid planting with sunflowers and thistles.*


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