Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dividing Rhubarb Plants

I've grown rhubarb in a medium sized container since 2010.

It started from bare-root stock and has provided me with enough stalks each year to make several pies and crisps.

I knew my plant was becoming pot bound due to visible splits in the plastic container, and the reduced production in larger stalks.

I researched online and watched YouTube videos about how to divide and replant rhubarb.

The root mass removed from the pot.
I waited for fall when the plant became dormant.

It was so pot bound it took me a long time and lots of digging to loosen it from the container.

You can see what a tight mass the roots had formed.

Using a serrated knife to cut the roots.
There was no evident division point in the plant, so I decided to cut it right down the middle.

Large roots sliced through.
The slice exposed very large roots cut right through the middle.

I worried that the "wounded" roots might die or become diseased, but that didn't happen.

I used a larger pot and placed both sections in with plenty of spreading room in between.
The two halves get a larger pot.
I made sure the plant crowns were even with the top level of the soil.

I used fresh potting mix to fill in the empty spaces between and around the the roots.

To protect my plants from the coming winter's freezing temperatures, I covered the top of the pot with crumpled newspaper, cardboard and an inch of soil.

Removing the winter covering.
Here's a post of a similar process I used with my dahlia tubers.

When spring arrived, I removed the covering to expose the budding shoots.

I'm happy to report that both sides have not only survived, but are thriving.

I can hardly wait for my first crop to make a strawberry, apple, and rhubarb crisp. -- Margy


  1. This seems to be a great way to grow it even for those who are land based so it doesn't grow out of control like it does sometimes - I have a bunch of pots this year left from my potato growing exersize last year - maybe rhubarb!

    1. It's easy to grow for sure and has done well even in a smaller pot for years. The stalks don't get as many or large, but enough to enjoy in a few dishes. - Margy

  2. You not only have a green thumb, but everything else crafty and creative! I love your spot.

  3. We are busy eating rhubarb at the moment, and I am giving it away to everyone who shows the remotest interest! I should think about splitting my crowns, but it is such a daunting task, I keep putting it off xxx

    1. With just one container I probably won't get that much, but a little bit more would be nice. I cut extra stalks in chunks to freeze. I just finished up the last of the 2016 crop in a tasty mixed fruit crisp. - Margy

  4. Great dividing job. You'll have twice as much rhubarb to enjoy this year. Mine is growing really well, the leaves are opening up and it is getting bigger each day.

    1. The new pot is about twice as large as the old one. Next time I should divide it into two pots and get even more. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy