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How to plant rhubarb in containers

Updated April 17, 2017

Rhubarb is a perennial that is normally grown in the ground. It is possible to plant rhubarb in a large container. The long pink rhubarb stalks are edible and can be used in making desserts and wine. Simply cut the stalks from the plant with a sharp knife and remove the leaves, which are not edible.

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  1. Find a deep, large container. You need a container that is at least 30 cm (12 inches) wide and 30 cm (12 inches) deep. Make sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom.

  2. Place pot shards over the drainage holes, and then add a potting soil mix that drains well. You can buy potting soil or mix your own by combining equal amounts of soil, compost and perlite.

  3. Center the rhubarb crown in the pot. Cover the rhubarb with more potting soil so that the crown of the plant is 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the soil surface. Tamp the soil with your hands to remove air pockets.

  4. Set the container in a sunny location. Rhubarb grows well in full sun, but it can have some partial shade.

  5. Water the rhubarb plant thoroughly. Keep the planting container moist, but not soggy wet.

  6. Protect the rhubarb during the winter months. Move the container into an unheated garage or shed. You can leave the pot outside, if covered with 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) of compost, leaves or hay. This will protect the plant and keep the winds from drying out the roots. Water the rhubarb container once a month if you are keeping it in a shed or garage.

  7. Place the container outside when spring comes. Water the rhubarb plant and keep the soil moist until winter.

  8. Feed your rhubarb plant with 10-10-10 fertiliser as new plant growth is just starting.

  9. Harvest no more than 2 rhubarb stalks from each plant, for the first year. In the following year, you can harvest a third of the stalks.

  10. Tip

    Rhubarb plants grown in containers must be allowed to reach dormancy. Remove the flower stalks from the rhubarb plants. This will increase the plant's vigour and production next year.


    Do not eat the leaves of the rhubarb plant -- they are poisonous.

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Things You'll Need

  • Planting container at least 30 cm (12 inches) wide and 30 cm (12 inches) deep
  • Pot shards
  • Potting soil
  • Soil
  • Compost
  • Perlite
  • Fertiliser (10-10-10)
  • Sharp knife

About the Author

Gail Delaney is a writer in South Dakota and has articles published online at various websites. She is the garden editor for BellaOnline, with years of gardening experience. Being the caretaker of her parents led her in the direction of medical issues, especially natural remedies.

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