Rhubarb. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Description, Varieties. Photo

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Rhubarb. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Description, Varieties. Photo
Rhubarb. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Description, Varieties. Photo

Video: Rhubarb. Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Description, Varieties. Photo

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Rhubarb is a native of China. He came to Europe only in the Middle Ages, from India. And the first European country to appreciate the culinary merits of rhubarb was England. The plant has taken root in Europe. In the 19th century, rhubarb finally “reached” Russia. But it was not foreigners from the West who brought it, but the famous compatriot - geographer and traveler N.M. Przhevalsky - from his trip to Central China.

Rhubarb stalks
Rhubarb stalks

For a long time, rhubarb has been used in Tibetan and Chinese medicine as a medicinal plant. The fact is that it has many useful properties and contains oxalic, malic, succinic, citric, acetic and ascorbic acids, vitamins A, C, group B, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus. Rhubarb stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and is recognized as a good tonic.

The edible part of rhubarb is only the stems - the leaves and the root cannot be eaten, since they are poisonous. This vegetable is simply versatile in cooking. It is used for making jams, jellies, marmalade, puddings, various desserts, compotes, jelly, kvass, wine, pie fillings, mashed potatoes, vinaigrette, salads, porridge, borscht (replacing tomatoes), pickle (instead of pickled cucumbers), sauces for meat, game and even ice cream.

When buying, storing and preparing rhubarb, you should adhere to some rules that will preserve its taste.

  • First, rhubarb cooks very quickly - only seven to ten minutes. With a longer heat treatment, it boils down.
  • Secondly, too much sugar used in cooking clogs the original flavor of the vegetable.
  • Thirdly, if you are going to store rhubarb, then you should rinse its stems, dry it, wrap it in paper and put it in the refrigerator, where it can stay for no more than two to three days. Rhubarb can be stored frozen for several months.

And finally: if the stems of the plant have become tough, which speaks of its "old age", it is recommended to remove the "string" from them before cooking, like from celery.


  • Description of rhubarb
  • Reproduction and planting of rhubarb
  • Rhubarb care
  • Rhubarb harvest
  • Popular rhubarb varieties

Description of rhubarb

Rhubarb (Rheum) is a genus of herbaceous plants of the Buckwheat family. There are more than 20 types of rhubarb. Species of rhubarb easily give fruit-bearing hybrids, and the latter just as easily give hybrids among themselves, therefore it is difficult to obtain and identify pure species.

These are perennial very large grasses with thick, woody, branched rhizomes. Aboveground stems of rhubarb are annual, straight, thick, hollow and sometimes slightly grooved. Basal leaves are very large, long-petiolate, whole, palmate-lobed or dentate, sometimes wavy along the edge; petioles are cylindrical or multifaceted, with large sockets at the base. Stem leaves are smaller. Rhubarb stem ends with a large paniculate inflorescence.

Rhubarb flowers are mostly white or greenish, rarely pink or blood red; they are bisexual or, due to underdevelopment, they are unisexual. The perianth is simple, six-leaved, the leaves of which are either all the same, or the outer leaves are somewhat smaller than the inner ones; after pollination, the perianth withers. 9 stamens, in two circles, with the outer circle being doubled; only for Rheum nobile Hr. six stamens, since the outer circle is not doubled. One pistil, with an upper one-celled trihedral ovary; there are three columns, with capitate-reniform or horseshoe-shaped stigmas.

The fruit of rhubarb is a three-edged wide or narrow-winged nut. The seed is proteinaceous, the embryo is central.

Blooming Rhubarb
Blooming Rhubarb

Reproduction and planting of rhubarb

Propagated by seeds; in culture - by dividing an adult plant so that each part of the root has a bud (eye); the latter method produces larger leaves rather. In one place, rhubarb can grow up to 15 years, but still it is better to limit its life to 10 years, and then divide and plant. The fact is that before reaching this age the yield is the highest, and then it falls.

The plant, as already noted, can be propagated both by seeds and by dividing the rhizomes. The latter method is preferable. Healthy, well-developed 4–5-year-old rhubarb bushes are divided in the fall. They are cut with a sharp shovel into 2–4 parts so that each of them has at least 1–2 large buds and well-developed roots. You can not dig the whole bush, but separate the desired part. The strips are slightly dried, the sections are sprinkled with charcoal and planted.

Seeds are sown on a growing bed. You can sow freshly harvested seeds into the ground, you can in late autumn on frozen ground. When sowing rhubarb in spring, preliminary cold stratification is required for 1–2 months. The seeds are buried in the soil to a depth of 2-3 cm. Seedlings appear in 15-20 days, they are thinned out, keeping the distance between seedlings 20 cm, or dive into the ridges.

After a year or two, the plants are planted in a permanent place. They bloom in the third year.

It is better to plant rhubarb in a permanent place in September, but it is also possible in early spring. A place for it is chosen without stagnant water. Rhubarb works well on light loams, however, any humus-rich soil will do. Since it grows for a long time in one place, do not skimp before planting up to 10 kg of humus or compost, as well as 100 g of complete mineral fertilizer and 120 g of wood ash before planting. Acidic soils are limy.

Before planting, the soil should be cultivated to a depth of 40 cm. Rhubarb rhizomes and well-developed seedlings with a lump of soil are planted in holes 50 cm deep at a distance of at least 70–80 cm from one another. In this case, the plant must be slightly deepened compared to the previous planting (by about 3 cm). Then the soil is compacted, abundantly watered and mulched with humus or peat.

Rhubarb can be grown in the aisles of fruit trees, and green crops can be sown in the aisles of the rhubarb itself.

Rhubarb wavy (Rheum rhabarbarum)
Rhubarb wavy (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Rhubarb care

Caring for rhubarb plants consists in regularly removing weeds, loosening row spacings and around plants, abundant watering in dry weather, and top dressing. In the first year after planting seedlings, rhubarb begins to intensively feed, alternating the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers. Mullein diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 5, chicken droppings (1:10) are used as organic ones, and complex mineral fertilizers such as "Kemira-universal" or nitrophoska (50-60 g per 10 liters of water) are used as mineral fertilizers.

Supporters of organic farming are advised to apply ash, scattering before watering or loosening the soil at the rate of 1 glass of ash per 1 m2, and infusions of nettle and weeds. Top dressing is repeated every 10-12 days, starting after the second thinning or 2 weeks after planting the seedlings. Rhubarb consumes a lot of nitrogen, therefore, before the start of regrowth in the spring, a tablespoon of complete mineral fertilizer and the same amount of ammonium nitrate are applied to 1 m².

All subsequent years, while rhubarb grows and bears fruit, it is fed 2-3 times per season. For the first time in early spring, 10 g of ammonium sulfate and potassium sulfate, 15-20 g of superphosphate per 1 m². The second time, 3-4 weeks later, infusion of fermented herbs with the addition of an extract of 20 g of superphosphate per 10 liters of water. The third top dressing is done in August with phosphorus and potash fertilizers. Once every three years, compost of 2-4 kg / m² is placed in the aisles.

Long and thick rhubarb stalks can only be obtained with abundant watering. Rhubarb plantations are watered 3-4 times per season at 30-40 l / m². Watering contributes to less accumulation of oxalic acid in the petioles. From the second year, the emerging flower stalks are removed and used for food.

The deployment of peduncles should not be allowed, since the growth of leaves is greatly slowed down. In summer, rhubarb bushes rejuvenate by removing all the petioled leaves, leaving 1-2 for nourishment. By autumn, the bush is gaining leaves again, and when the temperature drops to 16-17 ° C, 1/3 of the leaves can be used for food, and 2/3 are left in order for the plant to prepare for wintering. For the winter, the plants are covered with fallen leaves. In the spring, the foliage is removed, allowing the buds to break through the soil, and until a powerful rosette of leaves grows, they are not cut off.

Finger rhubarb
Finger rhubarb

Rhubarb harvest

Rhubarb stalks begin to be harvested in the second year after planting seedlings or rhizomes in May-June, when they reach a length of 20-25 cm. Harvesting continues for 8-10 weeks in 3-4 doses, until mid-July - early August. Rhubarb is especially valuable in early spring, when it may well replace fruits and berries. At this time, you can also use young (only young!) Leaves for stuffed cabbage, cabbage soup, borscht.

Rhubarb stalks cannot be cut, they are broken out so as not to damage the growth point. To do this, take the petiole with your hands, turn it in both directions, then break it off with a light jerk downward along with the leaf. It is impossible to pull upward, as you can damage the rhizome. When collecting rhubarb stalks, at least 2-3 leaves should always remain on the plant so that the root does not deplete. The quality of the petioles is high when the air temperature is not higher than 17 ° C, in the heat oxalic acid accumulates, which not only reduces the taste, but also has a negative effect on the body, forming hardly soluble salts that absorb calcium.


Popular rhubarb varieties

Early ripe. Victoria, Krupnochereshkovy, Moskovsky 42 (relatively early maturing), Tukumsky 5. Petioles 40-60 cm long, up to 3 cm thick, light green, with raspberry or dark crimson pigmentation. They contain dry matter - 4-6.5%, sugars - 1.7%, vitamin C -10.1-17.2 mg%; good taste - 4-4.5 points. Petioles begin to be harvested in the second or third year after planting - from mid to early July. In subsequent years, the collection is carried out every 20-30 days. The varieties are valuable for their ultra-early arrival of a high yield - 1.5-6.9 kg / m². Resistant to disease and pest damage. The Victoria variety is prone to flowering.

Mid-season. Obskoy, Ogrsky 13. The first tolerates drought and waterlogging, the second is resistant to shooting. Plant height up to 80 cm.The rosette is compact, petioles are light green and green with raspberry or dark pink pigmentation at the base, 20-23, 40-55 cm long, respectively, large, with a total weight of 150-620 g, good taste - 4- 4.5 points. The Obskoy petioles are tender, sweet and sour, with a low fiber content. From germination to the first harvest 60-69 days. The yield is high - 2.1-6.2 kg / m². The varieties are disease resistant.

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