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Rhubarb in pots?

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:18 pm
by Monika
We love rhubarb but left our magnificent plants behind on the allotment two years ago. We don't have room in the garden to grow it, but I am now contemplating growing two or three rhubarb plants in pots (one each in a 2 foot diameter pot), probably growing in a mixture of potting compost, John Innes 3 and well-rotted manure. Would it work?
Until now, the large pots have been used to grow potatoes but potatoes are easily bought and can be kept whereas rhubarb really has to be fresh and crisp, hence the plan.

Re: Rhubarb in pots?

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:45 pm
by sally wright
Dear Monika,
this is not something I have ever done but here are some ideas to make your experiment perhaps a little more successful.

Rhubarb needs to have a lot of water but not so the roots are waterlogged. So get as large a set of saucers as you can fit in your space. These will provide lots of water but not make the roots rot. Try not to let the plants dry put at any point either.

I would start off with 1 crown each year so that you will have a constant supply coming along. The rhubarb will need 1-2 years to settle in (depending on the size of the crown you can obtain) before cropping and after a couple of years of that it will need replacing or dividing.
Here is how I would crop them.
year 1 plant your crown and leave it to grow.
year 2 take off a small crop outdoors during the natural growing season.
year 3 bring a pot indoors and force the crown to take off as much as you can. Then discard the crown.

Rhubarb is greedy so when you feed your tomatoes give a slosh to the rhubarb plants too. Top dress with manure each year as well. If you are feeling generous then some slow release fertilizer would not go unappreciated.

Do not let the crowns get too big for the pots; they may well burst the pots or so deform them that you cannot empty them.

We await your findings.....

Regards Sally Wright.