Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program is coordinated by Clark County Public Health’s Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt.

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  • Scientific Name: Rheum rhabarbarum
  • Garden: Edibles and Herbs Garden
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennials
  • Evergreen/Deciduous: Deciduous
  • Sun/Shade Exposure: Full Sun
  • Moisture Requirements: Moist, Well-Drained

Plant Information

The crop is produced from spring into summer from crowns consisting of buds and fleshy rhizomes. The bright red stalks are used in cooking, baking, and preserves. The leaves are toxic and should never be eaten. Planting: Plant in early spring with crown 1-2 inches below the surface in well amended soil. Space plants 2-4 foot apart with 3-4 foot between rows. Mature plants will grow 3-foot-tall by 4-foot-wide so allow plenty of space. Select an area of full sun (at least 6 hours per day) and water thoroughly after planting. Do not harvest during the first year as the plant needs to devote all its energy to root development. Culture: Rhubarb will tolerate most soils but grows best in fertile, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. It prefers lightly to moderately acid soil with a liberal application of fertilizer every spring. Beginning the second-year stalks may be harvested individually over a 4-6-week period, or the entire plant stripped at once. Tug leaves side-to-side and out rather than cutting to avoid leaving ends to rot on the plant. Rhubarb is extremely tough and will thrive even when somewhat neglected.

Data Source

Photo Credit

RHRH Full DF (©2020 Dan Freedman), RHRH Leaf PB (©2020 Patricia Babbitt), RHRH Stem DF (©2020 Dan Freedman)