Aussies Living Simply

Dividing Rhubarb?

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    We have a huge rhubarb plant that was dumped in a corner of our veggie garden when we moved up here about three years ago – transplanted from my MIL’s house when she moved back to the city from down the coast. It has literally grown like a weed… we do nothing to it except hack at it and eat it! YUM!

    We need to divide it and potentially move it… and I am not sure how to go about that. Is early spring the right time to do it or do we need to wait? Do I need to cut off all the storks and leaves and is it a matter of simple cutting it into bits and replanting?

    I’ve read that rhubarb likes well drained soils.. but this one is sitting in anything but. It’s in a low spot in our clay soil above a HUGE underground rock so gets quick soggy yet it is thriving. Even if we put some back in the spot after dividing we’ll still need to plant some elsewhere but I am not sure where now…

    And when we replant is it true that we can’t harvest for a year??

    We LOVE rhubarb in this house and it is the only thing we can grow and eat year round and it’s so easy… I am a bit scared about mucking that up…




    I would have thought it would already be a little late to divide rhubarb – it’s best done when it’s completely dormant. Seeing it is so cold in Melbourne at the moment, it might still be worth a try. Just remove all the large, fully gorwn stalks, dig up as much of the root as you can, and separate the crowns with your hands. Because it is a bit late, leave at least one baby leaf on each division. Replant where you want them and water in well.



    Thanks heaps Annie –

    We are at the base of Mount Macedon and expecting snow tonight so perhaps I still have some time? We won’t be over the frosts until well into Nov!



    I’m not providing any guarantees, but they never go fully dormant here, and we’ve had success dividing them anyway :tup:


    What would it look like if it were dormant??

    We seem to get more stalks off it in winter than any other time of the year?



    I had to move some of ours this year and just dug them up and split them. It helps if the pieces have some roots attached like Annie said.

    Some went straight into the ground and others got potted up. It all looks to have survived as it’s pretty tough.

    The bit about ‘well drained soil’ is probably more important in wetter climates than here in the southern states of Aust. It needs quite a bit of extra water and shading in summer where we are!

    Remember to cut out any flower heads that start to form otherwise it puts all it’s energy into the flowers and seeds. :tup:

    You probably shouldn’t take many stalks this year to let the new roots systems develop…that is unless it takes off really well. πŸ˜‰


    Go ahead and divide it katef, you don’t have to worry about it being too late. I divided mine only about two weeks ago and it’s doing fine.

    And I’m about 70klms north of your location. Positivley tropical in comparison πŸ˜‰


    It helps if you can dig in some manure too. I usually dig a deep hole put a good layer of manure in the bottom, put a layer of soil on this then plant the rhubarb crown on the top. I’ve divided it whenever the though occurs that “its getting a bit big” or “I don’t want it there any more I’ll move it”

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