Rhubarb or Rheum rhaponicum belongs to the Polygonaceae family. It is a perennial plant that is cultivated in the garden for its green, red and sometimes yellow petioles, and which has a slightly tangy taste that is pleasant in baking. As it is a lush plant, it is very decorative and occupies a small corner of the garden very easily. It’s easy to split if you do it at the right time!
When can you divide the rhubarb?
If you have any in the garden, you have undoubtedly observed the following phenomenon: your rhubarb plant disappears in winter. The first time it may come as a surprise, but the stump and the foot are not dead. It is before it completely disappears, in the fall, that you can start multiplying by division of the stump. It is also possible to do this in the spring when the first buds appear.
The rhubarb plant you plan to divide should be large. It is best to wait until he is at least 4 or 5 years old. You rejuvenate it and you also have a new foot.
If you take the time to feed the plant with well-rotted manure or a good dose of compost, the next harvest will be very promising.
To put the odds in your favor, consult the lunar calendar and choose a time when the moon is descending so that the recovery is easier. The reason is as follows: at this time the sap goes down into the underground parts. Pay attention to your spade, it must be sharp and clean.
You will also know that it is time to divide the plant if it shows signs of weakening or begins to wilt.
How to divide a rhubarb plant?
You have to start by preparing the ground where you are going to plant your rhubarb. It thrives in partial shade and preferably in the west. Leave at least one meter between the mother plant and the new one.
Spade the soil and remember to add any well-rotted compost or manure that you mix with the soil. Do it preferably a few days before planting, it rots again, this avoids burning the roots.
Make a sufficient hole. You have to cut around the foot, forming a circle to easily extract it. The wider it is, the less you damage the roots which are often important, especially if the foot is old.
Once you have placed the root ball on the ground, cut vertical portions, each one must have buds. Use the spade or a sharp knife.
You can also extract part of the roots directly from the mother plant without completely unfolding it. In this case, you are not actually regenerating the old plant.
Very quickly replant the part or parts you have obtained in the hole you made, before leaving the buds outcropping. They are planted at a distance of at least one meter. Water abundantly and try to keep the soil cool until spring.
As soon as the frost arrives, mulch generously with dead leaves for example, you can do the same with the mother plant with a compost mulch that nourishes it.
Do not plan to harvest your young plant the following year.
Read also : How to properly divide irises?