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Turning Green Rhubarb Red

by D.H.

Red Rhubarb Stalks

Red Rhubarb Stalks

Is Turning Green Rhubarb Red Possible?

Reading the different complaints about green rhubarb and noticing that most of the "experts" didn't have an answer, I would like to share a sure thing to correct this common problem.

Take wood ashes and put them around the rhubarb plants. The large leaves tend to fall and make the soil too acid and putting wood ashes corrects this. The stalks will turn a beautiful crimson the next spring.


Various Comments on this topic:

Thank you so much for your advice, my husband will try this, it has been so annoying as no-one seemed to have an answer. Marie

Would adding lime to the soil work the same as wood ashes? Acidic soil conditioner? Ted.

Thank you. I specifically bought a red variety and all of my plants produce green stalks and could never get an answer as to why. Can't wait to try this. Anonymous

My rhubarb crowns had very red stems but now they are green. I also have seed grown rhubarb that is the same. I don't leave the leaves around the plants. They have lots of feed and water (I am a commercial plant grower). I will try ash and let you know. Heather

Color of rhubarb is not important. Not all varieties of rhubarb are red. Many varieties are meant to be green and never change color. The color of the stalk has no bearing whatsoever on the level of sweetness. Anonymous


Wow its such a logical reason and simple solution! Thank you, I was almost ready to rip out all of my giant green rhubarb plants and try again, and now I wont have to! Anonymous


I agree, thank you for this advice. I have a large green rhubarb flourishing next to smaller red plants confusing many who are unable to say why. Now this may just be the simple answer. Lesley

It makes no difference what color it is. Peter


My friend's rhubarb is green and mine is red. I picked some of his yesterday and the very bottoms of some of the stalks are red. He told me that he always puts the leaves back around the plant to give back to the soil and to the plant. Now I know why his rhubarb is green! I can hardly wait to tell him. Ruth, Canmore AB

I have looked everywhere for an answer to this problem. I used to have beautiful red rhubarb but it has turned mostly green now. We always let the large leaves die off and rot on the ground around the plants, but no more. We'll try the wood ashes and see what happens. Thanks for this great advice! Debbie



Regarding green to red rhubarb - thank you so much. I have a plant that has gotten very large and until this year always produced lovely red stalks but this year they are green and I couldn't understand why. Now I know why. Thank you so much. Anonymous

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