How to Pick Rhubarb - No Cut Method

When can you pick rhubarb? In year one it's best not to pick any off the plant to let it help establish a good root system. In the second growing season, you can harvest a 1/3 of the plant and in year 3, 2/3 of the plant can be harvested. Rhubarb can be harvested between the months of April-June.

  • Locate the rhubarb stalks that are ready to be harvested. Color isn't an indicator of ripeness. Staks that are 10"-18" long are ready to harvest. 
  • Firmly grasp the stalk at the base near the ground. Make sure you have a good grip on the stalk.
  • Gently and steadily pull the stalk upward and twist away from the plant. Use a smooth, steady motion to avoid breaking the stalk.
  • As you pull the stalk, it should detach easily from the plant.
  • Repeat the process for each stalk you want to harvest.
Rhubarb stalk ready to harvest.
Proper pull and twist method to remove stalk.
Harvested rhubarb stalk.

Be sure to leave some stalks on the plant, so it can continue to grow and produce more rhubarb throughout the season.

Remember to only harvest rhubarb stalks, as the leaves are toxic and should not be eaten. Rhubarb leaves can be used for compost. 

Rhubarb can be cut into 1” chunks and frozen for longer-term use. 

  • Article Categories:
  • Video