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Rhubarb, Crimson Red

Short Description

Rhubarb pie is one of summer's sweetest pleasures.

Full Description

Excellent sweet, tart flavor, bright red color and plump tender stalks. Extra-large root establishes quickly. Growing to 24", this buckwheat relative mightily yields plump, non-stringy, ruby-red 24" stalks. Winter-hardy, highly adaptable plants. Zones 3-8.
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Item#: 69044
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

365 days

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24-36 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

24-36 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

Planting Time The recommended time of the year in which this product should be planted.

Fall, Spring

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping week of:

Mar 27, 2017

(Click here for Spring shipping schedule)


Item 69044 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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How to Plant

Planting Bare Roots in the Garden:

  • When selecting a site, keep in mind that rhubarb is a perennial vegetable and the planting bed should not be disturbed. Early soil preparation is essential in order to establish a healthy rhubarb bed. Rhubarb prefers full sun and a good organic well drained soil. In areas with hot summers, some afternoon shade may be advisable.
  • Roots received before planting time may be stored in moist soil or sand and set for 2-3 weeks in a cool place until you are ready to plant.
  • Plant roots as early as possible in spring as the soil may be worked.
  • Set the roots 3-4 feet apart each way and cover with 3-4 inches of fine soil.
  • Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
  • Plants emerge in 6-8 weeks.

Planting Seedling Plants in the Garden:

  • When selecting a site, keep in mind that rhubarb is a perennial vegetable and the planting bed should not be disturbed. Early soil preparation is essential in order to establish a healthy rhubarb bed. Rhubarb prefers full sun and a good organic well drained soil. In areas with hot summers, some afternoon shade may be advisable.
  • Plant in fall when shipment arrives.
  • Set plants 3-4 feet apart each way.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Set plants level with the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the hole.
  • Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Mulch with 2-3 inches of organic matter.
  • Plants will go dormant soon after planting in fall. Mark plant locations with a stake before the foliage goes down. Before new growth begins in spring, apply fertilizer to the ground around the stake.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
  • Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Fertilize in mid-summer.
  • If plants develop seed stalks, cut those off at the base; seed production will weaken the plant.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • Begin harvesting rhubarb plants the second year for two weeks. The third year, harvest for 6 weeks. After the third year, harvest until the stalks become thinner.
  • Always leave at least one third of the leafstalks on each plant so it does not get weak.
  • Remove the leaves from the picked stalks and discard them. NOTE: Do not eat leaves, they are toxic.
  • Do not harvest from frozen plants in fall.
  • Leafstalks may be eaten raw or cooked.
  • In the fourth year, divide plants by 1/3-1/2.
  • Rhubarb may be frozen, pickled, dried, made in chutney or jam.
Days To Maturity
365 days
Full Sun
24-36 inches
24-36 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Sow Time
2-4 weeks BLF
36 inches
Life Cycle
Rhubarb, Crimson Red is rated 1.7 out of 5 by 22.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dead, dead, dead Received 2 roots as a gift in early June. Planted as directed and cared for as directed. Never saw a single shoot. Checked both of the roots and they are almost petrified. What a waste of money.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Rhunarb and Asparagus Both my purchases of these plants looked dead when they came and the Rhubarb came with ants. Both died. Local store brands grew fine under same conditions and were cheaper.
Date published: 2016-10-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dead on arrival My three rhubarb plants were brown and tough when they arrived, and remained that way after planting, despite being watered in well. There were no shoots, and when last I checked on them they were dried out and full of bugs. At least someone got to eat them! (I'm compelled to add that the other plants in my Burpee purchase did quite well. For some reason the rhubarb just didn't cut it.)
Date published: 2016-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Rhubarb, Crimson Red We purchased four Rhubarb plants earlier this year but we were not ready to put them in the ground so we potted them up. Unfortunately, we lost 3 of the 4 plants. The one that survived is looking quite good. I'm hoping that this one will produce enough fruit for a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie that my 12 year old granddaughter is eagerly awaiting and keeps asking about.
Date published: 2016-09-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed Plant died in a month. Vague planting instructions
Date published: 2016-09-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I think it's still there. When I received the rhubarb, I faithfully followed the planting and watering instructions, and I think the plants are still in the ground. However, I haven't seen any signs of life from them, and summer is over in my location.
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Rhubard I purchased it several months ago, but it never did anything. The bulb would not grow.
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Bought 2 plants I bought 2 of these rhubarb plants about 1 month ago and only one of the plants took hold. I am wondering if there is any guarantee that these plants have to grow? Can one of these BE sent since I paid for 2 plants thanks.
Date published: 2016-09-15
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