These pictures capture the appearance of healthy rhubarb plants during various phases of annual growth. These plants spend the winter in frozen ground under a blanket of 1″-2″ of compost and, often, snow. The count begins when the compost blanket is pulled back to form a water ring around the soon to emerge mature plant. The plants pictured are primarily Victoria rhubarb at least 5 years of age.
2 weeks: Leaves first surface inside a thin sheath. Then they open near ground level.
3 weeks: Stalks slowly begin to grow.
6 weeks Ready to begin partial harvest but will continue to grow another 2-4 weeks.
dormant for the winter: The timing of dormancy varies greatly between varieties and by age of the plant. Older plants go dormant sooner than younger ones.
Dormant for winter. Leaves removed and covered with a blanket of mature compost.