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.
rhubarb one week after start of seasonal growth, 1 week old rhubarb

1 week


rhubarb two weeks after start of seasonal growth, 2 week old rhubarb

2 weeks: Leaves first surface inside a thin sheath. Then they open near ground level.


rhubarb three weeks after start of seasonal growth, 3 week old Victoria rhubarb

3 weeks: Stalks slowly begin to grow.

rhubarb six weeks after start of seasonal growth, 6 week old Victoria rhubarb

6 weeks   Ready to begin partial harvest but will continue to grow another 2-4 weeks.



dormant Victoria rhubarb

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 rhubarb covered in compost

Dormant for winter. Leaves removed and covered with a blanket of mature compost.