Collect Seeds From Your Rhubarb Plant
Question. “Can we plant the seed that is growing from our rhubarb?” Short answer. Yes, you can. However, there is a certain time to collect seeds from your rhubarb plant.
I’ll answer all your questions on what to look for during the growing season if this is what you wish to do.
Rhubarb season is in full swing! Last year, I posted a video under my YouTube channel titled “Why Rhubarb Goes to Seed and What to do When it Does.”
This year I have had a few people ask if you could harvest and plant the seeds from their rhubarb plants and if so, how.
Today, I will take a few minutes and answer this question. This way I can add a link back to this page to answer this question as it comes up.
A few years ago, I set out to answer this same question myself. I couldn’t find the answer to my question online or in book form.
Can You Harvest Rhubarb Seed From Your Plants?
The answer to this question is: Yes you can.
Have I Been Able To Get The Seed To Grow?
Yes, I have. It took some time playing around and experimenting but I was eventually able to get one plant to grow. The plant that grew from its seed does not look exactly like my parent plant. To me, it looks weaker. However, it is still very young and I have hope it will grow just as strong as the parent plant.
How Long Did It Take For The Seed To Sprout?
About 3 weeks to sprout from seed. I couldn’t get the seed to start in my garden though. I had to start the seed indoors in order to get the seed to grow.
How Long Did It Take Before You Could Harvest Your Rhubarb?
It has taken a substantial amount of time for the seedling to grow into a healthy and strong rhubarb plant.
This year marks the fourth growing season and I believe this year I will be able to harvest a few stalks off of it. It has taken longer than I assumed it would.
Division Plant and Parent Seedling Planted On Same Day
Steps To Collect Your Rhubarb Seed
It is important to learn what you are looking for. Below are a few pictures to describe the stages of the seed pods, flowering and seeds.
First Stage: Tightly Packed Seed Head
When you see the tightly packed seed head stalks start to form you have two choices. You can choose to pull or cut the stalks to keep your plant producing longer during the season or you can allow the stalk to go on to flower.
Second Stage: Flowers
The tightly formed balls will open and form small, tight, white flowers. After your rhubarb flowers the stalks will start to it tough for that growing season. You can allow the flowers to go through their natural process and the flowers will turn to seed.
Third Stage: Seeds are Forming
At some point the flowers will turn into green seeds. The photo below shows this process. Some stalks will be loaded full of seeds are some will have few.
Fourth Stage: Seeds are Forming and Drying Out
Leave your seeds form on the stalks and as they age they will dry out. The seeds will turn brown and so will the stalks. Once dry, clip the stalks so you can collect the seeds.
Fifth Stage: Planting Your Seed
Want instructions on planting rhubarb seeds? You can find my article here.