Dre Campbell Farm
Good and Bad Rhubarb Companion Plants

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Good and Bad Rhubarb Companion Plants

There is no need to limit yourself to planting only rhubarb in your garden if you want to get the most out of your land.

Many vegetables and herbs grow well with rhubarb. Still, rhubarb does not thrive well with some plants, such as melon, cucumber, and dock.

Interested in learning which plants work well with rhubarb and which don’t? If this is the case, continue reading.

What to Plant with Rhubarb

Even though certain plants are incompatible with rhubarb, others are compatible.

Below is a list of good companion plants for rhubarb.

  • Cauliflower
  • Kohlrabi
  • Raspberries
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Roses
  • Columbine
  • Horseradish
  • Strawberries
  • Beans
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Turnips
  • Chives
  • Broccoli

These crops benefit each other in some way or another, repelling pests, improving soil nutrients, attracting beneficial insects, and more.

Bad Companion Plants for Rhubarb

Moving on, let’s find out which plants aren’t good with rhubarb and why. Here’s what not to plant with rhubarb:

  • Melon
  • Cucumber
  • Blueberries
  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflowers
  • Thistles
  • Black walnut
  • Tomatoes
  • Dock

That’s because some of these plants share the same nutrients as rhubarb and/or may compete for space. Some may also attract bad insects, while others have different sunlight requirements.

Can you plant rhubarb near potatoes? They both have similar sunlight and nutrient requirements, so they may compete with each other.

How to Grow Rhubarb

You can grow rhubarb from seed, but the best way to start a new plant is to plant crowns.

When the right conditions are met, any piece of the crown will be able to grow into something. Prepare the soil by adding a lot of organic matter and allowing plenty of space between each plant.

Additionally, plant in the spring in a place that gets a lot of sunlight. Plant in well-drained soil. It’s also important to water well and apply a top layer of mulch in the fall.

As soon as rhubarb gets used to its new home and starts growing well, it won’t need to be watered as much and can withstand very dry weather. This is because it has a lot of roots that go down into the soil.

In January or February, cover the crown of the plant to prevent light from reaching it. This will force the plants to produce new growth. After that, you may resume harvesting in late April.

Furthermore, remove the flower stalks from your rhubarb plants as soon as they appear. If not, this will drain the plant’s energy.

Care and Maintenance

One of the best things about rhubarb is that it is a low-maintenance plant. It will also come back every year.

Allow a year for your new or split rhubarb plants to establish. Additionally, keep the soil surrounding the plants wet but not saturated. The plant will mature enough to pick the stalks after the first year.

In early June, mature rhubarb plants will send up tall flower stalks with tight clusters of buds that bloom.

You may let it blossom if you like, but if you want a substantial rhubarb crop, remove the flower stalks. As mentioned, the plant will use up energy that could be used to make stalks or roots if it is allowed to go to seed.

Take them away as soon as they appear. This allows the plant to direct its growth energy toward the stems.

Additionally, mulch a lot with a thick layer of straw to keep the soil moist and keep out weeds. Moreover, your plants need consistent watering.

Overcrowding is also a common problem with rhubarb and can cause it to grow less than it should. Split the roots every 6 to 10 years [1].

Remove all plant waste in the fall. Furthermore, in the fall, add an all-purpose garden fertilizer to the soil. This will help the plants grow well in the spring.

Pests and Diseases

Garden pests that bother rhubarb include grubs, cutworms, beetles, slugs, and snails. Additionally, crown rot and gray mold are plant diseases that affect these plants [2].


Wait until two years after planting before harvesting. Never pick any rhubarb in its first year of growth. Let them grow and mature first.

Once the stalks are at least 10 inches long, pull them away from the plant with your hands. But do not harvest all the stalks at once.

Take off the entire stem by twisting it off and pulling upward from the base.

Once this is done, cut off the leaves but do not eat them. This is because the leaves are toxic to humans [3], but you can put them in the compost.

You may use the fleshy stalks in a variety of dishes, including salads, desserts, and dinners.

Where to Buy Seeds

To start your plants from seed, you’ll need good seeds. There are a lot of varieties to choose from.

But there are reputable online stores that sell organic seeds and bare roots of high quality. You can also check with local seed stores.


What grows for a long time, doesn’t have many pests, and is very easy to grow? It is rhubarb. You can use the stems of this plant all year to make tart and flavorful pies and sauces.

Plant in the late fall or early spring, when the soil can be worked. Grow with care alongside good plant companions, and you will enjoy a good harvest.

Andre Campbell

Organic farmer and co-founder of Dre Campbell Farm. He appreciates everything in nature—sunshine, plants, animals, and human life.

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