Q: Should I remove the flower bud from my rhubarb?

A: Yes, cut out the flower stalks as they appear. We want the energy to go to the stalks, not into making seed. However, flowering will not cause injury to the plant and you don’t HAVE to remove the flowers.

Several things can cause rhubarb to flower:

  • Variety is sometimes the cause of seeding and there isn’t much you can do about that. Heirloom varieties tend to seed more than newer varieties.
  • Older plants seed more than younger plants. If it’s an old plant, maybe dividing the plant would slow the seed production. Divide Rhubarb in late winter or early spring.
  • Heat can cause rhubarb to bolt (or go to seed), so an unusually warm spring could cause bolting.
  • Mulch around the plant to regulate soil temperature and that might help.
  • Stress causes flowering. Stress might be a nutrient deficiency, over or under watering or an attack of insects.


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