Although rhubarb will tolerate shade in moderate doses, full, direct sunlight is its ideal environment. Provide a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. However, don’t be afraid to provide additional sun. All day sun typically doesn’t harm rhubarb unless it’s being grown in a very hot, humid climate. Rhubarb likes moist soil but quickly wilts if there’s lots of water puddling. This is another reason to make sure you plant it in a bright area where the soil dries quickly after watering. Rhubarb can be grown in shade, but expect weaker, smaller plants and poor longevity.
Table of Contents
How Many Hours of Sun Does Rhubarb Need?
You should aim for a minimum of 6 hours of full, direct sunlight for your rhubarb plant. These plants have somewhat of a split personality, though—despite the fact that they flourish in direct, full sun, they don’t like excessive heat and humidity. Brown leaves and wilting are the two top signs of sun deprivation, but these can also be signs of too much exposure to humid conditions.
- Give your rhubarb plants at least 6 hours of full sunlight per day.
- Keep your entire plant from excessive summer heat and humidity whenever possible.
- All day direct sunlight is not usually dangerous for rhubarb.
Don’t hesitate to allow your plants over 6 hours of direct sun. It’s difficult for rhubarb to get too much sun. Just keep an eye on your plants to make sure the stalks are not wilting and the leaves are lush and full. Occasionally, direct sun results in flowering plants. Any flower stalks should be clipped away so that the plant’s energy is not wasted on developing seed.
Can Rhubarb Grow in Indirect Sunlight?
It’s possible to grow rhubarb in indirect sunlight, although it prefers full, direct sun. Increase the exposure time if you’re planting a rhubarb patch in indirect light. Choose an area of your garden where your crop of rhubarb will receive at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.
- Rhubarb can grow in indirect sunlight if the exposure time is sufficient.
- Provide at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight for best results.
- Avoid completely shady areas.
- If growing in an indoor sunroom, keep plants close to the windows.
Because rhubarb is a large plant, it’s typically grown outdoors. However, if you are growing your rhubarb in an indoor sunroom, keep the plants close to the windows where they can enjoy at least 8 hours of indirect sun.
Can Rhubarb Grow in Shade?
There is a common myth that rhubarb is a woodland plant that grows well in shade. The truth is, your rhubarb plant will be stunted or killed by too much shade. However, it is possible for rhubarb to survive if it receives some light afternoon shade daily. Keep your rhubarb in well-draining soil and in a sunny site to prevent the infection of pathogens in the soil.
- Rhubarb does not grow well in shade.
- Your plant may survive in partial shade, but stems tend to be long and spindly.
- Keeping rhubarb in well-drained soil and full sun prevents pathogenic infection.
If you are trying to grow rhubarb in shade, you can expect longer, thinner stems. This may ultimately affect the taste of the rhubarb. Long, thin stems tend to produce a less-than-ideal flavor when compared to those with normal thickness, which produce the best-flavored rhubarb. Ultimately, it is best to keep rhubarb from full shade and a lack of sun.
What Happens if Rhubarb Doesn’t Get Enough Sun?
If rhubarb doesn’t get enough sun, it will eventually wilt and die. This can happen very quickly, so make sure you monitor your plant’s sun exposure throughout the growing process. Once the plant has wilted, you can revive it by replanting it in the sun, but this must be done as soon as possible to save your rhubarb.
- Sun-deprived rhubarb will ultimately wilt and die.
- Rhubarb can be revived by relocating it to a sunny location.
- Accelerated growth occurs if rhubarb is placed in darkness, but this technique should only be used temporarily.
Interestingly, there is a way to use heavy shade to your advantage when growing rhubarb. If the plant is placed in complete darkness, its stalks will shoot up quickly in an attempt to find the sun. This technique is called “forcing rhubarb,” but should not be used long-term. Otherwise, you risk killing your plant.
Can Rhubarb Get Too Much Sun?
While it is difficult for rhubarb to get too much sun, you should still keep an eye on your plants during the extreme heat of summer. If the soil becomes too dry, rhubarb will quickly wilt. Therefore, if you live in a particularly hot or humid region, consider giving your rhubarb some shade during the hottest hours of summer days.
- Abundant sunshine usually won’t hurt rhubarb.
- Offer shade if conditions are particularly hot and humid.
- If leaves appear scorched, the plant is getting too much sun.
Scorched leaves are the number one sign of too much sun. If this occurs, leaves that are scorched or dead should be trimmed back and shade should be provided to prevent the problem from recurring. Keep in mind that rhubarb, although a very sturdy, resilient, and tough plant, does not like disruptions. For this reason, double-check that you have selected an appropriate location before planting your rhubarb stalks.
How Much Sun Does Rhubarb Require?
Rhubarb prefers full sun. It can thrive in shade for a short period of time, but it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Plant rhubarb in a sunny area of your garden where the soil dries quickly after the plants are watered.
- All day sun is typically best for rhubarb.
- Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
- Growing rhubarb in shade typically results in smaller, weaker plants.
Keep your rhubarb well-watered during high heat but allow the soil to dry fully between waterings. This prevents rhubarb crown rots and ensures you have an excellent rhubarb harvest.