How Much Water Does Rhubarb Need?

Rhubarb plants benefit from getting 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of water per week. Water your rhubarb once every 3 days through the first year. In later years, your rhubarb will only need to be watered once per week. Always give rhubarb a good soaking all around the base of the plant. Rhubarb does not need lots of water. Instead, rhubarb plants need consistent watering. You can easily overwater your rhubarb, especially in poorly draining soil. Underwatering rhubarb is possible as well. When that happens, the leaves will wilt and turn yellow before the crown dies off.

How much water does rhubarb need?

How Much Water Does Rhubarb Need Per Day?

Rhubarb does not need daily watering. Instead, it’s better to water deeply every 3 days. Pour 1–1.5 gallons (3.8–5.7 liters) of water on each plant to get the water down to their roots. This is vital in the first year while they’re establishing their large root systems.

  • Rhubarb plants do not need to get watered daily.
  • Plan to give your rhubarb 1–1.5 gallons (3.8–5.7 liters) of water every 3 days.
  • Use the size of your rhubarb to decide how much water to give them.
  • Decrease how often you water your plants after the first year of growth.

Look at the size of your rhubarb to determine just how much water to give them. Giant rhubarb needs more water than normal varieties do. Your plants may also need less water as seedlings than they will once fully grown. You can usually dial back watering sessions to once per week after the first year.

What is the Best Way to Water Rhubarb?

Deeply soak your rhubarb plants every 3 days to get the water all the way down to their roots. Hold the stream of water low to avoid splashing the rhubarb leaves and stems. Otherwise, pests, fungus, and diseases could impact the health of your plants.

  • Deeply soak your rhubarb plants once every 3 days.
  • Only water at the base of the plant to avoid getting the rhubarb leaves and stems wet.
  • Wet leaves and stems often attract pests, disease, and fungus.
  • Add 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) of organic mulch to help retain moisture in the soil.
  • Do not let the mulch cover the crown of the rhubarb plants.

Help your rhubarb plants retain moisture by adding mulch around the base of the plant. Only use organic mulch, like pine needles or wood shavings. Add 4–6 inches (10–15 cm) of mulch, but do not bury the rhubarb crowns.

Does Rhubarb Need a Lot of Water?

Rhubarb plants do not need a lot of water. They need deep watering sessions on a consistent basis. The plants should get water once every 3 days through their first year. This helps their root system develop. After that, you can switch to a weekly watering schedule.

  • Rhubarb plants do not need lots of water to grow and thrive.
  • Instead, aim to water your plants deeply on a regular schedule.
  • Water every 3 days through the first year, and then once per-week after that.
  • Watch the weather to decide how often to water your rhubarb plants.
  • Use this soil moisture meter to determine when to water your rhubarb.

Watch the weather to decide if you should water your rhubarb. Recent rains likely mean that your rhubarb can wait for water. Check the soil moisture with a meter or your finger. Hot, sunny days dry out the soil faster. So, water more often as temperatures start to rise or if you’re rhubarb is getting to much sun.

Can You Overwater Rhubarb?

It’s definitely possible to overwater rhubarb. The plants do not like soggy soil. Well-draining soil will recover quickly if you accidentally add too much water. Just skip watering the plants for a few extra days to let the soil dry out.

  • You can easily overwater your rhubarb plants if you’re not careful.
  • Rhubarb plants cannot thrive in soggy, waterlogged soil.
  • Wait a few extra days to water to let the soil recover after overwatering.
  • Crown rot is likely to occur after overwatering rhubarb in poorly draining soil.
  • You must start over with new plants after crown rot damages your old ones.

In poorly draining soil, adding too much water will likely result in crown rot. The plants will not recover from this condition. So, you’ll have to dig out the old plants and start over with new ones.

What are the Signs of Underwatered Rhubarb?

Underwatered rhubarb will look droopy and wilted at first. The rhubarb stalks may not look like they have enough strength to hold up the leaves. The effect is more obvious in smaller plants. Next, the edges of the leaves will start to turn yellow. Then, they will turn brown and dry out all the way.

  • Underwatered rhubarb plants look rather droopy at first.
  • After the stems droop, the edges of the leaves turn yellow.
  • A continued lack of water will cause the leaves to turn brown and dry out.
  • The plant will die if not given enough water before the leaves turn brown.
  • Help your underwatered plants recover by watering them deeply once every 2 days.

The plant will die soon after that if not given water. You can potentially save your plants if you catch the problem soon enough. Just water them deeply every 2 days until they start to recover. After that, you can go back to your normal watering schedule.

How Often Should You Water Rhubarb?

When watering rhubarb, follow these rules:

  • Rhubarb prefers to receive deep watering sessions once every 3 days.
  • Give rhubarb 1–1.5 gallons (3.8–5.7 liters) of water each time you water.
  • Water your plants at their base to avoid getting the leaves and stems wet.
  • Do your best to avoid overwatering and underwatering your plants.
  • Consistent water is key in keeping your rhubarb thriving and producing edible stalks.

When you give your rhubarb the proper care, they will grow bigger and bigger year after year. You’ll then have plenty of chances to harvest their edible stalks throughout the growing season.

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