Canada Red Rhubarb Variety – How To Grow Canadian Red Rhubarb

Canadian Red Rhubarb
canadian red
(Image credit: EdCorey)

Canadian Red rhubarb plants produce striking red stalks that contain more sugar than other varieties. Like other types of rhubarb, it grows best in colder climates, is easy to grow, and adds beautiful foliage and color to the garden. Read on to learn more about growing Canadian Red rhubarb plants.

Canadian Red Rhubarb Information

Rhubarb is a classic spring vegetable, but one that is treated more like a fruit in the kitchen. The leaves are not edible and are, in fact, toxic, but the stalks can be used in sauces, jams, pies, cakes, and other baked goods.

The bright red stalks of the Canada Red rhubarb variety work especially well in desserts because they have a high sugar content. With these rhubarb stalks, you can make your favorite recipe with less sugar.

Canada Red rhubarb will grow as a perennial and produce stalks you can harvest for about five years. It grows up to 2 or 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 m.) tall and will produce 4 to 12 pounds (1.8 to 5.4 kg.) of stalks for each crown you plant.

How to Grow Canadian Red Rhubarb

To grow this rhubarb you will need crowns or transplants. The varieties of rhubarb do not grow true from seed. When planting crowns, make sure the roots are 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm.) below the soil. They can be planted as soon as you can get into the soil in spring. These plants tolerate cold very well.

Soil for any rhubarb cultivar should be rich with organic material and should drain well. They won’t tolerate standing water. Rhubarb does best with full sun and will tolerate some shade.

Once planted and beginning to grow, Canada Red rhubarb care is simple. Keep mulch down to suppress weeds and water enough to keep the soil just a little moist. Avoid standing water, which can lead to root rot. Remove any flower stalks as they appear.

When harvesting your Canadian Red rhubarb, wait for the second year. This will give you healthier, more productive plants for a few years. In the second year, avoid harvesting all the stalks, and by year three you’ll have a large harvest.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.