Ashley Taborsky with rhubarb plant

How to harvest a rhubarb plant (without killing it)

It’s rhubarb harvest season!

If you’re looking to add an edible plant to your yard that comes back every year with minimal maintenance, look no further than rhubarb.

Rhubarb isn’t a vegetable like carrots or beets, where you only get to eat the same plant once per season.

If you know how to responsibly harvest your mature rhubarb plant, it will continue to come back year after year and actually get bigger and stronger the older it gets.

How to harvest rhubarb stalks

With a sharp knife, choose a stalk that’s about the width of your thumb or larger.

thumb by rhubarb stalk

Cut it as close to the base of the plant as possible without damaging other stalks. Make one clean cut.

Remove the leaf attached the the rhubarb stalk, then you’re ready to prepare it however you prefer.

Here’s a video of me cutting a stalk off of my backyard rhubarb plant. 

Over harvesting is a fast way to completely kill rhubarb, so I generally harvest conservatively.

As long as you don’t over harvest the rhubarb, it should come back year after year for you to enjoy.

One of my favorite rhubarb recipes is a berry rhubarb jam – yum!

knife by mature rhubarb