How to Transplant Rhubarb Plants

Vibrant rhubarb plants flourish beside a brick building outside.
What You'll Need
Shovel or spade
Watering can or hose

Whether it is because you started growing your rhubarb in a container, your plant needs a change in sunlight or soil type, or another reason, you may run into a need to transplant it. Fortunately, this is one of the easier tasks that you will carry out in maintaining your garden. Just follow the steps below and settle your rhubarb comfortably into its new home.

Step 1 - Plan Your Timing

Ideally, you want to transplant rhubarb in the spring. Moving it before the leaves sprout is best, after the last frost of the year.

Step 2 - Dig up Plants

Carefully dig up the plants that you would like to move. Make sure that you use the spade carefully because you don't want to damage the root structure of the rhubarb. You need as much of it as possible to remain intact because ultimately, you will end up with less root structure to fall back on if you have multiple plants to transplant.

Step 3 - Divide Plants

A common reason to transplant rhubarb is to separate and increase the number of spots where the plants are growing. To do that, start dividing the plants you have by separating the root clumps into constituent parts. You want to have at least two good starts in each replant that you perform, so use that as a guide when dividing the roots; you can do it by hand as long as you don’t crush them in the process.

Step 4 - Transplant

Pick out a part of your garden that has soil with plenty of organic matter and a pH of between six and seven. If you are going to place rhubarb plants back into the holes from which you got them, fill this hole before doing the rest of the replant.

Dig holes that are approximately two inches deep and that are at least twice the size of the root bulb. Make all of them at least three feet apart from one another, both in the same row and in between rows. Then, place the plants in and fill in around them gently, patting down with the spade a few times to make the fill permanent.

Step 5 - Mulch

Place a layer of mulch around all of the new plants. This is especially important if you're replanting them during the fall or spring months.

Step 6 - Water

Water all of the newly transplanted rhubarb immediately. This will help the roots take shape within the new holes and allow the plants to become acclimated to their environment a lot quicker than if they are left alone.