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Fruit EdibleHerbaceous Perennial

Rheum × hybridum 'Reed's Early Superb'

rhubarb 'Reed's Early Superb'

'Reed's Early Superb' is a vigorous maincrop cultivar with long, straight, medium to thick stems which are succulent and tender. Bright red colour grading to dark green. Has exhibition potential

Synonyms
Rheum × hybridum 'Reed's Early'

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Green
Summer Green Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Polygonaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Leaves mildly toxic if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
Genus

Rheum are robust rhizomatous herbaceous perennials with large, simple or palmately lobed leaves and tall leafy stems bearing large panicles of tiny flowers

Name status

Unresolved

How to grow

Cultivation

Any fertile garden soil can be used for rhubarb as long as it is well-drained and in full sun. Crowns (""sets"") can be cropped for ten or more years, though division may be necessary after about five years. Plant crowns in November or December and up to the beginning of March if necessary. A spring mulch of well-rotted organic matter 7cm (2 1/2in) deep will help to retain moisture but do not bury the crowns. Plants will also respond to watering during prolonged dry periods in summer. Apply a general fertiliser such as growmore in spring or summer at 70g per sq m (2oz per square yard)

Propagation

Lift crowns between autumn and early spring (usually in November). Use a spade to divide the crown into sections each retaining a portion of the rhizome (thickened root) and at least one growing point. Sections from the outer part are better than the centres of old plants. Discard any old or decayed parts of the crown. Replant straight away or wrap in damp sacking until ready to plant

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Remove any flower heads that may develop. Allow the foliage to die back naturally in autumn then cut away the old leaves to expose the growing points to winter cold

Pests

Aphids, slugs and snails may be problematic

Diseases

Honey fungus and a virus may be troublesome

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