So, you recently received a rhubarb plant from your sweet neighbour and were confused what are the best companion plants for rhubarb since you have quite many other plantations in your little garden.
You didn’t want to be rude to your neighbor and say no, but you also don’t want to mess up the growth of this plant by not planting it near the best companion plants for rhubarb.
According to The Guardian, the rhubarb plant can be traced back to as far as 2,700 BC in China for its medicinal properties. And you get to plant it in your garden!
Why does it matter to know what are the best companion plants for rhubarb? Because you are who you spend most of your time with right? It matters for plants too, believe it or not.
Do not worry, I have come up with this article on the 25 best companion plants for rhubarb.
25 Best Companion Plants For Rhubarb:
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s plant that rhubarb already!
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25 Best Companion Plants For Rhubarb
Brocolli is part of the brassica family group and a good rhubarb companion. They have nitrogen-fixing properties which help to make the soil rich in organic matter and we all know soils rich in nitrogen help keep the plant healthy!
Rhubarb plant in turn protects the broccoli by deferring whiteflies and other leaf-eating bugs by its pungent smell from the leaves which is full of toxic oxalic acid.
Not only that, but the rhubarb plant also helps provide shade to the broccoli plant to prevent it from being sun damaged.
Onion, as we all know has a strong pungent smell to it which can bring tears to our eyes. That smell is also the one that keeps pests such as weevils and aphids away from your rhubarb plant.
I make sure I always have onions growing in the same plot as where I grow my rhubarb plant.
Besides being rich in antioxidants, kale is also one of the best companion plants for rhubarb if you are wondering what grows well with rhubarb. Kale, just like broccoli is part of the brassica family and so they help the rhubarb plant in an almost similar way by increasing the nitrogen content in the soil.
Pests love the leaf of kale and so planting it together with the rhubarb plant helps keep these pests away.
We have heard that garlic helps keep ghosts away, but have you heard that it also makes a good rhubarb companion?
Pests such as leaf beetle will bore through the rhubarb leaves and make your rhubarb plant susceptible to disease which will in turn make your plant weaker. The strong aroma from garlic will not only help keep this pest away but also slugs and snails.
Cauliflower generally grows well with rhubarb plants without causing any harm. So if you have this growing on your little farm and are thinking of planting rhubarb plants in it, you can do it without any fear.
The rhubarb plant can help deter whiteflies from the cauliflower. So it’s a win-win for both.
Beans are a good example of what grows well with rhubarb. They have nitrogen-fixing capabilities in the soil to help your rhubarb plant grow healthily.
Please do choose the lower variety of beans such as bush beans when you decide to grow beans and rhubarb together, though. This is so that your bean plant won’t block the sun since rhubarb plants need lots and lots of sun to grow well!
Cabbage helps keep the pests away from your rhubarb plant so this is a good rhubarb companion plant.
Chives will not only help get rid of insects but they can also help add flavor to your rhubarb plant. If your garden has too much shade from taller plants nearby, or just poor soil quality, chive is something you need in your garden!
The beautiful color of marigolds will not just enhance the aesthetics of your garden but also is a good rhubarb companion. Marigolds have this special ability to attract predatory insects, which may go after other bugs attacking nearby plants.
This is going to help protect your rhubarb plant and also the marigolds. Not only that, they help make the leaves less susceptible to pests and disease.
Strawberries and rhubarb plants do not just go well to create a good pie but they are also really good companion plants for each other. They are harvested around the same time so they do not fight for nutrients.
Besides that, strawberries create a great living mulch around the rhubarb plant. They also prevent excess soil drying and help prevent erosion.
Turnips help rhubarb plants by helping to keep away pests so that they both can live healthily and are a perfect example of what to plant near rhubarb.
Columbine makes a good rhubarb companion as it helps protect your rhubarb plant and any other plant in your garden from a garden pest called red spider mite.
Roses help rhubarb plants by keeping pests away from your garden. Not only that, they are a beautiful sight to behold too.
Catnip is smelly and it creates an aromatic barrier around it, making sure no bugs such as aphids, beetles, and other pests do not come in.
Planting catnip with your rhubarb plant will not only be good to resist insects and rodents such as mice, but it will also help attract pollinators like butterflies.
Dill is a multifunctional companion plant. Firstly, it has deep taproots to help disintegrate heavy soils which will eventually help loosen the soil to help rhubarb roots spread and allow it to grow thicker.
Secondly, it can also help reduce pests such as aphids in your soil and attract pollinators like bees.
Thyme is another plant that helps keep pests away from your rhubarb plant but it also helps attract pollinators that use rhubarb as a food source.
Besides that, when I chose to plant rhubarb next to thyme, it helped prevent root rot in their wet soil.
You have to plant beet and rhubarb together because it helps prevent your rhubarb from getting too woody or diminishing its flavor before time.
During the hot summer months, the beets will benefit from the shade they receive from the tall stalks or rhubarb plant.
Sage breaks up tough soil clumps and helps make space in the deeper area of the ground where most of the rhubarb roots live. Sage will attract predatory insects that prey on your rhubarb and any other plant while not harming the sage itself.
Asparagus rhubarb companion planting is really good for a couple of reasons. One of them is because asparagus helps soak up excess water from its roots which in turn helps reduce stress on your nearby rhubarb plant.
Not only that, asparagus helps separate condensed soils like dense clay or wet mud that can lead to root rot in the rhubarb plant.
Besides being used for medicinal and culinary values, chamomile is also helpful to deter slugs.
You can plant it all around your rhubarb plant.
Peppermint can charm pollinators and help get rid of aphids which is a type of pest
Rosemary is a type of herb that emits a specific fragrance. They are a good rhubarb companion as the fragrance will help ward off unhelpful pests and attract favorable insects.
Tarragon is also another type of herb that does not just add flavor to your food but also to the plants it is planted with. Besides that, they also help deter insects and pests from your rhubarb plant.
I asked a friend the other day, ‘can you plant rhubarb next to raspberries?’. and she said, why not? So apparently, they grow well together though their harvest times are different.
They help keep garden pests away from each other and for me, that is good enough!
The last one on our list of what to plant with rhubarb is horseradish! You need to be careful to not plant them too close to each other because we all know that rhubarb’s roots grow quite deep into the ground.
Well, so does the roots of horseradish. You would not want them to be fighting for ground space.
Besides that, horseradish helps repel bugs such as whiteflies and aphids among many other pests.
What Is Companion Planting?
Just like how nobody on earth was meant to do life alone, plants were never meant to do growing alone too. And that is exactly what companion planting is.
It is when 2 plants are grown closely for the benefit of one or both of them.
According to the University of Minnesota, companion planting can help save space in your garden and also help protect your plants from insects. Not only that, certain plants can deter pests while others may have the ability to attract beneficial pests.
Companion planting also helps regulate soil fertility to ensure the growth of plants is at its optimal level. Besides that, companion planting also helps in shade regulation.
I find all this rather magical, to be honest.
Understanding that your garden has a system of biodiversity of its own where all the plants and pests and insects are interdependent will give you a better understanding of what should stay in your garden and what should not.
What Should Not Be Planted With Rhubarb?
Every good thing always has an opposite to it. So there are some bad companion plants for rhubarb which we are going to see in the list below.
For blueberries to grow, it needs rather acidic soil. Whereas, rhubarb needs neutral soil. Planting these two plants nearby are not going to help any one of them.
Can rhubarb and tomatoes be planted together? It may not be the wisest thing to do as tomatoes and rhubarb as a companion crop combo will attract too many pests!
Rhubarb needs lots of sun and tomatoes provide too much shade which can cause problems with adequate sunlight.
As we saw above, rhubarb needs a lot of sunlight! Melons also require lots of sunlight.
Putting these two plants together is going to make them fight over it and the melon plant will crawl over your rhubarb plant to get what it wants.
Pumpkins are similar to melons and they will do anything to get that sunlight including suffocating your rhubarb plant!
Docks are bad companions for rhubarb as they will attract unhealthy pests into your garden which is not good for anyone of us.
Cucumbers are selfish plants in the sense they are very aggressive when it comes to their soil food. They will not care about their neighboring plant and will take whatever it wants which may cause your rhubarb to produce a lesser crop.
They will attract similar beetles and pests, so planting them together in the same space is attracting harm at a faster rate.
8. Black Walnut
Black walnut produces a type of chemical called juglone which is released into the soil. This will affect your rhubarb plant by inhibiting its growth.
Where To Buy Rhubarb Plant?
Wondering where to buy rhubarb plants so that you can start planting them? You can get them on Amazon once they are available or even on Etsy. You can either choose to get the crown and plant them or you can even get the seeds.
What Is Rhubarb Used For?
Wondering what is rhubarb used for? It is helpful for menstrual cramps, diarrhea, stomach pain, indigestion, symptoms of menopause, obesity, swelling of the pancreas, and many other conditions.
These are amazing uses of Rhubarb but they are all not entirely scientifically proven though so do your research well.
How To Grow Rhubarb?
Figuring out how to grow rhubarb? Open, sunny site with moist, but free-draining soil is what Rhubarb needs to grow well as it does not like being waterlogged in winter.
To prevent the young stems from getting damaged, you may want to avoid planting in sites that are particularly prone to late frosts.
Is Rhubarb Toxic?
Speculating if rhubarb is toxic? The large, smooth, heart-shaped leaves are toxic. However, the stalks of the rhubarb plant are safe to eat, you may even eat it raw. They are very tart though – do not say I did not warn you!
Can I Plant Tomatoes Next To Rhubarb?
Wondering if you can plant tomatoes next to rhubarb? It may not be the wisest thing to do as tomatoes and rhubarb as a companion crop combo will attract too many pests!
Rhubarb needs lots of sun and tomatoes provide too much shade which can cause problems with adequate sunlight.
Where Is The Best Place To Plant Rhubarb Plants?
Questioning yourself where is the best place to plant rhubarb plants? Rhubarb plant tolerates partial shade but grows best in full sun.
Choose a site that is fertile and mix anything high in organic matter, compost, or rotted manure into the soil. Rhubarb will rot if kept too wet thus good drainage is essential.
I am sure you would prefer not to live the rest of your life alone, and so I hope you understand from this article how your rhubarb plant will rather live with companion plants too. They not only help increase the lifespan of your rhubarb plant but they also help enhance the flavor of the rhubarb.
Besides that, flowers like marigolds will also help your garden look prettier with their beautiful colors. Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that you are helping the plants, insects, and pollinators like butterflies and bees all live in a conducive environment?
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