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Last year, I foolishly planted a rhubarb plant (zone 5) behind a Horseradish and a raised bed. It's getting shaded out.

Is it too late to dig it up and put it in a sunnier spot? I've no expectation of a crop this year, but would like the plant to survive, and possibly give me a pie or two next year.

Would it be better to wait for early fall?

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I would say you're best off waiting until fall, or early next spring. Transplanting shock is worse when plants are under extra stress. We're heading into summer now. The longest, hottest days of the year are just ahead of us. Transplanting now means putting the plant under extra stress from its roots being cut back just as it needs a strong root system the most. It might not be fatal, but it would be something of a worst case scenario in terms of timing.

Early fall or early spring gives the plant a good few months of relatively low stress to get properly rooted in again before summer heat tests it.

  • Thanks. This is exactly the answer I did not want to hear. I was trying very hard to delude myself, but you've put the kibosh on that. I've penned the transplant into my calendar for mid Sept. Hope I remember to look at the calendar. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 10 '15 at 18:07
  • The one bit of encouragement I can offer is that rhubarb is fairly shade tolerant. The plant I'm most familiar with gets perhaps 2 hours of morning sun at most, the rest of the day it's shaded by an old farmhouse and an equally old maple tree. This hasn't convinced the plant to die in the 20+ years I've known it. – GardenerJ Jun 10 '15 at 18:11

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