Is anyone aware of what creature is able to eat rhubarb? The leaves of my rhubarb plant is riddled with holes. I was under the impression that rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid which is very unpleasant.
Some bugs still eat it; a farily large number of caterpillars spring immediately to mind although I've also had problems with leaf-cutter ants and bees. (bear in mind that I live in Ecuador; in Canada I had problems with tent caterpillars and those little green saw-worms on my rhubarb.)
However, since it's the stalks that you're after and not the leaves, I wouldn't worry too terribly much about hole-y leaves or what's eating them. Rhubarb pests tend to be fairly specific to the leaves; I've never run across anything that will touch the stems.
My rhubarb has this problem too, though I've never found what creature causes it! The leaves wilt at times, as do the smaller stalks. About now it starts to also get a lot of small ants all over the leaves, then black aphids; I think there's an ants' nest underneath. I think my rhubarb is not as prolific as it should be because of this. Any suggestions for improvement? Water spraying and insecticidal soap don't help. I'm thinking of moving the plants elsewhere but we do have ants everywhere on our property.
Ants are naturally attracted to Rhubarb. The best suggestion I have for you is to plant a Burdock a little ways away from the current nest - they seem to consider it sweeter than Rhubarb and they should move away and take up shop there.
It's what my grandparents did - Burdock will keep the ants and aphids off of most of your plants, and it reseeds itself so you only have to plant it once. Being in Vancouver, your winter probably won't even kill it. I know the winters in Alberta and Ontario will.
I've also had quite a problem this year with holes in my rhubarb leaves. I wasn't too concerned - as Lorax says, it's the stalks I want, not the leaves. The leaves ARE toxic to humans, but there are lots of toxic plants that are food sources for insects and other fauna.
That being said, this year we've had a major slug and earwig problem and in an inspection of my garden we found quite the slug nursery at the base of my rhubarb. It was liberally sprinkled with a gritty mixture (see my other posts for more info), and a quick check last evening and again this morning did not turn up any slugs.
Haven't tried the burdock solution - my garden space is limited, and I'm not interested in having to remove the burrs from my Papillon! I have heard that the root is edible - in fact very common in Japanese dishes. Can anyone confirm this? Maybe it would be a good addition to the garden.
(3 posts down I added somthing you might be able to use.
modify sorry for getting off subject)
I eat the root of Burdock.
(unless yuor asking about rhubarb Rhizome that said to be used medicinaly)
I will copy/ paste a small post I wrote about burdock root.(in the next post)
(I have a better one accualy) -- a hole post about it on a forum with other more knowledgable people, but Im not going to add it here unless you want me to.)
I also have a good beverage you could make with rhubarb that only takes 1 minute to make, to drink.
(It is kinda long though, but I have wrote it shorter
MODIFYING -- In a nut shell put rhubarb in cup put in m icrowave for 1 minute after that add sugar , honey, and cold (or hot water)
more info below on freezing etc,.
You can freeze it also after wards when fruits thaw(In the microwave or naturaly)
they turn soft A apple can be softer then a tomato, and explode when dropped.
I also use this(making a drink with heating for a minute)
for tiny(marble sizeed) crab apples , and adding sugar.--,
and I freeze plaintain (plantago major
--- a common yard weed that grows every where)
to extract the juices to rub on my skin for stoping inches like mosquitoe bites.
(heating can be done also or just squshing it in your fingers which isn't difficult)
Last edited by Francis Eric; July 30th, 2008 at 08:36 AM.
sorry it's copy/ paseted
I don't have time to edit out ALL the parts about diabities, but edited out half about bloood posining
(seeds of burdock also good for blood poisoning-
cayanne pepper also to keep you from freezing)
cinnamin is good for lowering blood sugar,,
also I think burdock If the info I read is correct.
(or burrs you know they stick to your cloths, also animals.
even If the info isn't right burdock root is good,)might sdeem bland)
crisp like a carrot
(you can take the peaL OFF the tap root easy IN THE FIELD also like a
wraper, without washing the dirt off)
it can get more starchy later on
(it is bi annual, and grows for 2 years.)
I like the stems fried, or baked some people boil Them,.
I have a herbal site with medicinal uses
( not http://www.pfaf.org but thats good)
(if you want it just ask ior if I forget feel free to email me)
My garden space is limited too but I'm still interested in trying the burdock to protect my rhubarb, and being edible makes it even better! Thanks, Frances Eric. Anyone know where to get the seeds, in Canada preferably? Perhaps I must find it in the wild?
Oh, and I'm interested in seeing your herbal site with medicinal uses, please.
(this web site helped alot when I got blood posioning
even at the doctors they didn't have anything for the cold sweats,(or a friend of mine not that we asked though)
but cayanne pepper got rid of it in less then a minute
(it is hard to sleep or stay asleep soaking wet with cold sweats also.)
Sorry for being out of subject --- that pfaf is good also -- THE US DATA BASE http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/D_search.html
you can search for odd things like baseball,
and still get results if that particuial plant grows in base ball fields(Like pineapple weed
Marjaleena - you're in Vancouver, and if I recall correctly Stanley Park used to have groves of the stuff towards the interior. You should be able to collect wild seed or some rootstock there, or barring that just keep your eyes peeled on nature walks.