The best rhubarb forcers to buy online: new and antique options
Rhubarb forcers encourage crops to grow early in the season and produce soft, pale pink stems, which are sweeter than they’d be if grown mid-summer
Mention the phrase ‘rhubarb forcer’ and you might get some quizzical looks from gardening novices, but this innovative outdoor accessory can have a huge impact on the taste of your rhubarb. In fact, it can improve the growth of a variety of different crops, including chicory and asparagus, as well.
What does a rhubarb forcer do?
By starving crops of light, rhubarb forcers ‘force’ plants to stretch upwards in search of daylight. In the dark, their elongated stems produce less chlorophyll, so they look paler and taste sweeter than rhubarb grown in the sun.
Plus, you can grow healthy rhubarb and other crops outside of their traditional growing periods and enjoy them for a bigger proportion of the year.
The best rhubarb forcers: old and new designs
Suttons rhubarb forcer
Combining the look of authentic terracotta with the convenience of durable yet lightweight plastic, this rhubarb forcer from Suttons is a smart choice for anyone who wants to avoid heavy lifting. Plus, it won’t chip or fade, thanks to its UV-stabilised plastic construction.
The rhubarb forcer is 56cm wide at the base and 81cm tall when the lid is on.
Suttons has been around since 1806 and now has over two centuries of experience selling reliable gardening supplies, so it’s one of our go-to stores for high-quality equipment.
Terracotta Rhubarb Forcer
- Buy now from Crocus (£93.49)
If you’re after a classic, timeless rhubarb forcer, you can’t go wrong with this one from Crocus. It’s made from Turkish clay complete with naturally occurring lime granules, which give it a subtle speckled look.
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Crocus fires all of its rhubarb forcers to 1080°C to help them withstand frost in cold weather.
You can choose between two sizes:
- 50cm x 46cm, 18kg
- 60cm x 46cm, 21kg
See Crocus’s selection of rhubarb plants to accompany your forcer.
Grey Marble Effect Rhubarb Forcer
- Buy now from Water Butts Direct (£97.99)
For modern homes, a darker-toned rhubarb forcer like this could be perfect. It’s made from UV-stabilised plastic to protect it against frost and colour fading throughout the year, and has the added benefit of being lightweight, so it’s easy to move around.
As part of the package, you’ll get four galvanised steel pegs to anchor it to the ground in windy weather.
Haddonstone Rhubarb Forcer
- Buy now from Haddonstone (£99.00)
With its smooth sides and decorative lid, this rhubarb forcer from Haddonstone is a stylish choice. It’s made from frost-resistant terracotta and comes in a huge choice of colours. Unlike lots of the best rhubarb forcers on the market, this one is available in a range of tones, including ‘slate’, ‘Portland’ grey and ‘Bath’ stone.
Alternatively, you can keep things classic by opting for the standard terracotta version.
This rhubarb forcer is smaller than some of the others on our list, with a 35cm diameter and height of 45cm (excluding the lid).
- Buy now from Whichford Pottery (£295.00)
Created by family business Whichford Pottery, this handmade rhubarb forcer is made from a mix of local clays, which the makers prepare and blend in-house. Its smart engraving also sets it apart from the standard designs you see at most retailers.
Plus, the forcer comes with a 10-year frost-proof guarantee, so it should be a long-term addition to your veg patch.
Antique and vintage rhubarb forcers
Antique and vintage rhubarb forcers often cost less than their brand-new counterparts, and have the added benefit of an attractive patina, giving them a charming aged look from years spent outdoors.
3 bare root rhubarb plants
If you want to get started growing your own rhubarb right away, you’ll need some seeds or bare root plants.
These rhubarb crowns from Amazon are a convenient choice, as you get three different types in one handy pack. Expect to receive varieties like Timperley Early, Red Champagne and Holstiener.
They’ll arrive as strong crowns, ready to plant in the ground. For best results, start nurturing them in your forcer during autumn or spring to enjoy delicious rhubarb crumbles, compotes and jams throughout the year.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.
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