Ricarda Huch was born on July 18, 1864, in Braunschweig, Germany, to Marie Louise and Georg Heinrich Huch. The Huchs were a wealthy and artistically talented merchant family. Her brother, Rudolf, and her cousins, Friedrich and Felix, were also well-known writers.
She was encouraged in the arts and wrote lyric poetry as a youth. Huch used the pseudonym Richard Hugo and published her first poems under the alias R. Ith Carda.