Water: Use lukewarm water for the rubber tree plant, as cold water can cause a shock to the roots. How to Make Your Rubber Tree Branch Out. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); if ($(window).width() > 1024) { Terms of Service apply. The rubber tree plant (Ficus elastica) is a common houseplant in the United States. This will hold in moisture and warmth without suffocating the plant. If your plant has only one branch or shed most of its leaves and you want it to make it bushy, trim the top of the branch with a sharp pair of pruning clippers to encourage branches. These plants require accurate water and … Hello: I have had a ficus elastica for some years now, and it seems to be coming along OK. To propagate your rubber plant using the air layering technique, you will need a sharp knife, a toothpick, a handful of long-fibered sphagnum moss, twine or twist ties, a sheet of clear plastic (like a plastic sandwich bag or a piece of cling wrap), and optional rooting hormone. With proper care, the plant will eventually adjust to its new home. First, get the sap from the rubber tree. True to its name, the rubber tree or rubber plant—Ficus elastica—was once harvested in its native Southeast Asia for its latex-rich sap. As a houseplant, rubber trees are fast-growing plants that are relatively easy to care for. The plant should be fertilized every 15 days. They prefer to be pot-bound, so avoid choosing a container that’s disproportionately large for the plant. It's always hard to compare with brand new nursery stock grown in optimal conditions. This pruning will force the side shoots on the rubber plant making it bushy. Rubber plants can easily grow 6 to 10 feet tall or more indoors if there is enough space. Rubber plants can have 1 of 2 shapes: tall and thin, or short and bushy. Step 1: Using a clean, sharp blade, cut off a six-inch portion of a healthy-looking branch, making the cut just above a leaf node. Planting & Potting Your Rubber Plant. This will hold in moisture. 2. That way, the tree will send energy into the old growth instead of the new growth. Rubber plant or tree, rubber bush (common). Water your pruned rubber tree sparingly, but keep a close eye on the soil moisture. Look for brown rings on the stem approximately 1/4 from the top of the jade or end of the branch, and cut along the ring with a sharp pair of pruning shears or a knife. Early spring is typically the best time to repot your rubber tree. They usually come in a kit with two separate compounds that are mixed together to create the liquid rubber. If not an evergreen tree, I would need to know what kind of tree it is before I could advise you as to how to make it bushier and taller. To speed the process, you can apply rooting hormone to the cut surface of the stem at this point, but new roots will still grow without it. Remove the twist ties & the plastic so you can cut the air layering off. For your plant to thrive, the soil must be kept evenly moist at all times—not too wet and not too dry. A rubber tree plant requires only a small amount of plant food and water to thrive. Temperature: Average room temperatures of 60 - 75°F (15 - 24°C are fine. This will give the new roots a medium to grow into. A rubber tree grown in a sunny spot will require more water and vigilant attention to soil moisture levels than one grown in shade. Pothos are not heavy feeders and don’t require fertilizer, but if you want to … Plant your rubber tree in a fast-draining, all-purpose potting mix. You’ll be cutting off the top 1/4 of the plant or branch. Dumb Cane During the dormant season, your plant may only need water once or twice a month. Iowa State University: Extension and Outreach: Horticulture and Home Pest News. Watch for droopy leaves, which indicate a need for more water. Gain access to free articles, tips, ideas, pictures and everything gardening, . If your plant has been in a low-light area, additional lighting will soon help create additional growth and branching, especially after you’ve made the proper cuts. } Observe the trunk of the tree and try to find spots with hardened sap. What I do with a Russian Olive tree to make it bushier and taller would kill a Maple tree. However propagating a Rubber Plant is easy if you follow the four steps below: To get started you'll need a piece of stem, (often a growing tip), it needs to be about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long. Avoid lower than 55°F (12°C), sudden temperature drops and cold drafts. Privacy Policy and MyDomaine uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Fertilize Your Pothos. document.write(''); Seal the bag almost all the way but not completely. Step 3: Place your new planting in a clear, sealable plastic bag—a gallon zip-top bag is a good size for this. Learn how to care for, clean, and propagate a Rubber Plant as well as troubleshooting why your Rubber Plant is struggling! This technique allows you to turn the top portion of the stem into a short yet full-leaved new plant before cutting back the original plant, which will eventually regrow. Since rubber plants can grow up to 10 feet tall in just a few years, they’re great for accenting a space with high ceilings. In terms of light, rubber trees are highly adaptable and able to thrive in bright indirect light or lower-light spots. There are two different methods you can use to grow a new rubber plant: air layering, which is the preferred method, and taking tip or stem cuttings.. Be sure to leave some growth on the bottom of the rose bush to help it form a nice bushy shape. Save tip and stem cuttings to propagate into new plants. I air layered mine which is another very successful way to propagate a Rubber Tree. A minimum of two leaves should be left behind on a small Rubber Plant’s stem, or six to ten leaves on each branch of a larger plant. Step 1: Examine your rubber tree’s stem or a healthy side branch and identify the spot where you’d like the roots on your new plant to grow. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard. Trim just above a node, or growing point. Once you have found a spot of hardened sap, slice off the hardened exterior to obtain the soft, liquid sap underneath. Rubber trees are finicky when it comes to change, so be sure to pick a spot to place it and don’t move it. In addition to closely watching soil moisture, it's a good idea to keep your plant in a relatively small pot, which can’t hold enough water to drown the plant even if you're a little heavy-handed with the watering can. Rubber plants’ water needs vary according to season: In the growing season (summer), the plant should be kept moist. Step 2: Cut off any lower leaves. Too little or too much water will lead to chlorosis (yellowing leaves) and leaf drop. Keep in mind that your rubber plant may need less frequent waterings during the winter months. Spring is the best time of year to cut back your rubber plant. After two to three months, new roots should grow, and you can remove the plastic bag. But like so many variegated plants, the Pink Rubber Tree can be slightly more sensitive and requires the right balance of light and humidity to thrive. Two or more new branches will emerge at the end. Prune rubber tree plant by making your cuts just above a node — where the leaf attaches to the stem or where another stem branches off. Apply optional rooting hormone to the bottom end of your cutting and plant it in a small pot with moist, all-purpose potting soil. Remove all of the leaves bar one. Dig a hole in the center of the dampened mix (my pot was initially 2/3 full) & put in the stem. Decide on a shape for your rubber plant. Select your mold-making material. While the timeline for propagating rubber plants is months rather than weeks, the process will go more quickly if you begin propagation in the spring and take longer if you start the process in winter. The average price for a rubber mold-making kit is $30. Use a chopstick or other implement embedded in the soil to keep the sides of the bag away from the cutting if need be. Step 2: Using a clean, sharp blade, carefully make an upward diagonal cut about one-third of the way through the stem or branch at the point you chose. Use these convenient icons to share this page on various social media platforms: ~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt! Less water is necessary in winter, but soil should remain slightly … A gorgeous variegated version of the burgundy Rubber Tree, the strawberry-colored leaves of the Pink Rubber Tree make this plant a unique addition to any indoor space. Environ Health Toxicol. They can't react as quickly as animals to most things. Updated 2020. Care for your rubber plant as usual. You can prune it which should encourage it to branch out. Also, if water drains out of the pot to the saucer beneath, dump it out. The level of soil in the pot should be at least 1 to ½ inches below the rim of the pot as the rubber plant requires a lot of water. Read our, Best Growing Conditions for Your Rubber Tree Plant, How to Propagate Rubber Tree Plants by Air Layering, How to Propagate Rubber Tree Plants With Cuttings, Study of the Removal Difference in Indoor Particulate Matter and Volatile Organic Compounds Through the Application of Plants. Updated n.d. 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