Do you want to know how to propagate rubber plants? You’ve come to the right place! Rubber trees, sometimes known as rubber figs, are a beautiful and popular shrub native to southern Asia. These low-maintenance ornamental trees are Ficus elastica, which should not be confused with Hevea brasiliensis, another plant known as a rubber tree.
If you already possess one or know somebody who is ready to share theirs, you may be interested in learning how to propagate it to create more rubber trees. Do not worry, the process isn’t difficult, and we’ll lead you through each step in our straightforward guide. Let’s see how to propagate a rubber tree plant!
When should rubber trees be propagated?
Because most rubber trees are indoor plants, you might start propagating them at any time of year. Rubber trees enjoy warm temperatures, therefore rubber tree propagation in spring or summer may yield greater results. However, if you reside in a place with moderate or warm winters, you should always be able to propagate year-round. If you live in a cold climate, you should propagate your rubber tree in the fall or winter, but keep it away from drafts.
Wait till your rubber tree has reached maturity before taking cuttings. This is excellent for both the original tree and the cutting’s general health. Because these indoor plants can become quite tall, some growers find it easier to combine propagation with pruning.
What You Will Need
Before you begin, you will want a few pieces of equipment and materials in order to propagate your rubber tree in either water or soil:
- Scissors or shears for gardening
- A fresh planting container
- A glass full of water
- Soil (well-draining is desirable) (well-draining is preferred)
- Gloves for protection
- Paper towel
- Zipper bag
- Rooting hormone (that is simple to apply and effective for most plant kinds.)
- Peat moss
To cut your rubber plant, you’ll need scissors or gardening shears. Make an exact cut to avoid damaging your original rubber plant, and use sharp scissors to avoid having to take the rest off.
If you intend to propagate your rubber plant in soil, you will require the proper soil. Your new rubber tree, like the parent, will require well-draining soil. You should have your pot of soil prepared to guarantee that your new plant has enough water, nutrition, and space to start growing right away.
Perlite is a lightweight mineral rock that has been extracted. It will improve soil aeration by draining excessive fluid and bacteria away from the roots of your rubber plant. Because perlite is porosity, nutrients can become trapped in microscopic fissures on the surface. Plant roots may therefore absorb these nutrients much more easily and quickly, allowing your new rubber plant to thrive.
You may be able to forgo the perlite if you’ve got well-draining soil that already contains some mineral rock. If not, combine the perlite and soil for the best results.
How To Propagate Rubber Plant
How To Propagate Rubber Plant Via Cuttings
Cutting propagation is an excellent technique to put your rubber tree’s pruned-off pieces to use. You can utilize tip cuttings (the end of a branch with new healthy growth) or a healthy stem part. To propagate stem cuttings, follow these below steps:
Step 1: Take a sharp knife, a sealable plastic bag, a chopstick, and any rooting hormone you choose to use.
Step 2: Cut a 6-inch section of a healthy branch right above a leaf node with a clean, sharp blade. Tips should really have two or three leaves clustered at the end, while stem cuttings may have at least 1 leaf at the top.
Step 3: Remove any lower-hanging leaves. Plant your cutting in a tiny container with watered all-purpose potting soil after applying optional rooting hormone to the bottom end.
Step 4: Wrap the cutting in a clean plastic bag (such as a gallon zip-top bag). To keep the bag from touching the foliage, insert a chopstick into the dirt. Close the bag almost completely but not absolutely to keep moisture inside.
Step 5: Place the bag in a mild, indirect light source. Take away the plastic bag after the roots have developed for approximately two to three months, and look for fresh leaves after six months. Maintain your plant as usual.
How To Propagate A Rubber Plant Through Air Layering
Another method for propagating a rubber tree plant is through air layering, which is a relatively sophisticated approach. Air layering is commonly employed for large rubber plants or to make sure that your plants can grow erect.
Step 1. Select the appropriate stem. Choose a soft and fragile stem for air layering. It needs to be 12 inches long, but you may make it longer if you choose. You should then cut part of the leaves to allow for air layering. As you prune, the stem will flow sap, therefore keep a paper towel nearby.
Step 2. Make a cut above the node. Remove the leaves and remove a quarter inch from the node. Then, cut a one-inch-wide piece of bark all the way around the stem. A naked ring should be wrapped around the stem of the rubber plant. Take all soft tissue from the ring, but leave the hardwood in the middle.
Step 3. Apply rooting hormone to the ring. The ring should then be wrapped with damp peat moss and secured with a plastic covering to maintain it damp, guaranteeing that the moss is totally covered. A zip tie can be used to help fasten it.
Step 4. Set and wait. Place your rubber plant in a bright area that receives indirect sunlight. Continue to water the plant, ensuring it isn’t too moist or too dry.
Step 5. Remove the bag and moss before clipping. After around three weeks, white delicate roots should grow around the moss. Remove the plastic bag and mist the roots with a spray bottle to keep them moist.
Step 6. Trim and re-pot. The new plant ought to be ready to be separated from the parent plant in around eight weeks. Grow it in a new container with well-draining soil after gently cutting it off. You are fine to go if you move to a bright spot with indirect sunshine.
How To Propagate A Rubber Tree in Soil
Make sure you have a clean working surface. Rubber plants get an oozy, latex-rich sap that helps make propagate them untidy, so set aside a clean location and gather all of your equipment and materials ahead of time. You should also wear gloves because the sap might cause skin irritation when it comes into touch with it.
Decide where to cut. Cut in areas where your rubber plant might benefit from pruning, such as uneven places, leggy branches, or areas where you want your plant to appear fuller. For the best results, rubber tree cuttings should be approximately 6 inches long and include at least four leaf nodes.
Cut. Once you’ve decided where to cut, grab your scissors and make a quick, vertical cut under the bottom leaf node beneath the new cutting. If the cutting drips sap, all you need to do is carefully pat it dry with a paper towel.
Make the cutting. Remove the lowest leaves from each stem after making the cuttings, leaving 2 to 3 leaves at the head of the cutting. This exposes the stem, encourages roots, and directs the cutting’s energy into new growth.
The clipping should be planted. Moisturize the pot using half perlite and half potting soil using a spray bottle. Then, at the conclusion of each cutting, add a rooting hormone. Next, make a hole in the middle of the pot’s dirt and insert your cutting. Cover the exposed nodes with dirt, then pat the earth around the cutting to hold it in place.
Cover with a zip-top bag. Rubber plant needs a humid climate to sprout roots, so cover each pot with a zip-top bag to produce a greenhouse setting.
Prepare to wait. Finally, place the cuttings in a warm, sunny spot, but avoid direct sunlight, which will burn the leaves and make the cutting dry up. The cutting should start producing roots after around four weeks.
Common Problems With Rubber Plants
Rubber plants can be temperamental, but there are simple fixes for typical issues like drooping or yellow leaves, leaf drops, and pests. Here’s how to maintain your plant healthy as it grows:
Rubber plant leaves drooping
Chlorosis (yellowing leaves) and leaf drops are caused by either too little or too much water. If the leaves on your rubber plant are drooping, it is most likely drowned. Increase soil moisture gradually till the plant is healthy. Yellow leaves signal that the plant has been overwatered and needs less regular watering.
The leaves of a rubber plant can become burnt if exposed to too much direct sunshine. When plants are brought indoors for the very first time, they may shed leaves and endure shock. Maintain steady conditions and give bright, indirect lighting.
Mealybugs and spider mites are popular pests of rubber plants. To get rid of both pests, sprinkle the plant with insecticidal soap.
How To Propagate Rubber Plant – FAQs
How often to water rubber plant?
It is advisable to water your Rubber Tree once every two to three weeks, letting the soil dry out in between. Once the plant is exposed to more light, such as during the spring or summer, choose the higher end of the frequency range; in the autumn or winter, use the lower end of the range.
How to make a rubber plant bushy?
Pruning is the secret to getting this resilient house plant to grow bushy. Cut off the branches with pruning shears that have been cleaned. Just be careful since the sap that comes out could irritate your skin. New branches will sprout on rubber trees below the cut; typically, 2 additional branches will shoot out.
Why is my rubber plant dropping leaves?
Rubber plants are native to tropical regions with plenty of water, thus they have a fairly low tolerance for drought. If you neglect to water your plants for even a few days, their leaves will start to wilt and eventually fall off. However, rubber plants also dislike conditions that are overly wet.
How to trim a rubber plant?
Make your cuts just over a node, such as where a leaf joins a stem or where another stem splits off when pruning rubber tree plants. Additionally, you can prune slightly above a leaf scar. Take out between a third and a half of the plant’s branches, being careful not to remove more foliage than is required.
How fast do rubber plants grow?
The height of a rubber plant can increase by up to 24″ in a single season.
How much light do rubber plants need?
A minimum of six to eight hours of light are required each day for the rubber tree. The optimal light for this species is medium to bright, especially brilliant indirect. However, this can occasionally be lower light. If your windows are exposed to glaring strong sun, a transparent curtain might help filter the light.
How to save a dying rubber tree plant?
Totally eliminate rubber plant watering, and allow the soil to dry up. Clear the soil from the plant’s roots after gently removing it from the pot. Washing the scissors in between cuts will help prevent the rot from spreading. Cut off the decaying roots (they are sticky and black). Cut off any leaves that are broken.
All you need for rubber plant propagation is time and persistence. Otherwise, growing rubber plants is nearly as simple as their propagation.
The best approach to propagate rubber plant would be to plant the cuttings in soil, but if you’re up for a challenge, you can also submerge them in water or try air layering. You’ll be thrilled to have several of these lovely plants scattered about your home, regardless of how you propagate your rubber plant. Hope that the above guide helps you know how to propagate rubber plant!
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