Do you have a rubber plant (Ficus elastica) that you love, but don’t know how to propagate? You’re in luck! We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide on how to propagate a rubber plant. As you will see, rubber plants are easy to propagate and you can do it either from cuttings or by air layering. We’ll discuss both methods in detail below. Let’s get started!
Propagating a Rubber Plant from Cuttings
To propagate a rubber plant from cuttings, start by taking a 6-8 inch cutting from a healthy rubber plant. Make sure that the cutting has at least 2-3 sets of leaves. Cut just below a node, which is where the leaves attach to the stem.
When taking cuttings from the plant, you will need to use a sharp knife or pruning shears. Be sure to sterilize the cutting tool with rubbing alcohol before use.
Once you have your cutting, remove the bottom leaves so that you are left with two or three leaves at the top.
Next, dip the cut end of the stem into the rooting hormone and then plant it in a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix.
Water the cutting thoroughly, cover the pot with a plastic bag or clear container, and place it in a warm, sunny spot.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy and within a few weeks, you should see new growth.
Once the plant is established, you can transfer it to a larger pot. Rubber plants are relatively easy to propagate from cuttings and make great houseplants. With a little patience and care, you can have a thriving rubber plant in no time!
Propagating a Rubber Plant by Air Layering
The second method of rubber plant propagation is air layering. This method is a bit more complex, but it can be done if you are patient and have the time.
To air layer, start by selecting a healthy stem on the rubber tree that is at least 1 foot long. Using a sharp knife, make a clean cut halfway through the stem, then apply rooting hormone to the cut area.
Next, wrap it tightly with moist sphagnum moss. Finally, wrap the entire area with clear plastic, making sure that the moss stays moist.
In a few weeks (4 to 8 weeks), you should see new roots growing out of the moss, and at that point you can cut the stem below the plastic wrap and pot up your new plant!
When to Propagate a Rubber Plant
The best time of year to propagate a rubber tree plant is in the spring. This is because the plant is actively growing at this time and will be more likely to produce new roots. However, you can also propagate a Ficus elastica in the summer or fall.
A Word of Caution
When handling a rubber plant, it’s important to use gloves in order to protect your hands. The sap from the plant can cause irritation and even burns, so it’s best to avoid direct contact. If you do come into contact with the sap, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
If you have any cuts or open wounds on your hands, it’s best to avoid contact with the plant altogether. It’s also important to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets, as they may be tempted to play with it or chew on its leaves.
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about propagating a rubber tree.
By following these simple instructions, you’ll be able to successfully propagate your own rubber plants and create a beautiful, luscious indoor jungle. Just remember to give your new plants plenty of love and care, and they’ll thrive in no time.
Have fun with it and be sure to share your success stories with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
How fast do rubber plants grow?
It depends on the growing conditions, but generally speaking, rubber plants grow quite quickly. In ideal conditions, they can grow around 24 inches per year.
Do rubber trees need direct sunlight?
No, rubber trees do not need direct sunlight. They actually prefer bright, indirect light.
How often should you water a rubber plant?
Again, it depends on the growing conditions, but as a general rule of thumb, you should water your rubber plant once a week. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
Will rubber plant cuttings root in water?
Yes, rubber plant cuttings will root in water, but they will do so much more quickly if you use a rooting hormone. If you’d like to learn how to propagate a rubber plant by cuttings, check out our guide above.