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Question
I have a rubber tree. I recently left it outside when it first snowed, I do have beautiful leaves on it, but only ant the soil. Should I cut the rest of the stem off? Can I trim the top roots when I transplant it again? I also have tiny tiny silver bugs that are crawling on the soil...what are they and can I get rid of them for a small amount of money??? Thank you!

Answer
Jillian,

If it was outside in the snow and the stem is now soft and mushy there is a 95% chance the plant is dead. The bugs are attracted by the rotting roots. You can cut the stem off and water the plant with a bottle of rubbing alcohol.That will kill the bugs.  That is less than a dollar at Walmart. Then put the plant in a sunny warm location. It has a 5% chance of it sending out new growth. A rubber tree is a tropical plant and should never be outside when the temperature is below 50 degrees. This time of year you might find a new rubber tree on clearance at Lowes or Home Depot. Good Luck.

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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