House Plants/rubber tree

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Question
Hi Will,
I was wondering if I could start roots on a rubber tree plant? I cut off the top 6 in of the plant off (I was going to throw it a way because it looked so bad, but the top didn't) so I put them in water. Now I'm not sure what to do if any thing with them. If I could save it I would like to.  Thank you Kim

Answer
Hi Kim,

The best way to propagate a Rubber Tree cutting is by air-layering. However, that is only done before the tip cutting is severed from the main tree. Thus, it is not an option and I won't explain it here.

You have two options with your tip cutting - rooting it in water or rooting it in damp potting mix. The one you choose is more personal preference than anything else. Either way, be sure a "node" is in constant contact with water or damp soil. A node is the slightly raised ridge on the stem where a leaf stem was previously attached. When the node is kept moist, it will trigger new roots at that point.

If you root the tip cutting in water, change the water weekly, provide good light and wait until you have roots at least an inch long before moving the rooted cutting into a small pot filled with damp potting mix.

If you root the cutting in damp soil, provide good light, warm temps and keep the soil moderately damp at all times. If the soil is wet the fragile roots will rot. If the soil gets too dry, the fragile roots will shrivel and die. So proper soil moisture is critical.

I have written detailed articles on propagation and on Rubber Tree care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com  

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Will Creed

Expertise

I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.

Experience

I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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