Rubber Plant Propagation

MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZSeptember 18, 2005

I have a very prolific rubber plant that needs trimming every 3 months or so. Can the cuttings be used as starters for new plant(s)? If so, how is it done?

Thanks much.

Mary

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lazy_gardens

I think they need to be "air layered".

You could try sticking a cutting into good potting soil

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 3:16PM
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frangipaniaz(z9 Az)

"air layered" ??? what's that??
Brittany

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 4:11PM
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azreno(z9 AZ)

That's where you make a cut, stick in a toothpick to keep it open, stuff in some wet moss and pack it around, then wrap plastic around it, then wait. The plant will root at the cut while still being able to get nourishment from the original plant (because you've only made a cut, not cut the stem entirely off). Plants that are difficult or won't root from cuttings can usually be propagated this way.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 4:32PM
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frangipaniaz(z9 Az)

very interesting, thank you :)
Brittany

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 7:09PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Hi Mary and all,

Congrats on your happy tree. I've rooted Ficus elastica several times by just cutting off a nice branch and plopping it in a glass of water. I remove any leaves below the water surface and just hope for the best. Not every stem roots, but probably half do, which has been enough for me. Soil would work well too if you keep it fairly well watered, and air-layering is definitely the safest bet for success.

Let us know what you try, and how it works out.
Take care,
Grant

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 8:26PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Grant, I have always avoided air-layering because it sounded so complicated but azreno makes it seem pretty simple and straight-forward. I'm going to jump in try it. As soon as I pick up some moss. With your comments above, I think I'll try all three methods (air, water and dirt) at the same time and see how they all develop.

Thanks for the tips.
Mary

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 8:02AM
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azreno(z9 AZ)

Sounds like a good experiment! Check back in and let us know how's it's going. BTW I've never air-layered myself- just familiar with how it's done...hope I haven't inadvertantly talked you into how easy it is. It does sound very easy, just requires patience. Probably the thing about airlayering is that you can do a much bigger stem than with cuttings- so pick a good one!

Lynn

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 8:51AM
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janw

interesting I am going to try the water method as I have had some plants that have done well with it. keep up posts

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 7:06PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Good luck! Let us know how your different methods work out. The hardest part for me when air layering is not having enough hands, heh heh, but otherwise it's not too difficult. There are even air-layering kits available now too...plastic cups with rooting gel in them you "snap" around a stem to encourage rooting while still attached to the parent plant. Below is a link to an empty snap on pot that can make it easier. Fun to see even if you're not interested. :)

Luckily most Ficus plants are eager to propagate, so keep us posted and good luck.

Take care,
Grant

Here is a link that might be useful: snap together pot for air layering

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 7:23PM
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hildur_jonz

Grate--Thank u!!

I have been looking at my Ficus "sylvie" growing and growing , and I have been to afraid of cutting it---not knowing where to start or what to do. Now ill go for it: )

Thanks

Hildur

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 9:31PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

This reminds me, someone asked me to report back on the experiment. Here's the results: did not sprout in water, just rotted. Sprouted both by air layering and just sticking the cutting in potting soil. If anyone wants some of these cuttings just let me know. Someome planted this tree under the roof line and in front of the kitchen window so it needs constant trimming.

Here's a link to a good article on various propagation methods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagation Methods

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 9:59AM
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azreno(z9 AZ)

Great job! Propagating plants is fun (even if you don't need them!).
Lynn

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:46AM
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amycramer(Sunset zone 13)

Bring some cuttings to the spring get together, I would love one, my rubber tree died from the frost this winter. Dang flu and not paying attention.
Amy

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 6:07PM
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luvnblooms(9)

I've been propagating my rubber plants for years now and have run out of friends to give them to. I just cut a branch at least 12-18 inches long and pull the bottom leaves off. That will give you a stem to put in soil. I roll the stem in Root Tone so the spots that had leaves gets a dusting. Make a hole in your potting soil larger than the stem so you don't wipe all the Root Tone off. Keep your soil damp but not wet. It works for me every time!! Good luck!
luvnblooms

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 5:44PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Yes luvnblooms, you are completely correct. No need for all that bruhaha with the layering routine. These guys are EASY!

mm

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:54AM
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markowe

Hi,

Does this have to be done with moss, or can it be any organic-based fibre, like maybe cotton wool, or paper tissue, or something?

Also, any alternatives to root compound, something natural? I can't get a lot of this stuff where I am!

Here is a link that might be useful: It's Gotta Be Red!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:03AM
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jules0988

I have my large rubber tree plant on the deck for the summer and it has grown at least a foot and produced alot of branches. I propagated as per the instructions on this blog today and wonder is it ok to leave the pot with the cuttings outside on the deck or should I bring it inside? Since the plant has been out all summer common sense tells me that the cuttings are acclimated out there so they are better off but I thought I should double check with the more experienced gardener's here. Thank you- Jules

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 1:38PM
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