rubber tree (ficus elastica)

MiamiFL55(NJ)December 4, 2005

I was given cuttings from a friend's very healthy rubber tree. Now I don't know the best (& easiest) way to root the cuttings. I have had them in water for several days. Will they take root this way? Thanks for any help you can give me!

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georgez5il(z5 IL)

I doubt it...... I use a 0.3% IBA (Rooting hormone) stick in well drained soil & mist takes 20-60 days to root..... With this plant I have had best luck with air-layering...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 5:52PM
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MiamiFL55(NJ)

Thanks so much for answering. What is air layering??

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 10:57AM
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pam_aa(z5 Berwyn Il.)

I have rooted f. elastica cuttings 4-9" long in plain old potting soil, nothing else. Most of them took. F. elastica is one tough customer as long as it's not kept soggy.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:59PM
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rsieminski(9b)

Do you find it better to let the cut end dry up, or stick it in the ground while still oozing the latex-like sap?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 11:27AM
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bornigeri

Hello. Its winter time here in Maryland, hardiness zone 7. Can i still take cuttings from a large ficus.e?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:40AM
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charlieboring

I recommend that you sover the cut end with rooting harmone (but this may not be necessary) and place the cut end of the cutting in moist potting soil and cover the entire pot/plane with clear plastic with holes cut in the bag just lower that the pot to allow air circulation. Keep it moist and place it out of direct sunlight, but in a warm spot. It should root in 3-5 weeks.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:45AM
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charlieboring

The best method is air layering for this plant. So instead of taking a cutting google the air layering of rubber plants procedures and do that.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:47AM
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bornigeri

I have a question. I have two seperate ficus elastic a (rubber plant). One that was successfully propagated (the light green ficus), and the other purchased from local nursery, (the dark green ficus). The dark green ficus had four different stems coming from the base of the plant. Is that rhizome or is it four different plants that were just joined together to fit in one pot? I will add pic

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:12PM
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bornigeri

I have a question. I have two seperate ficus elastic a (rubber plant). One that was successfully propagated (the light green ficus), and the other purchased from local nursery, (the dark green ficus). The dark green ficus had four different stems coming from the base of the plant. Is that rhizome or is it four different plants that were just joined together to fit in one pot? I will add pic

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:14PM
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bornigeri

The ficus above was purchased from a local nursery, and I'm asking do I divide it down the middle and repot both, or I just take stem cuttings and propagate? I will show a photo of a light green ficus elastic a (rubber plant) that I successfully took two stem cuttings and propagated.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:20PM
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bornigeri

Here's a better look at the dark green ficus purchased from a local nursery. I have had it for a year and four months.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Ficus e comes easily from cuttings. The best time to take cuttings is in mid summer, when the plant's energy reserves are highest. If you know you are going to take cuttings, you can speed the process by (months in advance) removing a leaf where you intend to take the cutting and wrapping the severed leaf stub with a rag or other light omitting material (aluminum foil). You can also apply a tourniquet (a wire or plastic zip tie)


immediately below the node where you removed the leaf. The tourniquet blocks the flow of photosynthate and the polar flow of auxin in phloem tissue, causing them to concentrate above the tourniquet where rooting will occur. The omission of light starts stimulating root initials in the shaded area, so rooting is very fast after the cutting is separated.

These tips just help ensure success in a hurry, but cuttings from healthy plants almost always root if you keep them warm, out of wind, and in bright light (open shade preferred).

Some plantings might be 4 different cuttings/4 root systems, and some might be 1 internodal cutting with 4 branches cum stems allowed to grow from I root system.

Al

    Bookmark   October 27, 2014 at 3:37PM
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bornigeri

Thank you for the information @tapla. I am aware of how to take stem cuttings and root them out, although I have never used the air layering method. The question of concern is, do I split it down the middle using rhizome division method, or would it just be easier to take a stem cutting next spring. I also live in Maryland, hardiness zone 7.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2014 at 5:32PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'm confused. If you have 4 cuttings, simply divide them, as long as the roots haven't approach grafted to other roots - even then, with plants that young it would be no problem to cut through the roots to separate the cuttings.

If you have 4 stems on 1 root system, you can usually cut through the primary stem between the secondaries and root them out. You should have almost 100% guaranteed success if you do this in the summer.

You can start an air layer anytime, and there are a number of ways to affect an air layer. Ficus e responds very well to the method of cutting 3 or 4 flaps of cambial tissue so the flaps are attached at the top of the cuts and the bottom of the cuts are held open by small pebbles or toothpicks. You then pack moist sphagnum moss (not peat - New Zealand white moss is best) around the wounded stem and wrap it with plastic, then with something to exclude light (aluminum foil?). Depending on how healthy the plant is and when you start the layer, you should have enough roots to separate the layer in 2-6 months.

The first picture above is an air layer and the second is being prepared for ground layering. I hope I answered your question in spite of my confusion. If not, please try again. ;-)

Al

    Bookmark   October 28, 2014 at 6:10PM
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joshwilcox(5a)

I am presently growing these from cuttingsI just put in water, probably need bottom heat this time of year. Potted up 3

    Bookmark   November 19, 2014 at 10:41AM
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