I have a rubber plant that is growing great. I would like to take some of
it and plant it in other places in the yard. Does anyone know how to start
new plants from the original one?
Growing in Florida
Your Rubber plant is a fixus (Ficus elastica "decora"). It will root very
quickly in moist soil. Be careful because once established they will grow
very fast and very large. We bought one at Wal-Mart for $4 around 4 years
ago and put it in the ground. It was around 18" tall when planted. It is now
25 feet tall with a 30 foot spread. I'm in South Florida, by the way.
How big is your yard? How much of it would you like to be left in 10 years
They can grow to over 30ft high and wider than that. Under suitable
conditions a handful of ficus elastica would dominate a large amount of a
suburban block and run roots under the buildings and fences in a few years.
The branches can become very heavy but not especially strong making them
great roof and garden wreckers. Your neighbours may be sharing your joy,
whether they want to or not. In Florida I would be afraid, very afraid.
If you are determined to proceed a tip cutting of about 8-12 inches will
root easily in the growing season. The parent tree will probably bush out
from where you take the cutting, thus improving it too. You can also layer
them quite easily.
straight cuttings work very well with a rubber plant, in fact better
with any other plant I have propagated (except vines or brambles such
as kiwi or raspberry or forsythia). I have made several new rubber
plants for friends. Use a 12" pot, take cuttings with only two or
three leaves, dip the cut into rootone, stick it into the pot, water
once, cover with a plastic bag, keep abve 60F. Believe it or not if
the bag is on you have to water only every 3 or 4 weeks. Keep out of
direct sun. Transplant to permanent location probably in early winter,
I don't think you can transplant before summer arrives.
The easiest way I have done it is to lightly scratch some bark on a limb (I
don't think I bothered with this part even), wrap it with something like
moist spanish moss, put plastic wrap around that (we are talking about
something that would be about the size of a small hand grasping the area),
and secure it with ties, rubber band, etc. You will soon see roots through
the plastic and you can cut of the branch and plant it. Just keep it well
watered. You can also simply take a branch and push it into the soil, place
a brick on it, let it root on its own and again, cut and plant. DKat
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