There are many techniques by which you can propagate the rubber plant. Propagation is necessary to make clones of your current rubber plants. Some propagation methods include special tools and air layering techniques. We did not include them in this article. Because our motive is teaching the simple and easy propagation of rubber tree plants.
Warning: The white sap of rubber tree plant is mildly toxic to animals and humans. Contact with the skin can cause irritation and redness. Wear safety gloves and safety glasses at the time of propagation.
Below are the two best rubber plant propagation techniques. These are easy and do not require special kinds of tools.
You will learn about the soil propagation and water propagation of rubber tree plants.
Stem cutting is the best method with a 98% success rate as compared to leaf propagation.
Timing is important because it directly affects the healing time period of your rubber plant cuttings. The early days of spring and summer are the best time of propagation. Because this is the active growing season of the rubber tree plant. This helps the stem cuttings in developing roots within in few days.
Plants that propagate in winter and fall take too much time to recover. Because the rubber tree stops growing in the winter season. Therefore, cuttings find it hard to develop roots in the dormancy time period.
Moreover, winter propagated rubber plants show weak and unhealthy growth. They do not develop a complete set of roots. Without fully grown root ball rubber plants cannot grow healthy.
Most of the time their leaves turn yellow and drop from the stem. The central stem loses its moisture and turns brown. It is hard to revive this type of damage.
Therefore, timing is an important factor in the propagation success of rubber tree plants.
How to choose the best stem cutting?
Do not cut any random stem and use it for propagation. There is a proper way of stem cutting.
Closely look at your rubber plant and choose a healthy stem. No need to cut the healthiest stem from the plant. It the active season when you trim the plant to keep it short. Use the trimmed cuttings to propagate the rubber plant.
Leggy, elongated stems will be a nice choice. This way you do not need to destroy the shape of your plant.
The stem should have leaf nodes because this is the place where the cutting will develop new roots. Also, there should be at least two leaves on the stem.
6 inches long stem cutting is perfect for propagation. A shorter or longer stem will create problems when we cover the plant pot with a plastic cover.
The cutting should be free from diseases and have clean bright color leaves.
What else you need for the propagation?
Soil and pot
If you are going to use soil as a growing medium. Then you need to have good well-draining potting soil and a plastic pot with darning holes.
Do not use large size pots. There are special small-size propagation plant pots. They are made for propagating all types of plants from leaf and stem cuttings. Buy once and use them every time you propagate different plants.
This is an important thing that you need for the cut. You can use sterilized sharp scissors or snippers. But in my opinion, you should use garden shears. Because they are designed to cut thick stem plants. Do not forget to sterilize it before use.
You can use rubbing alcohol or any other safe solution for tool sterilization.
Water filled glass bowl is required only in water propagation. See the last section to know more about the water propagation of rubber tree plants.
This hormone encourages the development of roots in plant cuttings. All you need to do is just dip the bottom of the cutting in it and plant it in its growing medium.
The rooting hormone increases the success rate of the propagation. But if you do not want to buy it no problem. It is not always necessary to have it for rubber plant or for other plant propagation.
How to propagate the rubber plant?
Below is the step-by-step guide of rubber plant propagation. First, we propagate it with soil and then we use water for propagation. Choose a clean location to start soil propagation.
Cut and prepare the stem
Now that you know which type of stem you need to cut from the plant. Use shears to make a cut, the cut has to be diagonal and below the leaf node.
In 95% of the cases, the cutting will start dripping the white color sap. Use a paper towel to clean the cutting base. Do not jump to the next step until the stem cutting stop dripping the sap.
Then cut the bottom leaves of the cutting. There should be only 2 to 3 leaves at the top of cuttings. This will help the stem cutting to spread its energy to produce healthy leaves. Instead of spending it on maintaining the old leaves of the stem.
Prepare the pot and plant cuttings
Fill the small size pot with a high-quality potting mix and perlite. 50% potting mix and 50% perlite will be the best growing medium for developing plants from cuttings. You also need a basic water misting bottle to keep the soil moist after planting.
Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and poke your finger in potting soil to make a hole. Then plant the cutting in the hole.
Cover the nodes with potting soil and firmly pat the soil down around the cutting. This will help the cutting to stand firmly in the soil.
The best location for cutting
Before placing it in the correct location using a plastic zip lock bag to cover the pot. This will increase the humidity for the stem cutting. Now locate the place in your house where the rubber plant cutting can get indirect light and warmth.
Keep the plant away from the direct sun rays. Your rubber stem cutting will not tolerate the high intense rays.
Within 35 days the cutting will develop new roots. You can check it by gently pulling it, you will feel the resistance of roots.
How to propagate rubber plants using water?
This is also a simple technique of propagating rubber tree plants. Here you need a glass jar of freshwater. No need to dip the cutting in rooting hormone.
Cut the healthy stem as described in the soil propagation technique.
Then submerge the cutting in the jar of water and put the glass jar in a bright location. Keep the room humidity high. No need to use the plastic cover for creating a greenhouse effect. It is necessary for soil propagation only.
The benefit of using a glass jar is you can see the developing roots without touching the plant. Change the water once in every week. Once the roots grow up to 2 inches long take the rubber plant cutting out of the pot and plant it in the potting soil.
I hope now you can propagate your rubber plant. For any further guidance write us.