The Q&A Archives: Propagating a Rubber Plant

Question: How can I cut off a starter from my rubber plant?

Answer: You can either air layer or do a stem cutting. For air layering, you'll need some sphagnum moss and plastic wrap. First, moisten the moss well. Make a shallow slice in the branch where you want to take the cutting. Don't cut it all the way through, though. Press a little of the damp moss into the cut, being careful not to bend the branch too far and break it. Alternatively, you can wedge a wooden toothpick or matchstick into the slice to prop it open a little. Then, wrap the moist moss all around the cut, and cover the ball of moss with the plastic wrap, securing it with tape (on the plastic only, not the bark) above and below the cut. Check the moss every few weeks to be sure it's still moist. Check the plastic frequently, andeventually you'll see little roots growing. When you see them, it's time to remove the plastic and moss, and cut the branch off just below the roots, and pot it up or plant it directly in the ground.

You can also take a stem cutting, immediately above and one inch below a leaf node with a leaf attached. Pot in a soilless mix. You may need to support the leaf with a stake. Keep humid to speed the rooting process.

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