Ficus Elastica - Knowledgebase Question

Chagrin Falls, Oh
Avatar for hptackova
Question by hptackova
October 26, 2010
Hello, would you, please, tell me, how can I save my ugly looking Ficus Elastica? It still grows on the top, but has no leave and the bottom. I would rather save it, then throw it away. Thank you, Hana

Answer from NGA
October 26, 2010
Rubber tree plants tend to lose their lowest leaves and you end up with a bare stem and just a topknot of green leaves as the plant matures. There are two approaches to covering the bare stem. The first is to plant one or two smaller rubber tree plants in the container with your overgrown one. The foliage of the smaller plants will hide the bare stem of the larger plant. Or, you can cut the top off of your existing plant. Cut it about 18" from the soil level and you'll get two new stems where there once was only one. You can root the top part of the plant which will become a healthy new (and much shorter plant). Simply remove the excessive amount of stem attached to the top, leaving only about 8=10" of stem attached, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and set it in a container filled with moistened potting soil. Both the new cutting and the old base should grow into healthy new plants after your pruning session. Good luck with your ficus!

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