Ask a Question forum: Ficus elastica

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New York, New york
PhilKay
Aug 14, 2017 7:28 PM CST
Hello there,

I have a rubber tree that is doing quite well but getting a bit tall. I pruned the plant back a bit and even got a few of the trimmings to propagate!! Huge for a novice gardner such as myself.

Here's the rub, I can't find a video on how to get the darn thing to branch. I tried knicking the plant above the leaf nodes but nothing happened. New growth is coming from where I pruned on top, but is there any way to get fresh growth in the lower halves below the existing leaves?

Thumb of 2017-08-15/PhilKay/06ee1a

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Aug 15, 2017 8:17 AM CST
Topping the plant did not create branching? That always worked for us.
Porkpal
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Aug 15, 2017 8:36 AM CST
Getting Rubber Plants to produce branches or new leaf growth on lower stem portions is very difficult to do outside of a greenhouse environment. Pruning usually just leads to new stem growth emerging at that point on the stem. Notching sometimes triggers new stem growth, but most times it does not.

Your best bet is to continue pruning and propagate the tip cuttings in the same pot to fill out the bottom with new growth.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
New York, New york
PhilKay
Aug 18, 2017 9:59 AM CST
porkpal said:Topping the plant did not create branching? That always worked for us.


It did, but only on top and the growth is slow
New York, New york
PhilKay
Aug 18, 2017 10:00 AM CST
WillC said:Getting Rubber Plants to produce branches or new leaf growth on lower stem portions is very difficult to do outside of a greenhouse environment. Pruning usually just leads to new stem growth emerging at that point on the stem. Notching sometimes triggers new stem growth, but most times it does not.

Your best bet is to continue pruning and propagate the tip cuttings in the same pot to fill out the bottom with new growth.


interesting! I had no idea I can pant them right in the pot with the existing plant!

Aside from rooting hormone, is there a fertilizer you'd suggest?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Aug 18, 2017 11:13 AM CST
Rooting hormone is of questionable value and fertilizer will not help at all with propagation. Light, not chemicals, is the key determinant of plant growth. With indoor plants, you must be patient because it is rare that optimum light is available for indoor plants.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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