Rubber Plant or Rubber Fig is easy to grow indoors and can easily be propagated in two ways; from stem cuttings or by air layering.
It is a popular tree-like plant which is ideal as a statement plant for the large spaces and easily adapts to indoor growing conditions.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Ficus elastica was found to clean indoor air of formaldehyde.
Rubber Plant can be propagated during the growing season from stem cuttings or by air layering. Keep reading for more on these two propagation methods for Rubber Fig.
Take non-woody stem or stem-tip cuttings of about 6 in. long from a healthy Rubber Plant. Ensure each cutting has some leaf nodes as this is where new growth will come from.
Allow the sap to dry and then dip the lower cut end cutting in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.
Select a rooting container and ensure that there is adequate drainage to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Fill the container with loose, free-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the base of the stem cutting.
Insert about 2-3 in. of the lower cut end of the stem cutting in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the stem cutting while taking care not to bury it too deep.
Water the soil thoroughly and cover the set up with clear polythene sheet to create a greenhouse effect to hasten rooting.
Ensure the leaves do not touch the bag or the sheet too much by propping it up with sticks.
Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place. Adequate light and warmth are necessary for faster rooting.
Maintain the soil moist until rooting occurs; rooting will occur in about 3-6 weeks. When you observe new growth, the new Ficus elastica can be transplanted to its own pot after which you can begin routine care.
Rubber Plant air layering propagation is easy. Following is the step by step process of air layering Rubber Fig.
Make a notch on the stem of a healthy Ficus elastica and coat the notch with a rooting hormone to hasten rooting.
Surround the notched area with damp moss and then cover it with a polythene film or clear plastic wrap.
Maintain the moss moist through out and allow some time for roots to develop in the notched area.
After the roots have formed and about 2 in. long, the stem is now ready to be seperated from the mother plant.
Sever the stem just below the covered part with a sharp cutting tool like a sterlized knife or a sterilized pair of scissors. New shoots will sprout from the shortened stem of the mother plant.
Carefully remove the polythene and get ready to pot the rooted stem of the Ficus elastica.
Select a 6 or 8 in. pot and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Fill the pot with loose, free-draining potting mix and make a hole in the center of the pot. Ensure that the hole is slightly wider than the root base of the Corn Palm cutting.
Place the rooted Rubber Plant cutting in the previously made hole and lightly firm the soil around the base of the stem while taking care not to bury it too deep.
Water the soil thoroughly and place the set up in a well-lit, warm place until the new plant is well established after which you can begin routine care.