How to Propagate a Rubber Plant
The Rubber Plant or Ficus Elastica, has become a favourite for indoor plant lovers. It is not only low maintenance, but it is also one of the few plants that can thrive in low-lit environments.
The Rubber Plant is so easy to care for that it can often become unruly. Propagation is a great way to maintain those wild ends and create more plants in the process.
Clean your working area and ensure that your secateurs are sterile from other plant matter and old soil. These can inadvertently introduce harmful bacteria which may infect the mother plant and your freshly cut-off stem.
Ensure you choose a stem with a few nodes (bumpy sections) along the stem. You will want your cutting from the mother plant to be made just above one of these nodes. It will grow a leaf that will disguise the cut-off end.
Just a word of warning. This plant is called a Rubber Plant due to the latex consistency in its veins that will ‘bleed’ a white sticky substance when cut. Wear gloves to protect your hands, and have a clean cloth or paper towel handy to clean up the mess.
Trim your cut-off stem to the bottom of the first node, this is where the roots of your new Rubber Plant will grow from. Remove the bottom leaves keeping a few smaller ones at the top; This will encourage your new plant to grow faster.
Water Propagation is by far the most straightforward. It is as easy as placing your cutting into a glass of water and waiting for the roots to grow. To avoid root rot, change the water regularly.
Soil Propagation requires propagation-specific soil and a growth hormone that speeds up healthy root growth. Dip the cut-off section of your stem into the root growth hormone and plant it into the propagation soil. Place the pot in a sunny and warm area, and water semi-regularly. You will know if the stem has grown roots once it starts growing and produces new leaves.