After 6 to 7 years rubber tree gets ready for harvesting. USA farmers are already doing the cultivation of commercial rubber trees on a large scale. The rubber tree is native to North America and hence grown on a wider scale.
Rubber tree growing in America, especially in South America is an easy task due to weather compatibility. Still, people are not able to grow this sticky plant according to their will. New gardeners are not aware of the plantation method of the same.
How to plant rubber tree from cuttings at home
A rubber tree can be propagated by stem or leaf cuttings. This is an easy-to-grow house plant having a higher success rate. To grow this plant at your house you just need some patience and a few tools and supplies which are almost available in every house. Don’t worry I will guide you step by step each everything about growing rubber trees at home.
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While growing outside in ideal conditions rubber trees can grow taller by up to 100 feet. These trees are kept shorter while growing inside as a house plant. Regular pruning is a must to maintain your rubber plants smaller and healthier while decorating them as a houseplant. Pruning rubber trees is important because it helps the tree to grow new plants and you can also give the desired shape of your choice to the plants. You should cut the stem to encourage branching which gives a fuller look to the plant.
Rubber tree propagation prefers early spring and late summer as other common plants. Fall and winter seasons are not recommended for rubber tree plantation; they may result in damage and unsuccessful plantation. However, the plantation can be done but the recovery rate might be very low for these plants in the said seasons. With the help of a few simple tools present at your home you can easily create a new rubber tree from the cuttings of your existing plant, let’s learn it how.
How to grow rubber tree from cuttings easy steps
Please follow the below-given steps carefully to install a new rubber tree at your home.
While preparing ficus elastica (rubber tree) one should aware of latex-rich sap that is considered a bit toxic to humans and animals. Especially while pruning the rubber tree be careful and make sure the SAP does not come into contact with bare skin.
Tools and planting materials
Tools – Scissors, sharp pruning shears and cutters, protective gloves.
Materials – Perlite, soilless potting mix, medium to the small plastic pot, rooting hormones, large zip plastic bag.
Select and prepare an area
Rubber tree stem cut can become complex if not handled correctly because during the stem cut the tree produces sticky, latex-rich white sap. You should wear protective gloves before performing the cutting task. Don’t take it lightly the sap can cause skin irritation. Clean the surface area and make sure no soil or plant debris should be left to spread the disease. Get ready for your tools and supplies before the propagation.
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Pick 6 inches tall cuttings with 4 to 5 leaves
Select the area where your plant can thrive and get benefitted from pruning. You should go for the plain area. Elongated stems and branches are good options for cuttings. Choose a healthy stem for growing a healthy plant. You must identify the leaf nodes before any cut because this is where the new roots will grow. 6 inches or 15 cm is the needed cutting required for good success rate. Rubber cuttings should be 6 inches long with at least 4 leaf nodes.
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How to cut the rubber cuttings
You should use a pruning shear or sharp knife and make a straight exactly just above the node and 1 inch just below the node. If the cutting is losing sap, don’t get panic and pat the cut and the stem with a paper towel, or tissue paper until the sap dripping stops.
Rubber tree-cutting preparation
Remove the bottom leaves from each stem once the cutting has been taken. Present ensure one leave should remain at the top of each cutting. This will give benefits to the cuttings in two ways: 1. It will help to expose the stem and encourage rooting. 2. It will help the plants to spread the energy directly to the new growth instead of maintaining the existing leaves. Keep the waxy side outer and roll the leaf to form a cylinder. Now tie it with a rubber band and place it into the soilless potting mix. The benefit of rolling the leaves is the reduction of moisture loss.
Place plant cuttings into the soil
Now the time has come to use and mix all the planting materials such as perlite, and moisten. A small plastic pot is filled with soilless potting mix perlite. Rooting hormone is applied to the end of each cutting before the plant process. Now make a small hole in the center of the pot and place the cutting smoothly into that hole. Make sure the top node properly sits inside the soil mix. Cutting off rubber trees needed a humid environment to sprout the root. You can create a greenhouse-type environment by placing a plastic zip-top bag over each potted cutting.
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The right placement for cutting is necessary
You should place your plant with bags in a warm location where they receive continuous drowned sunlight. Direct sunlight will surely burn the leaves of the plant cuttings so avoid it. Do not allow the soil to completely dry out and provide water when needed. Cutting tools take at least four to five weeks to begin well-establishing roots.
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What is the climate required for a rubber plantation?
Rubber tree needs tropical climate conditions.
Humidity – 80%
Rainfall – 200 mm rainfall required.
What is the temperature required for a rubber tree?
25°C to 28°C.
What is the temperature tolerance capacity of rubber trees?
What are the rubber tree sunlight requirements in a day?
6 hours in a day.
Does a rubber tree need direct sunlight?
No rubber tree does not like direct sunlight because it can damage the leaves of the tree. Instead, this tree needs partial sunlight throughout the day.
What type of soil should I provide for my rubber plants?
Deep and well-drained soil with pH 4.5 to 6. Acidic, lateritic loam, and clay loam are the best soil for rubber plants.