This post shares tips about how to propagate a rubber plant. Rubber plant propagation from cuttings is easy and just takes a bit of patience. Learn how!
How to propagate a rubber plant
Hey folks, I’ve got another propagation post for you! I recently shared a rubber plant care guide post, and today I’m sharing all about how to propagate a rubber plant from a cutting. Rubber plant propagation is not difficult, but it does take some patience.
Like most plants, it’s best to take cuttings to re-root in spring and summer. That’s when it’s typically actively growing. Use a well-draining potting soil for this, too.
How to start a rubber tree plant
Propagating a rubber plant successfully starts with getting a great cutting. Taking a cutting from the tip of a stem is best—these root the most effectively. The cutting should be about 6 inches long, and you should take it just below a leaf. Then remove the bottom leaves from your cutting—this is where you’ll plant in the soil.
Note: When you take a cutting from a rubber tree plant, you’ll notice the milky gross sap it has. This sap can be highly irritating, so keep away from pets and children, and wash your hands immediately after.
If you’d like to use a rooting hormone on the end of the cutting, you can. I don’t have any and have not had any issues, but it surely wouldn’t hurt. It would probably also help the roots to develop quicker.
Now plant your cutting in well-draining potting soil that you’ve moistened. I used one of those black disposable plant containers with holes in the bottom to propagate mine in my Salad Container Propagation Station.
Wait…what? Salad Container Propagation Station?
Yes! You heard me. You know those bit plastic clam-shell type salad containers that are terrible for the environment? Well I try to make myself feel better by reusing them for crafting and planting. (Note: They also make excellent Glitter Containment Devices when crafting.)
The rubber plant needs a little help while the cutting is rooting in soil. Many methods recommend putting the cutting in a plastic bag to create an on-the-go greenhouse of sorts. The plastic bag creates a high humidity environment that the new lil guy loves. The plastic salad bowl has a similar effect.
How to grow a rubber plant from cutting
I put the plants down low in the bin and then store it high in our second bathroom right on the windowsill, which gets really nice bright, indirect light. Ramona has her baths in here and the shower is also occasionally used, so the humidity and steam is great for propagation. The plastic container helps keep things nice and comfy, too. You could also put plastic wrap on top of it to help with more insulation.
Water if things get dry. You want the soil to stay moist. Roots should grow in about a month, but don’t panic if it takes a few months. You can gently tug at the plant to check, but I’d wait about a month before doing that. Btw, new leaves look like this red growth:
Want more plant content? Check out my string of pearls care guide, my prickly pear cactus care guide, my peperomia plant care guide, my philodendron care guide, my snake plant care guide, my guide to caring for the wandering jew, and my post about 15 DIY planters to help you decorate with plants!
Transplanting a Rubber Tree Plant
Once you’ve got roots, the next step is transplanting the cutting into a new home. I would transplant it into a similarly sized pot and continue babying it in an area that gets indirect light. Keep the soil moist. Wait for new leaf growth, and then begin caring for your new plant as you would any other rubber tree plant.
Air layering is another method used to propagate rubber tree plants, but I’ve never tried it, and it seems more difficult. It’s done by scraping off the bark around an area you want to root, then added rooting hormone and covering the ring with moss and plastic (to keep things damp). When it develops roots after a few weeks, you can cut the stem off just below the new roots.