Monday, October 29, 2007

Rubber tree pruning

Anne: I live in Ft Myers FL and I have planted a rubber tree plant outside our house about 3 years ago. It has grown into quite a beautiful tree. I need to prune it back as it is about 7 ft tall and probably 10 ft in diameter. Can you advise the best way and can I take the cuttings and plant them in another area of the yard? Thank you.

Anne's response:

The best time to cut a rubber tree back is when it is not actively growing – usually January and February. Do not cut back to leave a bare stem as the plant should have some foliage on a stem for new growth. The tip ends of limbs may be rooted in sand. You will need a piece at least 6 inches long with two leaf nodes on the stem. The leaf at the tip of the stem should still be a leaf bud, not an opened leaf. You may leave one opened leaf on the stem you root but cut the leaf back to one/half its length. Keep the cutting in a ligh area but not in direct sun. It will take at least 6 weeks for rooting to occur.