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#74339 Jun 23rd, 2007 at 06:27 AM
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I am new to this web site and am unsure if I am posting this in the right place. I have a question about my Rubber leaf plant (Ficus elastica) I got it from a friend who moved away and am not sure how to cut it. The stem is very tall and then the leafs shoot out the top. It is producing new leafs, but I would like to cut it down to get rid of all the empty space between the bottom of the stem and the leafs. Its about 26in. of empty space. Can I cut it off a few inches below the leafs and re-plant it? Or will that kill my plant?

dancers917 #74406 Jun 23rd, 2007 at 07:04 AM
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cut the top off (about half an inch below the lowest leaf) and put that part into the pot with the bottom. then, cut the bottom off to nearly 6 inches from the top of the soil (sounds like you'll cut about 20 inches of bare stem). then pretend you haven't done a thing to it. the top will root, the bottom will branch, and the middle you discard. it will be a fuller plant!

dancers917 #74933 Jun 24th, 2007 at 06:09 AM
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I've never done this myself but years ago my stepfather had a rubber plant with a big bare gap between the pot and the top set of leaves. He sliced the stem vertically/diagonally - a longish cut but not all the way through the stem. Then he put a ball of compost into the cut and around the injured stem, bandaged it up with polythene to keep the moisture in and then left it to grow roots - which it did after a few weeks. Then he cut the stem properly below the roots and repotted the new plant (the old top half). I believe the bottom half also sprouted and he ended up with two plants. Clever eh??

crisnuge #74986 Jun 24th, 2007 at 07:24 AM
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yep. that's called air layering. i've never been successful at it, but i know folks who have.


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