How to Propagate Plants that are Too Tall
My question is: my rubber tree plant is at the ceiling and falling over. It is only one stem, but I am afraid to cut it because I don’t what to do with the top part once I do. Should I put it in water to root or just put it in soil.
Stem cuttings and air layering are the best ways to propagate a Rubber Tree plant.
Stem Cuttings: Use a sharp, clean scissors or razor blade to cut a 4”-6” piece from the end of a healthy stem just below a leaf node or where a leaf joins the stem. Remove leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Dip the cut end of the stem into a small amount of Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide. Plant the stem in a 4″pot (drip holes in the bottom) of moist potting soil. Cover the pot with clear plastic to increase the humidity and prevent the soil from drying out. Check the plant every few days to be sure the soil stays moist. Tug on the stem cuttings after a few weeks, if there is resistance, roots have developed, the plastic can be removed, and the propagation was successful.
Air Layering: Propagating plants by Air Layering is used primarily for large plants with thick, strong stems that are not easily propagated by other methods. The new plant is propagated while still attached to the parent plant.
1. Use a sharp clean knife make an upward 1” slit just below a node on the stem of the “mother” plant. A node is where a leaf attaches to the stem. The slit should go 1/2 way through the stem. Place a piece toothpick in the slit to keep it open. If the slit heals shut, the new roots won’t grow.
2. Remove any bark or leaves a few inches above and below the slit in the plant stem. Dust the area with Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide.
3. Pack a large handful of moist sphagnum moss around the slit. Cover the moss with clear plastic, and tie the plastic securely to the stem. Check the moss weekly to be sure it stays moist but not soggy.
4. When roots have filled the moss, cut the stem below the new root ball and plant it. Air layering may take months, so try to be patient.