How to prune potted rubber plants

Written by joshua bailey
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Rubber plants are very easy to manage and take care of, which means they grow quickly. Rubber plants do not grow horizontally but vertically as they grow from the ends of the stems, so pruning them needs to be done every so often to keep them healthy. Every rubber plant grows differently, but needs to be pruned to promote new growth which will occur at the places where you make the new cuts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Garden shears

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  1. 1

    Cut away the tips of the rubber plant to prevent it from growing too much too quickly. Deciding which branches to prune is your preference unless they do not look healthy. Remove unhealthy branches all together. If you want your plant to grow higher, clip the side branches a few at a time. If you want it to look bushier trim the upper branches more.

  2. 2

    Promote bushier, sideways growth by clipping the side stems right at the tips of the stems. Its always best to clip the stems just above a leaf joint as the plant can recover and grow quicker than clipping midway between leaf joints.

  3. 3

    Prune away dead leaves and stems if you have overwatered the rubber tree to promote new growth. If overwatering is a big problem and it has you pruning the plant more often than you would like, allow the plant to drain outside or in a sink before it is put back onto its gardening coaster.

  4. 4

    Prune your potted rubber plants in stages. Pruning your rubber plant all at once will severely damage the plant and you could lose it all together. This means pruning the rubber plant all year round just a little bit each time.

Tips and warnings

  • Rubber plants are great in any climate, but over watering them will cause root rot, which is detrimental to the plant's development.
  • Prune your rubber plant when it is dormant during the winter months.
  • Gloves need to worn at all times when cutting rubber plants as they do emit white substance that irritates the skin when it comes in contact.

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