Scientific name of the rubber plant is Ficus elastica and it is also known as the Indian rubber bush. It belongs to the genus Ficus under the family Moraceae. The plant is native to the tropical regions of northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This plant can grow very tall, about 50 feet, with widespread branches. These plants require very less care and grow very quickly, and hence are popular with gardeners. They are a very good choice to get some shady corners in your rooms. These trees grow very high, so they need to be pruned when placed inside house.
What is Pruning
Pruning is the procedure of removal of unwanted elements of a tree to improve its growth and beauty. Landscaping usually involves pruning of trees, which includes removing dead leaves and the unproductive and unwanted parts of a tree. The reasons for pruning a tree are maintenance, improvement of tree (fruits, flowers, leaves), and limiting the growth of the tree. Pruning of a tree can be done at any time, but the best results can be seen if it is done in a specific season.
This season varies according to the species of the plant. This practice does not lead to any harm to the tree, but improper pruning may damage the plant health. Winter or spring are usually considered as suitable times for this. It is done with the help of special tools, called pruners, that are used depending upon the size of the tree. Let us take a look at the method of pruning rubber plant.
How to Prune a Rubber Plant
As discussed earlier, rubber plants grow very tall, and hence need to be pruned to fit inside the house. This helps control the height of the plant and makes it look more beautiful. These plants are strong, so pruning can be done in any season. However, late spring or early summer are considered to be the best seasons for pruning this plant.
Before you start, take a glance at the tree, as you have to prune about ⅓rd of it. Ensure that you use clean, sharp, and proper pruners. Wear gloves before you start, as the tree has white milky sap that may leak while pruning. Do not cut out too many leaves from the plant. While pruning, see that you make cuts above the plant nodes. Nodes are where the leaves are attached to the stem or where new branches grow. Rubber plant should be pruned at a height of one foot from the soil surface. New growth will be seen right below the cut you made.
Rubber Plant Care Tips
- Place the plant in an area with both adequate sunlight and shade.
- The plant should be fertilized every 15 days.
- These plants require accurate water and need soil that drains water well.
- The humidity level required for this plant is minimum 50%.
- Clean the leaves regularly with the help of a damp cloth.