Rubber Tree plant care

plant_lover_grow(z 8b-9a)March 30, 2013

I have a rubber plant that needs to be pruned, and it also needs to be repotted into a larger container.
Can someone please give me some advice on which one should be done first, or can they both be done at the same time?

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If the plant is growing well, in summer, you can repot/root prune at the same time without much concern for the plant's well-being. Still, it's better to do the root work first and shelter the plant from conditions that increase a demand on the roots for water, until the roots recover. The reason is, the foliage is where the food to regenerate new roots comes from, so you want to leave as much foliage on the plant as the roots will support until roots recover - THEN do your pruning. Generally speaking, early spring is about the worst time to do any significant work on your houseplants, simply because their energy reserves are at their lowest.

It's likely that your plant will b e able to be potted in a SMALLER container after the root work is done - or the same one it was in. What determines appropriate container size isn't how large the plant is or how large the container was, it's soil choice. If you choose a well-aerated, free-draining soil like some of those wee use commonly here, you can pot very small plants in very large pots, and enjoy a lot more development than you might have had you used a container that was restrictive of roots.

See link below .....

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: This might help:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:34PM
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plant_lover_grow(z 8b-9a)

Thanks for the tip. I was somewhat thinking along the same lines, but I wasn't quite sure.

So I need to wait till mid-summer to do my potting/root pruning and do my foliage pruning after the plant has fully recovered, correct?

This post was edited by plant_lover_grow on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 22:10

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 9:46PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Yes, that's correct. There are ways to work with the plant's rhythms and growth cycle by undertaking those operations (hard pruning, root pruning, repotting) that put the most stress on the plant when the plant is at it's strongest, which would be when temps are warm and days are longest. I usually try to do any significant work on houseplants and tropicals somewhere near Father's Day, which closely coincides with the longest day of the year (summer solstice) and the strongest part of the growth cycle. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll do irreparable harm if you take advantage of less opportune timing, but good timing reduces the length of time the plant remains vulnerable during recovery and minimizes lost potential. It's sort of like people - Drs. would much rather operate on a person who has the bodily reserves to recover from the surgery than someone who's knocking on death's door.

Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:18PM
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