Ficus Elastica question....................

elkay_gwMarch 7, 2011

I saw this plant in a greenhouse and was going to pass it up because most of the lower stems are bare, but I couldn't resist for only $3.99.

What I was wondering............when I eventually transplant in into another pot, can I put it in the pot deeper so that some of the bare stem is under the soil line or is that a bad idea? I would like it to look fuller, with not much bare stem showing.

Hey Toni.........did you mention that you have birds? What kind? I have a Blue Crowned Conure.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Plant at the same depth, but prune the growing tips off each branch to force a fuller plant. Prune just the tip & last leaf off the tallest/thickest branch. Prune the shortest branch back to just above the second leaf from the bottom, and prune the middle (thickness) branch at a ht half-way between the tall & short branch. I would wait to do this until late June. This will stimulate lots of branching & fuller foliage - a plant that will be most pleasing to the eye.

Al

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 3:06PM
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birdsnblooms

You could also Air Layer.

Blue Crown, beautiful bird..I have 4 Cockatiels. We had a Jendey, but unknowingly, my dh walked out of the house with Sunrise on his shoulder..more to the story...

Very colorful F. Rubber Tree..Great price, too.
Hey, how'd you know I'd open the thread?? lol..Toni

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:27PM
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elkay_gw

Ok, I guess I have no choice. While I don't mind pinching the growing tips of smaller plants, for some reason it kills me to prune back branches or stems of large plants and large-leaved plants. I'll have to muster up some courage.

Thanks, Al

Toni, maybe air layering would be less traumatic for me...lol. Thanks.

I had a feeling you'd open the thread. :) I love cockatiels. I had a cockatiel for over 19 years. She laid over 110 eggs during her lifetime. Sorry about Sunrise.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:39PM
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birdsnblooms

Elkay, female or male? How old? Can he/she talk/whisle..Conures are little clowns. Big show-offs..lol.

Mystic, my White-face is 15, boo hoo..he too has been, kind of a Stud. lol..he's outlived three wives.
Did you breed her or let the eggs sit? 110 eggs! Wow.
Mystic and wives bred 5-6 yrs..in all that time they had approximatelyd 75 babies...but 110???
I never planned on breeding birds, but they did. lol..2-yrs-ago I removed the nest box, 'I never planned on buying one in the first place; a last minute decision.'

Elkay, if you don't like pruning, do you think you'd like air layering?
You can always Air Layer one trunk at a time, see if it roots, etc.
If you'd don't care to do either, how about a tall pot? lol.

How much space is between soil line to lowest leaves? It doesn't look like there's much space by the picture.

17 yrs is up there..I'm sure you had many good years w/your Tiel...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:03PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

I need to go hunting through responses someone her at GW suggested another option last year.

I have the same plant and the same thing happened to my plant. They suggested to nick the stem. It took all summer but it started to branch.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 8:58PM
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gravyboots(7B)

Elkay, I bought one of those about 2 months ago; Marble Queen, I think?

Single stem, about the same size as your largest... since the leaves are so darned big I'm going to let it get some height before pruning. You've got some nice bark coming on that largest stem :D

But those leaves - wow! - they sure are pretty! I couldn't resist when they caught my eye.

Al, if you check back in: will F. elastica's leaves miniaturize eventually if the tree is kept small?

GB

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's the natural growth habit for Ficus leaves to get progressively larger on each branch as the branch extends. IOW, each leaf occurring along a branch will be larger than the last. Two factors can at times semi-trump that growth habit. Those are the plant being root bound or exposed to brighter light (both cause smaller leaves & shorter internodes). The other thing that reduces leaf size is efficient pinching. By allowing a branch to extend to 4-5 leaves and then pinching it back to 2 leaves, you maximize the number of leaves and branches. The more growing points within a given volume of canopy, the smaller the leaves will be because the tree will be able to spend less energy on each leaf.

Marquest - you can sometimes cut a very thin horizontal notch above a leaf or old leaf bundle scar where you want a new branch to grow, which will disrupt auxin flow to the leaf below. It tips the balance in that area to another hormone (cytokinin) that helps stimulate dormant buds in leaf axils (crotches) or above leaf bundle scars. Summer is the best time to do this.

Al

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:38PM
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marquest(z5 PA)

"Marquest - you can sometimes cut a very thin horizontal notch above a leaf or old leaf bundle scar where you want a new branch to grow, which will disrupt auxin flow to the leaf below. It tips the balance in that area to another hormone (cytokinin) that helps stimulate dormant buds in leaf axils (crotches) or above leaf bundle scars. Summer is the best time to do this"

Yep that was the route I chose. I did not have the nerve to cut it down and try to root. It worked I have two branches now. I just took an exacto knife and went to work. LOL

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 1:06AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I watch a lot of old European movies. Set designers tend to put a lone, lank Ficus in a clay pot alone in an otherwise bare window. After awhile I have come to like it. This is the only plant I have in my home 'office'.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:21PM
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birdsnblooms

Does anyone know the number of variegated Ficus Elasticas available?

GB's mention 'Marble Queen.' Never heard or seen this color. GRavy, do you have a picture?

Or maybe it's light and environment?

Albert, in old American movies, there's always a Palm in the back ground. Toni

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 2:01PM
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gravyboots(7B)

Toni, I mis-spoke (wrote): it is called Sylvie!
"Marble Queen" must have been something else nearby that day - whoops!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 8:47PM
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birdsnblooms

GB, no problem. Maybe you were thinking about Pothos, 'Marble Queen??'

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:09AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Gravyboots and Toni, there are plants labeled "Gasteria Marble" around here.
Maybe that's what you were seeing, Gravy?

Josh

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 12:47AM
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gravyboots(7B)

Not surprising to hear another name, but the one I brought home did come with a tag saying "Sylive"... it made me think of Belafonte!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:19AM
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elkay_gw

Toni - there's one lone leaf on one of the stems that is 1.5 inches from the soil and the next leaf up is 3.5 inches from the soil line. I know it's not real bad, but I am expecting the lower leaves to drop, I guess.

Maybe I'll try the exacto knife technique. How far into the stem do you make the cut? Do you actually remove a small piece?

Patrick the conure is 24 yrs old - I think he's a male, but I never had him surgically sexed. He says "Hello" and something that sounds like "What you doing?" and "Ow". And he can scream like there's no tomorrow!

I only had the one tiel so, no babies, and I didn't even want her to lay eggs - I was always worried she would get egg bound.

I also had a Red Lored Amazon and a Congo African Grey.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:22AM
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marquest(z5 PA)

"Maybe I'll try the exacto knife technique. How far into the stem do you make the cut? Do you actually remove a small piece?"

If you are afraid like me that rooting might not work I think the exacto cut is the best. This is what I did....

- It was summer about the middle of June
- Find a hump a spot that looks like there was a leaf
- Below this leaf line I pushed the point of the exacto knife straight in. NOT a cut but something like a deep stick.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:05PM
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elkay_gw

So you make a vertical slit?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 1:12PM
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elkay_gw

Oh, never mind......I just went back and reread Al's
post. Horizontal cut ABOVE a leaf or scar.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 2:10PM
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birdsnblooms

Josh, that's one problem using common names, 'which I am guilty of doing.' To be honest I don't know many Haworthia names, common or otherwise.

Gravy, I've seen Ficus Elasticas, Sylvie. You said Sylvie then changed it to Sylive. lol. I think it's Sylvie.
I wonder how many variegated RT's are in existance.

Elkay..The grass is always greener. I have two RT's. One green, one variegated. I'd like to shape the green so it's a Standard, one trunk, tree, but afraid, not to mention don't know how it's done. The variegated has several stems, I dont want to touch that guy.
You're trying for compact, I want one trunk..the grass is always greener..........lol

AWWW, Patrick is peaking his head out the curtain. Is he in the shower? Perhaps, he doesnt' want others to see him, in the buff. lol. He's adorable.

If you really wanted to know his/her sex, there are centers where ppl send a feather..for a fee, of course.
It's probably not very important..all that matters is that you love Patrick.

I had a Timneh AG, Jenday Conure and Catalina Macaw..long story. I really miss these guys/gals..Except for the Cataliina, neither AG or Conure were SS'd.

I too worry about egg binding..Mystic's 2nd wife died from egg binding..By the time I figured the problem (2 days) it was too late..made an avian vet appt for the following day, but it was too late. She died in my arms.

Elkay, good luck with your Ficus..I'm sure it'll be fine.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 3:25PM
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