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How to Root a Rubber Plant in Water? [Easy Guide]

Though Rubber plants propagate best in the soil for sturdy support, rooting in water is necessary for faster root growth. 

To root a Rubber plant in water, select a healthy branch and prune it, making a sharp cut. Next, prepare the cutting and submerge it in a jar with clean water. Keep it in a bright spot, change the water every week, and check for progress.

The rubber tree is a tropical plant that is easy to propagate through leaf nodes and stems cuttings in water. 

Continue the article for more tips!

When to Root Rubber Plant in the Water?

Propagation is usually done in the growing season of any plant. It helps the plant heal, adapt, and root quickly.

You can root Rubber plants in water during the summer or at the beginning of the spring.

The Rubber plant loves sunlight to root well in the warm season rather than in cold winters.  It is the time of the year when you also prune and repot the Rubber plant.

growing Rubber plant in water
Rubber plant cuttings grow faster in water.

While pruning, you cut off a part just above the node to promote branching.

So, without throwing the cuttings, you can easily collect them for the new plant. Also, pruning may encourage Rubber plants to be healthy and bushy

Here are the benefits of rooting Rubber plants in the water!

1. The Easiest and Least Time-Consuming Way of Propagation: Fertilizing Rubber plants often is quite the job. However, simply placing it in a jar with water will do the job.

2. You are Getting a Healthy Plant: When propagating a Rubber plant using soil, there is some probability of infecting your plant with fungus and fungal gnats or similar pathogens. But clean water has none of them.  

3. No Need to Get Your Hands Dirty with Soil: If you root the Rubber plant in water, you need not go through the soil preparation, potting, regular watering, and fertilization.

However, do not confuse true Rubber plants with Rubber figs, as they belong to different plant families. True Rubber plants are included in Euphorbiaceae, and Rubber figs in Moraceae.

How do you Root a Rubber Plant in Water?

You can initially root the Rubber plant in a glass jar; once it develops roots, you can transfer it to the pot.

Here are the steps to root your Rubber plant in water.

Step 1: Pick and Prepare the Spot

The oozing milky white sap from the cuts of the Rubber plant is a sticky irritant and leaves a stain.

Therefore, picking the right spot is the first step while rooting a Rubber plant in water.

Wear protective gloves, prepare sharp shears, and a Rubber plant from which you take a branch to root it in water.

Step 2: Pick the Stem

To root a Rubber plant in the water, you need to pick a healthy stem with healthy leaves. So, first, study your plant.

If you want your plant to get bushier, pick a stem that will benefit best from pruning. Pick a leggy or tall branch if your Rubber plant grows taller than your desired height.

You can look for uneven areas of your plant and pick a stem to grow branches.

Sometimes, the branch in the center may lack enough sunlight. Pruning them can be a good idea, so pick the stem carefully.

Step 3: Cut the Stem at the Right Spot

You need to cut the plant to contain at least one or two leaves and at least one node. The node is part of the plant from where a new branch, leaves, or bud grows.

New roots will grow from the stem, and a new growth tip will arise from the node, eventually forming a baby Rubber plant.

One or two leaves must be in the cutting to carry out photosynthesis and other life functions until new growth appears.

You can make the cuttings from any part of the plant. Here are two common ways:

1. Stem Cutting

You make a cut from your Rubber plant and the growing tip in stem cutting. It will have enough leaves for photosynthesis and a stem to grow roots.

This is the most common way to cut the stem to root the Rubber plant in water. But you need to wait till the stem develops roots.

Once the roots are developed, the growth will eventually resume, and you will get a new Rubber plant.

2. Leaf Node Cutting

If you are propagating Rubber plants in a larger number, leaf node cutting is the best alternative.

You can make many cuttings with leaf node cutting to get more baby Rubber plants.

You need a long stem with nodes and leaves to propagate a Rubber plant from the leaf.

Make the cuttings at the internodes, with one node and at least one leaf. About 2 inches long cutting will do the magic!

Once you decide on the cutting you want, make a sharp cut with sharp and sterilized shears. Cut the stem at an angle of 45 degrees.

rubber plant cuttings in water
Take leaf cuttings from the tips, at least 10cm long.

Be careful, as the sap will come out oozing from the cut. Use some paper towels to stop the sap in your new branch.

For the branch oozing sap in your original plant, take a pinch of soil from its pot and place it in the cut. This will stop the plant from bleeding.

Step 4: Prepare the Cutting

Once you have the cutting, you need to prepare it slightly. For example, remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem for a stem cutting.

It would be best to expose the stem while keeping 2-3 leaves at the tip of the cutting.

You don’t have to do much for the leaf node cutting.

Ensure the leaf is healthy to ensure it provides necessary functions like photosynthesis and gaseous exchange.

Step 5: Submerge the Cutting in the Water

It’s time to submerge the cutting in water. You can propagate in water easily once you cut a healthy stem with healthy leaves.

Take a small glass jar and fill it with clean water. Now, carefully submerge the cutting.

You can take any vessel or pot made with plastic or ceramic too.

If it’s the leaf node cutting, make sure you submerge the whole stem, leaving only the leaf to stick out.

I prefer a glass jar to see the new root nodules slowly developing into roots from outside the jar.

Step 6: Place the Jar in a Bright Spot

Once you finish submerging the cutting in water, pick a spot to place the jar.

It would help if you had a bright and warm spot for this. Rubber plant loves warmth and bright indirect light.

It would help if you were extra careful of the direct sunlight in the case of a newly propagated Rubber plant.

Direct sunlight can easily sunburn and dry the leaves, so place the propagated plant in the right spot!

Step 7: Maintain Temperature and Humidity

Rubber plants thrive in rooms that are warm to average in temperature.

The optimum temperatures are 60-65°F at night and 75-80°F during the day.

Avoid temperatures below 55°F, abrupt temperature dips, and cold drafts.

Similarly, Rubber plants prefer moist and humid regions due to their tropical origin. Therefore, 40-50% humidity would benefit Rubber plants.

It would be best to mist their leaves regularly to increase humidity during summer.

If you own potted Rubber plants indoors, learn how to care for them during winter

Step 8: Check for the Progress

It takes nearly two months to see the root development. After some weeks of propagating the cutting in water, you can see tiny white bumps.

They are plants developing root nodules.

Be careful not to let your stem’s end portion touch the jar’s bottom. It may hinder root development.

You need to change the water every week to prevent any mold. If you don’t change the water often, mold can rot the stem gradually.

From Editorial Team


After rooting them, take Rubber plant cuttings out and insert them in a pot with well-aerated potting soil. 

Allow bright, indirect light for 6-8 hours daily, and after establishing roots, water the plant every 1-2 weeks and avoid feeding for at least the first 3-6 months. 

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