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How to Root a Rubber Plant in Water?

I still remember running to my mother to tell her grandmother’s rubber plant has grown worms inside the glass jar.

My grandmother used to root rubber plants in water, and for a child me, those roots were worms.

Later, when I was told they were roots, I instantly grew fond of them.

I would root the plant with my grandmother, and nothing would beat the satisfaction of seeing my new worms grow.

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 in in a bright spot, change the water every week and check for progress.

Bushy Rubber Plant (Source: Unsplash)

However, there are some things you need to know before rooting your rubber plant in water.

In this article, I walk you through the steps on rooting it in water, along with the benefits and precautions so that you can root them and create as many new baby rubber plants as you want.

Can you Root Rubber Plant in Water?

Rubber plants are one of the most flexible indoor plants so that they can be easily propagated with a bit of care.

You can root rubber plants in water.

As we know most of the indoor plants can root in water, rubber plant is no different. Any healthy stem from your rubber plant can grow into a new one just in a jar with some clean water.

Within two to three months, the cutting in the jar will start to develop proper roots. After that, you can let the plant keep rooting in the jar, or you can also give a new pot to your new plant.

Transferring the already rooted rubber plant is easy, and it will thrive in no time.

Benefits of Rooting Rubber Plant in Water

Welcome to the easiest and fastest way of propagating rubber plants. You can bring any house plant close to you by this method.

If you think you are too busy to be a plant parent, here are some benefits of rooting a rubber plant in water:

1. The easiest and Least Time-Consuming Way of Propagation

If rooting rubber plants in water is not the easiest way of propagation, then what is. You do not need to feed the plant constantly.

Fertilizing rubber plants often is quite the job. However, simply placing it in a jar with water will do the job.

This is the easiest way to bring plants to your room without essentially being a plant parent. Furthermore, the propagation can be done in a short time, perfectly fitting your busy life.

Rooting rubber plants in water has to be the simplest, easiest, and most aesthetic floral trend.

2. You are Getting a Healthy Plant

When you root a rubber plant, you are taking the cutting from your own healthy rubber plant.

Even if you are propagating from a healthy rubber plant while using soil for propagation, there is some probability of infecting your plant with fungus and fungal gnats.

But clean water has none of them. It is free from fungus or similar pathogens. So, you are getting a healthy baby rubber plant.

Rubber Plant thriving in low indirect light
Rubber Plant thriving in low indirect light (source:

3. No Need to Get your Hands Dirty with Soil

Propagating a rubber plant is quite the job, from cutting the stem, taking care of the plant’s sap, protecting your hands from irritation, to preparing the soil mix. It already sounds so exhausting!

If you can skip the last step without any loss, who wouldn’t?

Planting Rubber Plant
Planting Rubber Plant (Source: Pexels)

If you root the rubber plant in water, you do not have to go through the soil preparation, potting, regular watering, and not miss the fertilization.

You root the plant in water for now, and once you are ready to replace the plant in the pot, you can do it along with newly grown roots. Or, you can let the plant grow in water.

When to Root Rubber Plant in the Water?

Propagation is usually done in the growing season of any plant. It helps the plant to heal, adapt and root in no time.

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

As we know, the rubber plant loves sunlight to root well in the warm season rather than cold winters.  It is the time of the year when you re-pot or prune the rubber plant as well.

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

As we all love our plants so much, no one is gonna throw the cut-off part. So this is your chance to root a new rubber plant in water.

Rubber plant rooted in water
Rubber plant rooted in water (Source: Reddit)

Materials Required to Root a Rubber Plant in Water

Before anything else, you need a clear idea of how you will root the rubber plant and what materials you need to do so.

Here are the materials that you need to root your rubber plant in water.

1. Gloves

The rubber plant releases milky white sap from its stem and leaves. This sap is irritant to most people when it comes in contact with skin.

You will cut the stem for propagation, so you better grab a pair of gloves for your own good.

You can buy Gloves at Amazon.

2. Shears

It would be best to have a sharp cut to prevent tears, forceful cuts, or damage to the rubber plant.

Using garden shears is best instead of scissors because the rubber plant’s stem is thick for a clean cut with normal scissors.

3. Disinfectant

It would be best if you disinfected the spears before cutting the plant.

Unsterilized spears can infect the plant, and the chance of rooting your rubber plant in water can be lower for you.

You can buy Disinfectant at Amazon.

4. Water and Suitable Jar

Take a suitable pot for your plant. I personally prefer glass pots to see the new roots from outside and throw a proud smile.

Clean the pot well and take some clean water.

If you are wondering what can I do to make my tall and spindly rubber plant bushier, read on: How to Make a Rubber Plant Bushy?

How to Root Rubber Plant in Water?

Rooting rubber plants in water has to be the easiest way of propagation. All you need is a cutting from a rubber plant, some clean water, and a clean jar for propagation.

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

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

Step 1: Pick and Prepare the Spot

It would help if you prepared a spot to prune, propagate, or root your rubber plant. But, of course, if you own a rubber plant, you know exactly what I mean.

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 on pruning.

Pick a leggy or tall branch if your rubber plant is growing taller than your desired height.

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

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

Healthy Rubber Plant’s Stem (Source: Unsplash)

Step 3: Cut the Stem at the Right Spot

After you select the stem, you need to know a few things before cutting.

You need to cut the plant in such a way that it must contain at least one or two leaves and at least one node. Node is the 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 the new growth appears.

You can make the cuttings from any part of the plant.

Here are two common ways:

1. Stem Cutting

In stem cutting, you make a cut from your rubber plant along with the growing tip. 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.

In stem cutting, you get the already grown tip of the rubber plant. You need to wait till the stem develops roots.

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

2. Leaf Node Cutting

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

Rubber plants have a handful of branches, so stem cutting them every time you want to propagate is unfair.

With leaf node cutting, you can make many cuttings to get more baby rubber plants.

To make leaf node cutting, you need a long stem with nodes and leaves.

Now, 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-degree.

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 a little bit. For example, for a stem cutting, remove the leaves from the bottom part of the stem.

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

For the leaf node cutting, you don’t have to do anything much.

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. Once you cut a healthy stem with healthy leaves, you can propagate in water easily.

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.

Personally, I prefer a glass jar to see the new root nodules slowly developing to roots from outside of 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 the leaves and dry them out.

So place the propagated plant in the right spot!

Step 7: Check for the Progress

It takes nearly two months to see the root development. Then, 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 the end portion of your stem touch the bottom of the jar. 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.

Taking care of Rubber Plant After Rooting in Water

Rooting a rubber plant in water is said to be the easiest way to bring greens to your room.

However, there are some things you need to consider while taking care of them.

1. Keep the Plant in the Bright Spot

The rubber plant grows well in a warm environment. Their growing season is late spring and summer.

The plant thrives in good temperature, humidity, and enough indirect sunlight.

Therefore, you need to keep the plant in a bright spot that receives enough indirect sunlight.

It helps the plant root fast and keeps them healthy.

Plant placed in Bright Spot (Source: Unsplash)

2. Change the Water Often

Your plant needs clean and fresh water to grow well and have healthy roots. If you do not change the water often, there is a high chance you may rot the stem.

You need to change the water every week to keep the plant’s stem healthy.

And, if you take time to change the water, there is a high chance of infecting it with mold.

3. Maintain Temperature and Humidity

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

The optimum temperatures are 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit 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, the humidity up to 40% to 50% would do good for rubber plants.

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

4. Check the Stem and Roots

You need to constantly check the stem from where you are hoping to see the new root nodules. Sometimes, mold development can rot the stem.

Sometimes, harmful bacteria may develop in the stem.

If the plant gets oxygen-deprived, the fungus can act up and rot the roots. So, you need to change the water often and observe the plant closely.

You can also propagate the rubber plant in other ways if rooting them in water is not working for you.

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Rubber plants are beautiful and vibrant low-maintenance indoor plants that rubber plants can easily propagate with water in a jar.

As long as you are up for the experiment, anyone can root the rubber plant in water with an idea of what you are doing.

It is easy, saves time, and you can get as many of them as you want.

A healthy baby rubber plant from a healthy parent tree definitely sounds like a great idea.

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