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How to Trim a Rubber Tree Plant

By Larry Parr

Rubber tree plants can grow quite large very quickly. The problem with their rapid growth is that they cannot support the weight of their own branches when they get overly long. This can cause the plant to break, which can lead to all sorts of complications. The simple answer is to trim your rubber tree on a regular basis.

While rubber trees can be pruned at any time of the year, late spring or early summer are generally considered the best time to do the bulk of your trimming.

Remove any broken or diseased-looking branches. Make your cuts just above a leaf node, as this is where new growth will appear. Wear gloves and do not get any of the milky saps on your skin as some people are allergic to it.

Stand back and study your tree. Get an idea of what shape you want your tree to be cut in and then carefully trim each branch to create the desired shape. Branches can be cut at any length but always cut just past a leaf node, or a node which is growing a branch.

Remove no more than one-third to one-half of the plant's branches. Since your rubber tree can be pruned at any time of the year it is not necessary for you to cut everything at one time. If you feel that your plant needs to be cut back by more than 50 percent of its current volume, plan to make your trims over a period of 2 to 3 months.

Do not be alarmed if your plant appears ragged right after it is first cut; it will quickly fill in new leaves and take on a healthy appearance.


About the Author


Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.