Can You Cut the Top off Your Rubber Plant? Growing and Caring

Due to their simplicity of maintenance and ability to reach height of up to eight feet, Rubber Plant are popular indoor plants. They may help cleanse the air in your house and have big, glossy leaves. But what if your Rubber Plant is getting Too Tall? Can You Cut The Top Off? In this article, we will answer this question and provide you with everything you need to know for your Rubber Plant Care and question related to can you Cut Off the top of your Rubber Plant.

Can You Cut the Top off Your Rubber Plant?

Your rubber plant’s Top shouldn’t be Cut Off until it has grown to the desired height. The plant will branch out and grow bushier if the top is removed too soon, which may not be what you want. You may trim your Rubber Plant to promote side branches if you don’t want it to become too tall. To achieve this, choose a young, healthy shoot, and cut through the stem approximately halfway. A tiny piece of wood is then used to hold the incision open until the shoot starts to develop in the appropriate direction.

check full information below.


The Ficus family includes Rubber Plant, which are indigenous to Southeast Asia. They are also called as Ficus elastica, and in their native habitat, they may reach heights of up to 100 feet. They generally reach a height of up to eight feet inside, and their leaves may reach a maximum length of 12 inches. With the right care, Rubber Plant need little upkeep and may last for many years.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Rubber Plant Overview

Tropical plants that demand direct, bright light include Rubber Plant. Although they can handle some sunshine, too much may cause their leaves to sear. Make careful to let the soil to somewhat dry out between waterings since they want to be maintained wet but not soggy. Rubber Plant can endure mild changes and prefer temperatures between 60 and 75 °F.

When to Prune Your Rubber Plant

In general, you may prune your Rubber Plant any time of year, but the optimal time is during the winter. This is because the tree’s sap flow is at its lowest point at this time of year, which reduces the likelihood that the plant would bleed.

Pruning is a crucial component of caring for Rubber Plant. The plant’s size and form may be preserved, broken or diseased branches can be Cut Off, and new foliage can be encouraged. Your Rubber Plant should be pruned in late spring or early summer, around June. The plant is in its expansion phase at this time and may bounce back swiftly following trimming.

Make sure you have the appropriate equipment before trimming your Rubber Plant. It’s advised to use a good set of scissors or pruning shears. Making precise cuts at a little angle is crucial while trimming. This will lessen the likelihood that the plant may get rot or a disease.

Gloves are a need while pruning to protect your hands from the plant’s sticky sap. Some individuals may develop an allergy to the sap, which might irritate their skin. Wash your hands with soap and water right away if you get sap on them.

You may routinely clip your Rubber Plant to make it bushy. Trim any long branches to encourage bushes of development. The plant may also be encouraged to branch out by using a method called notching. Make a little incision on the stem immediately above a leaf node to do this. This will encourage the plant to regenerate new progress where the cut was made.

How to Prune Your Rubber Plant

The following steps will guide you on how to prune a Rubber Plant to make it more bushy:

  • Pick the Right Time to Prune: Rubber Plant may be trimmed at any time of year, but late spring or early summer are the greatest times since it is when the plant is actively growing. The plant will be able to swiftly recuperate and develop new branches and leaves as a result.
  • Remove Dead and Damaged Leaves and Branches: Use a pair of sharp pruning shears to start by cutting away any dead or damaged leaves and branches. The general health and beauty of the plant will benefit from this.
  • Make a clean cut just above two leaves at the desired height for your Rubber Plant. Decide on that height. To prevent the plant from becoming excessively tall and lanky, cut the plant right above a pair of leaves. This will promote new development from that point on.
  • Encourage Branching: Just above a leaf node, Cut Off The Top of the stem to promote branching. The node will produce new branches, increasing the plant’s bushiness.
  • Cut Off any branches that are developing in the incorrect direction or that are not in their proper places. The form and general look of the plant will be enhanced as a result.
  • Wear gloves while trimming your Rubber Plant since the sap may be corrosive to the skin and sticky.
  • After trimming, give your Rubber Plant a good soak in water and treat it with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to promote strong new growth.

Can You Cut The Top Off Your Rubber Plant?

Your rubber plant’s Top shouldn’t be Cut Off until it has grown to the desired height. The plant will branch out and grow bushier if the top is removed too soon, which may not be what you want. You may trim your Rubber Plant to promote side branches if you don’t want it to become too tall. To achieve this, choose a young, healthy shoot, and cut through the stem approximately halfway. A tiny piece of wood is then used to hold the incision open until the shoot starts to develop in the appropriate direction.

Every one to two years, it is advised to repot your Rubber Plant into new compost and into a pot that is one size larger. The plant will have more area to expand and will have access to new nutrients as a result. You may also prune your Rubber Plant if it has grown too tall to promote branching and give it a bushier look. In conclusion, although trimming a Rubber Plant is not essential, it is better to do it in late spring or early summer if you do decide to do so. Wearing gloves is essential to preventing skin contact with the sticky sap. Repot the plant every one to two years into a bigger pot to allow it space to expand. Also, only chop the top of your Rubber Plant when it reaches the proper height.

Can You Cut the Top off Your Rubber Plant

Tips for Pruning Your Rubber Plant

Here are some tips to help you prune your Rubber Plant:

  • Trim the Rubber Plant top to the appropriate height. The plant will get bushier as a result of this encouraging new foliage.
  • Remove between one-third and fifty percent of the plant’s lateral branches, being careful not to remove more leaves than is required. The plant will get bushier as new growth emerges from the surviving branches.
  • To promote new development, make your Cuts right after a node (the place where a leaf or another stem splits off), and keep pruning back this new progress as it emerges.
  • To prevent harming the stem, use precise pruning shears. If you are pruning a Rubber Plant, you should wear gloves since the sap will start to flow from the wounds you create when you Cut the branches.
  • Trim the leaves of your Rubber Plant in the early or late summer. Because the plant is actively developing now and new leaves will show up fast, this is the best time to prune.
  • You may Cut The Top Off your Rubber Plant and take Off the bottom leaves to generate a new plant if it has grown too tall and spindly. The surviving stem will begin to sprout new progress, and you may pot it up to begin a new plant.


Making Your Rubber Plant More Bushy

A Rubber Plant may be pruned to reduce its size as well as promote bushiness and the development of new branches and leaves.

Here are the steps to follow to make your Rubber Plant bushier:

Step 1: Create a plan. Decide how much you want to Cut down and where you want the new growth to develop before you begin pruning your Rubber Plant. You could choose to prune back the main stem to the appropriate height or eliminate any branches that look out of place.

Step 2: Get rid of any branches that don’t appear to belong. Remove any diseased or dead branches using a pair of clean, sharp pruning scissors. Remove branches that are developing in an undesirable direction, crossing, or rubbing against one another.

Step 3: Cut to the height you want. Cut down the main stem of your Rubber Plant to the correct height if you want to regulate the height. The plant will branch out from a Cut made just above a node or a growth point.

Step 4: You may also try pinching or notching a Rubber Plant in order to make it bushier. Making a little incision on the stem below a node is known as notching, and it promotes new growth. By using your fingers to pinch off a stem’s tip, you may encourage a plant to branch out.

Repotting, correctly mixing the potting soil, giving the plant enough sunshine, and nourishing the plant throughout the growth season are further suggestions for making your rubber plant bushier in addition to trimming. Overwatering the plant, however, should be avoided since it might result in root rot.

Read the full guide on how to make rubber plant bushy.

How to Propagate Your Rubber Plant

Here are some tips on how to propagate your Rubber Plant:

  1. The Cutting of the stems of rubber trees causes them to leak a sticky, latex-rich white fluid, which might damage your work area. To prevent skin irritation, safeguard your workspace and use gloves.
  2. Examine your plant: Examine your plant to see where it would benefit from some trimming before taking any cuttings. Look for locations where the growth is uneven or where you would want a broader development.
  3. Choose your cutting: After deciding where to Cut the rubber tree, use a sharp knife or pair of pruning shears to make a quick, straight Cut just below a leaf node. The cutting must be at least 6 inches long, have two leaves at the end, and a leaf node close to the location of the Cut.
  4. Planting stems in soil for propagation: If you want to plant stems in soil for propagation, dip the cut end of the stem in a fungicide-containing rooting hormone before planting it in damp potting soil. To produce a humid climate and maintain the soil’s moisture, cover the pot with transparent plastic. In a few weeks, you ought to see fresh growth if you place the pot in a well-lit, warm location with some indirect sunshine.
  5. Water-based propagation: If you want to propagate your plant in water, Cut Off any lower leaves and put the cutting in a glass container with some indirect sunlight. To keep the water fresh and ensure that the cutting remains submerged, change the water every several days. You should start to notice roots forming in a few weeks.
  6. Air layering is an additional method of Rubber Plant propagation. By essentially leaving the “cutting” on the rubber tree while it is still linked, this technique enables the rubber tree to continue receiving nutrients and water from the mother plant. Find a location on the plant where you want the roots to develop, then make a tiny cut in the bark there. Apply rooting hormone to the area and cover it with wet sphagnum moss. The moss should then be covered with plastic wrap to provide a humid atmosphere. The emergence of roots should occur in a few weeks. Cut the stem below the new roots when they are a few inches long, then put it in soil or water.

Common Problems with Rubber Plant

Rubber plant are generally easy to care for, but they can develop a few common problems. Here are some issues you may encounter with your Rubber Plant:

  • Overwatering: Rubber plants want to be kept damp but not drenched with water. Root rot and wilting leaves might result from over irrigation.
  • Underwatering: Your Rubber Plant may be underwatered if its leaves are drooping. When the top inch of soil seems dry, water your plant.
  • Pests: Mealybugs, scale, and spider mites are some of the insects that are drawn to Rubber Plant. Regularly check your plant for pest indicators, such as small insects or sticky residue on the leaves.
  • Brown leaf tips: Low humidity, excessive fertilizing, or excessive exposure to direct sunshine may all lead to brown leaf tips. Consider misting your plant, using less fertilizer, or relocating it to an area with less direct sunlight.

Related Questions:

Rubber Plant Too Tall

Insufficient light may cause Rubber Plant to grow tall and lanky. You should relocate them to a brighter area or add a grow light to promote bushier development. You may remove the lanky growth if the Rubber Plant has already become too tall in order to promote branching. Trim the top off when the Rubber Plants reaches a maximum height of four feet in order to create a more compact shrub-like Rubber Plants. By chopping off a piece of the plant and planting it in soil or water, you may easily reproduce a rubber plants. It is important to note that the rubber plants sap is sticky, hence it is advised that pruning be done with gloves on. Additionally, just prune roughly one-third to one-half of the plant’s branches in order to prevent over-pruning. You can take good care of your rubber plants and make sure it remains strong and bushy by using the advice in this article.

How to Force Side Shoots on a Rubber Tree

If rubber trees don’t get enough light or aren’t trimmed appropriately, they may become lanky or stalky. Notching the trunk or branches of a rubber tree is one approach to induce side shoots. Making a tiny, shallow incision into the plant tissue directly above a node—where a leaf joins the stem—is known as notching. Auxin, a plant hormone that promotes the development of new shoots and leaves, is stimulated by this procedure.

Pruning the rubber tree’s lateral branches is another method for encouraging side sprouts. The plant’s central region experiences new growth as a consequence of pruning, giving it a bushier look. The rubber tree’s development may be directed and side branches can arise by staking and tying new growth.

It’s crucial to give a rubber tree strong light and regular watering if you want it to become bushier. The environment surrounding the plant may be made more humid to encourage healthy development. A rubber tree’s side shoots may be induced with the use of notching, trimming, and staking, among other techniques.

How to Trim a Large Rubber Tree

Pruning large Rubber Tree include cutting the trunk above nodes to promote side shoots, pruning off side shoots for upward development, and trimming the whole crown to the desired height. You may trim a rubber plant often to keep it bushy and the desired size. During the active growth season, which is normally from early spring to early summer, pruning should be done. You may take stem cuttings from your rubber tree that have at least one leaf on top and root them in compost. Although trimming is not required, it may promote bushier growth. It’s crucial to use gloves and cover your floor with newspaper while trimming your rubber tree since the sap that pours out might be sticky and hurt flooring.

Cutting Leaves off Rubber Plant

Cutting Leaves off Rubber Plant may promote bushier growth and preserve size. At any time of the year, trim your Rubber Plant by removing any dead leaves or branches. Late spring or early summer are the best times for extensive trimming. When pruning, use gloves since the sticky sap of the Rubber Plants will start to pour from the wounds you make. When pruning, cut slightly above a node, the point where a leaf joins a stem, or the branching point of another stem. Once your Rubber Plant has reached the proper height, Cut Off the top set of leaves before the node to make it bushier. To promote branching out, it is essential to make the cut before to the node rather than later. The active growth season, which runs from early spring to early summer, is the ideal time to trim your Rubber Plant. To prevent halting photosynthesis, never remove more than one-third of a plant’s leaves. To make a clean cut while pruning, use a sharp blade or clean plant scissors.

Rubber Plant Cutting in Water

Cuttings from rubber trees may be propagated in water, however this method may not be as dependable as propagation on soil. A stem from the original plant should be cut and placed in fresh water every week. The cuttings should have strong root systems by five to six months. The cuttings are prone to rotting in water, so take care not to allow them. Before putting the cuttings in the water, they should have at least two nodes and be free of the bottom leaves. You may put the cuttings in soil after the roots are one to two inches long. When working with rubber tree cuttings, keep in mind to use gloves since the sap might irritate the skin.

Frequently Asked questions

  1. How often should I water my rubber plant?

The ideal moisture level for rubber plant is wet but not soggy. When the top inch of soil seems dry, water your plant. This can be once a week or once every other week, depending on the humidity levels in your house.

  1. How do I know if my rubber plant is getting too much or too little light?

The leaves of your rubber plant may become yellow or burned if it receives too much light. Its leaves might turn brown and drop off if it doesn’t get enough light. Place your plant next to a window that offers lots of light but isn’t in direct sunlight since rubber plants love bright, indirect light.

  1. Can I propagate my rubber plant in water instead of soil?

You can grow your rubber plant in water rather than soil, thus the answer is yes. Take a cutting and put it in a jar of water to accomplish this. Wait for the roots to develop while changing the water every several days. You may put the cutting in soil after the roots have grown to a length of a few inches.

  1. How often should I fertilize my rubber plant?

Rubber plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but you may feed them once a month with a balanced fertilizer throughout the growth season (spring and summer). Make careful to adhere to the directions on the container for the fertilizer.

  1. What should I do if my rubber plant is getting too tall?

You may trim your rubber plant to maintain it at a moderate height if it becomes too tall. Use clean, sharp pruning tools, and wait until the plant has grown to the appropriate height before cutting off the top. To stimulate the plant to produce more lateral branches and become bushier, you may also try notching or pinching.

  1. Can I cut the leaves of my rubber plant?

If your rubber plant’s leaves are dying or becoming yellow, you may clip them off. Avoid removing too many leaves at once however, since this might stress the plant. It is advisable to use pruning shears to make exact cuts if you wish to shape your plant.

  1. How often should I repot my rubber plant?

Rubber plants don’t need frequent repotting since they want to be somewhat root-bound. Every two to three years or when it outgrows its present container, you may repot your plant. Use a container with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix.

  1. Can I grow my rubber plant outdoors?

Since they are tropical plants, rubber plants are not frost-resistant. Although they may be grown outside in warm, humid conditions, they are usually cultivated inside. To avoid shock, acclimatize your rubber plant carefully before moving it outside during the summer.

  1. Why are the leaves on my rubber plant turning yellow?

A rubber plant’s yellowing leaves may indicate overwatering, underwatering, or inadequate lighting. Examine the moisture content of the soil, then alter your watering plan as necessary. Make sure your plant isn’t in direct sunlight and is receiving adequate light.

  1. Can I use a humidifier to help my rubber plants?

Yes, rubber plants love high amounts of humidity. A humidifier may be used to assist raise the humidity level in the area surrounding your plant. As an alternative, you may periodically spritz your plant or put a tray of water close by to assist raise the humidity.


I hope you find this article “Can You Cut the Top off Your Rubber Plant” helpful. With the proper care, rubber plants make a stunning addition to any house or workplace and may flourish for many years. Pruning is an excellent approach to shape your plant if you want to. Always use clean, sharp trimming tools and wait until your rubber plant has grown to the proper height before removing the top. Your rubber plant will thrive and enhance your environment if you give it the right care.

Related Posts:

How To Prune a Jade Plant (Young and Very Large Branches Trim)

How to Prune Wandering Jew – Tradescantia Cutting Guide

How to Prune Polka dot Plant – Trimming Hypoestes Guide(WITH CARE)

Should I Cut Drooping Snake Plant Leaves? 5 Reasons and FAQS

© 2024 All rights reserved. This content is protected by copyright. Visit for more information.

Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

Recent Posts