To prune a rubber plant to make bushy you should know when to prune them, remove all unwanted branches, reduce the height, propagate, prune regularly and maintain your plants. Rubber trees of the Euphorbiaceae family will become bushier when you prune their leaves and stems, so concentrate on those areas.Prune a Rubber Plant To Make Bushy

Aside from pruning rubbers, you still have other options to make your rubbers bushy. Read this article to learn the best tips for pruning your beautiful rubbers as well as other ways to make them bushy.

How to Prune a Rubber Plant and Make It Bushy in 6 Steps?

To prune a rubber plant to make it bushy in six steps you should firstly know when to prune them, remove all unwanted branches from the plant, reduce the height, propagate stem cuttings, prune regularly and maintain your rubber plants.

1. Know When to Prune Your Rubbers

You do not want to prune your rubber tree plants at the wrong time of the year. If you do not select the best time of the year to prune your plants, they may not recover after pruning them.Know When to Prune Rubbers

The best time of the year to prune your rubbers is during the spring or summer months. Prune the rubbers so that they can have enough time to grow new leaves and heal before winter comes.

Spring is the best season to prune your rubbers so that the plants can grow without the stress of pruning throughout the year. However, you can prune the plants whenever you are free. Just make sure that you prune them in their active growing season.

2. Remove Every Unwanted Branch From the Plant

Take a few steps backward and look at your ficus elastica plant. How many unwanted or dead branches can you see? Prune them off the plant.

Also, prune leggy rubber plant branches and stems because they are already weak and may die very soon. Aside from making your plants bushy, another purpose of pruning them is to keep them healthy.

Make sure that you keep the plant clean and healthy by removing every discolored, weak, and dying branch. After pruning them off, check the plant again to make sure that no unwanted branches are remaining.

3. Reduce the Height of Tall Stems

Pruning a stem will make your ficus elastica bushy, as multiple stems might grow from the node of the former (pruned) stems. However, pruning your rubber plants is not complete when you are yet to give the plants your desired height.

While you want your rubbers to be bushy, you also want them to look clean, presentable, and generally beautiful. This is why you should know how tall you want your plants to get and prune them if they get taller than your preferred height.

4. Propagate Stem Cuttings

After making your rubber plant bushy by pruning it, you’d notice that you have a lot of pruned stems and branches. While you can easily dispose of the branches, try to replant them in the same pot so that the plants can look very bushy in the pot.

Plant propagation for rubbers is very easy. You just need to replant the branches in the substrate and water it regularly. If you have a rooting hormone, use it to boost root production in the branches. However, you just need to water the cuttings regularly and they will produce roots and leaves in less than a month.

5. Make Leaves Bushier By Pruning Them Often

Now, you know that cutting the branches can make the plant look bushier. You can take it a step further by pruning the plant leaves often. When you see leaves curling, weak, discolored, or dying, remove them quickly. Also, remove the branches with discolored leaves.

Removing these leaves will make room for fresher and greener leaves. This means that if your rubbers look like they have scanty leaves and the leaves look weak, you can fix them by removing the branches with weak leaves.

New leaves will form in a few days. It is now up to you to maintain these leaves so that your rubbers can stay bushy.

6. Maintain Your Rubber Plants

Pruning your rubbers is one thing, maintaining them is another. While pruning the plants gives them the chance to become bushy, they can only stay bushy when you grow them in the right conditions.Maintaining Rubber Plants

Some things to consider are:

  • Light: A rubber plant needs full sun to grow. However, it can also grow in partial shade. Even if you are growing the plants as indoor plants, grow them in direct sunlight.
  • Water: Water the plants regularly and never allow their potting mix to go dry. They should grow in consistently moist substrates.
  • Fertilizer: To make your rubber plant bushier, fertilize it with nitrogen-rich fertilizers.

How to Prune Your Rubber Tree Without Problems?

To prune your rubber without problems we should use only sterilized tools, wear gloves to protect yourself, remove dead leaves and branches, don’t prune and repot in the same sitting – to prevent shock – and prune unwanted roots when repotting the plants.

1. Use Only Sterilized Tools

If you expose your rubber plant to harmful microbes, it may not survive after you prune it. This is why you should only use sterilized tools. Disinfect your shears and other pruning tools before you start pruning your rubber plant.Using Only Sterilized Pruning Tools

You can disinfect the tools by soaking them in a solution made of nine-parts water and one-part bleach for 30 minutes. You can also leave them in boiling water for a few minutes. Make sure that the tools are completely dry before you use them.

Also, disinfect your tools after using them to prune sick plants. Do not prune a healthy plant after pruning a sick one without disinfecting the tools.

2. Wear Gloves

Prevent rubber plant sap dripping all over your hands by wearing gloves. Gloves will also keep your hands safe from the pointy stems and branches of your rubbers.

3. Remove Dead Leaves and Branches Throughout the Year

You do not need to wait until spring or summer before removing dead leaves and branches. Only wait for the active season to prune your plants if you want to make them bushy. The leaves and branches are already dead, so pruning them off will not stress your plants.

Leaving dead parts still attached to your rubbers can be wasteful, as the plants may still send nutrients to those parts. This is why you should remove them as soon as you see them and not wait for a particular season.

4. Do Not Prune and Repot the Rubber Plants at Once

Both pruning and repotting rubber trees are stressful to the plants, so do one at a time and never both at once. You can prune them first and then wait for new leaves to grow before repotting them.

However, you can also repot them and wait until they have adapted to their new container and substrate before you prune them. Just make sure that they heal from one activity before you do the other.

5. Prune Unwanted Roots When Repotting the Plants

One awesome plant care guide to make rubbers healthy is to remove sick or weak roots while repotting them. When you remove them from their current pots, examine their roots and remove the discolored and sick ones.Prune Unwanted Roots When Repotting Rubber Plants

Removing the roots will make your plants healthier, repel some harmful microbes from the soil, and boost water and nutrient uptake by the plants. Your palms will get bushier when they have only healthy roots.

Frequently Asked Questions

– Is Pruning the Only Method To Make Rubber Plants Bushy?

No, pruning is not the only method to make rubber plants bushy. You can make your plants bushier when you regularly fertilize and propagate them. This is why you also propagate and fertilize your plants after pruning them. Propagate the stem cuttings in the same pot.

– How Can You Fix Over-pruned Rubber Plants?

To fix over-pruned rubber plants, transfer their pots to a cool spot. The plants are already stressed, so do not stress them any further. Continue watering and caring for them for some days until you see new leaves growing. Seeing new leaves is proof that your plants will heal.

As a general rule, do not wait until the substrate of your recently-pruned plants is dry before you water them. Also, ensure that they get at least five hours of sunlight daily. However, shade them from the hot afternoon sun.


Pruning rubber plants will be super easy for you now, right? Before you start pruning, here are some reminders from the article:

  • Before you prune rubber plants, wait until the spring or summer months.
  • Encourage the growth of more leaves by regularly removing old and weak leaves from your plants.
  • The plants prefer full sun. However, they can grow in bright indirect light as well.
  • These beautiful plants grow to become bushy when you regularly fertilize and propagate them.
  • If you over-pruned your rubbers, move them to a cool spot and avoid stressing them until you see new leaves forming.

Congratulations, as you are ready. Make sure to stick to the rubber plant care tips in the article.

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