Can you propagate rubber plant in water?

Yes, you can propagate a rubber plant in water. To do so, take a stem cutting with at least two nodes and remove the lower leaves. Place the cutting in a jar of water, ensuring that the bottom node is submerged. Change the water weekly and wait for roots to develop before transplanting into soil.

Can you propagate rubber plant in water?

Rubber tree propagation and tropical houseplants propagation have become increasingly popular as people look to add greenery to their indoor spaces. Rubber plants, in particular, have gained a following due to their attractive foliage and low maintenance requirements. However, buying new plants can be expensive and challenging, especially if you’re looking for a specific species. That’s where propagation comes in – by learning how to propagate rubber plants in water, you can expand your collection and ensure you have the exact plant you want.

As a plant expert with experience in rubber plant growing conditions, I’ve helped many plant enthusiasts successfully propagate their rubber plants. In this step-by-step guide, I’ll walk you through the process of propagating rubber plants in water, covering the different methods of propagation, preparing your cuttings, rooting them in water, using rooting hormone, potting your cuttings, and caring for your new plants. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced plant propagator, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to propagate your rubber plants with ease.

To successfully propagate your rubber plants, it’s important to understand the ideal growing conditions for these tropical houseplants. Rubber plants, which are a type of ficus elastica, thrive in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil or soilless potting mix. Additionally, they prefer humid conditions, so misting your plants regularly or using a humidifier can help promote growth. By following the steps outlined in this guide and providing your propagated rubber plants with the proper care, you can achieve a high success rate and enjoy the beauty of these stunning plants in your home.

Benefits of Propagating Rubber Plants in Water

Propagating rubber plants in water has become increasingly popular amongst plant enthusiasts due to its numerous benefits. Here are some of the key advantages of propagating rubber plants in water:

Faster Rooting

One of the primary benefits of propagating rubber plants in water is that it often results in faster rooting. When you propagate in soil, it can take a few weeks for roots to develop, but when propagating in water, roots can often start to form within a week or two. This is because water provides a moist and oxygenated environment that is ideal for root development.

Easier Monitoring

When propagating rubber plants in water, it is easier to monitor the development of roots. You can see the progress of the root growth as it happens, which allows you to adjust the conditions accordingly. For example, if you notice that the roots are getting too long, you can transplant the cutting into soil to prevent the roots from becoming waterlogged.

Higher Success Rate

Water propagation can also increase the success rate of propagating rubber plants. Because you can monitor the roots and adjust the conditions as needed, you can catch any issues early on and take action before they become a major problem. Additionally, water propagation can be less stressful on the cutting than propagating in soil, which can lead to a higher success rate.


Lastly, propagating rubber plants in water can be a cost-effective way to expand your plant collection. You don’t need to purchase any special soil or equipment, and all you need is a glass or jar filled with water to get started.

Propagating rubber plants in water can be a great option for plant enthusiasts looking to expand their collection. In the next section, we’ll go over how to select the perfect cutting for propagation.

Selecting a Cutting

Rubber plants can be propagated from stem cuttings, which are sections of the plant’s stem that can be grown into a new plant. When selecting a cutting for propagation, it’s important to choose a healthy and mature section of stem.

Choosing a Healthy Rubber Plant Cutting

Look for a stem section that’s healthy and free of any signs of disease or damage. Choose a cutting that’s at least 4-6 inches long, with several leaves attached.

Avoid selecting a cutting from a newly-planted or stressed rubber plant, as the plant may not have enough energy to support the cutting.

Selecting a Mature Cutting

Choose a stem section that’s mature, meaning it’s at least several months old and has developed a woody texture. Young, tender stems may not have enough energy or nutrients to root successfully.

Making the Cut

Using a sharp, sterilized pruning tool, make a clean cut just below a node, which is the point where leaves or buds emerge from the stem. The cutting should be about 4-6 inches long and include at least two nodes.

Avoid crushing or damaging the stem during the cutting process, as this can prevent successful rooting.

Optional: Using Rooting Hormone

You can apply rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem to encourage faster rooting. However, this is optional and not necessary for successful propagation.

By following these steps, you can select a healthy and mature cutting for water propagation and increase your chances of success. In the next section, we’ll cover how to prepare the cutting for water propagation.

Preparing the Cutting for Water Propagation

Before you begin propagating your rubber plant cutting in water, it’s important to properly prepare the cutting to maximize your chances of success. Follow these steps to prepare your cutting for water propagation:

Step 1: Choose the Right Cutting

Select a healthy cutting that is at least 6 inches long and has a few leaves on it. Make sure that the cutting is taken from a healthy rubber plant and that it’s free of pests or diseases. Use a clean and sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2: Remove the Lower Leaves

Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving only the top few leaves intact. The bottom of the cutting should be free of any leaves or nodes. This will help prevent the cutting from rotting in the water.

Step 3: Dip the Cutting in Rooting Hormone (Optional)

Although it’s not necessary, dipping the cutting in rooting hormone can help speed up the rooting process. Simply dip the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone and gently tap off any excess powder.

Step 4: Prepare the Water Container

Fill a clean and clear container with room temperature water. Make sure that the water level is deep enough to cover the bottom inch of the cutting. You can also add a few drops of liquid fertilizer to the water to provide extra nutrients for the cutting.

Step 5: Place the Cutting in Water

Carefully place the prepared cutting in the water container, making sure that the bottom of the cutting is submerged in the water. Use rocks or pebbles to weigh down the cutting if necessary. Make sure that the container is placed in a bright, warm, and humid location but avoid direct sunlight.

You can effectively propagate a new, healthy rubber plant by following these instructions on how to get your rubber plant cutting ready for water propagation.

We’ll go over how to propagate your cutting in water and take care of it while it’s roots in the following part.

Propagating the Cutting in Water

Once you have prepared your rubber plant cutting for propagation, it’s time to propagate it in water. This process involves placing the cutting in a container filled with water, where it will grow roots before being transplanted into soil. Here are the steps to follow:

Materials Needed:

  • Rubber plant cutting
  • Clear glass or jar
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Plastic wrap or a plastic bag

Step 1: Place the Cutting in Water

  • Fill a clear glass or jar with room temperature water.
  • Carefully place the cutting into the water, ensuring that at least one node is submerged.
  • If necessary, use a weight to keep the cutting upright and submerged.

Step 2: Cover the Container

  • Cover the container with plastic wrap or a plastic bag to create a humid environment.
  • This will prevent the water from evaporating too quickly and keep the cutting moist.

Step 3: Place in Indirect Light

  • Place the container in a location with indirect light.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause the water to heat up and damage the cutting.

Step 4: Monitor the Cutting

  • Check on the cutting regularly to ensure that the water level is sufficient and the cutting remains healthy.
  • Change the water every 2-3 days to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold.
  • Be patient! It can take several weeks for the cutting to grow roots.

Step 5: Transplant the Rooted Cutting

  • Once the cutting has grown roots that are at least an inch long, it is ready to be transplanted into soil.
  • Gently remove the cutting from the water and plant it in a pot filled with well-draining soil.

You can successfully propagate your rubber plant in water by adhering to these guidelines. 

To guarantee that the cutting develops healthy roots, keep in mind to be patient and check on it frequently. 

Good fortune!

Transplanting the Rooted Cutting

Once your rubber plant cutting has developed a healthy root system in water, it’s time to transplant it into soil. Here are the steps you should follow to ensure a successful transplant:

Step 1: Choose the Right Soil

Choosing the right soil is crucial for the growth of your newly propagated rubber plant. Rubber plants prefer well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter. You can use a commercial potting mix or create your own by mixing equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Step 2: Choose the Right Pot

Choose a pot that’s slightly larger than the root ball of your rubber plant cutting. A pot that’s too large can cause the soil to retain too much moisture, which can lead to root rot. Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.

Step 3: Transplant the Cutting

Gently remove the rubber plant cutting from the water and rinse off any excess water. Place the cutting into the prepared pot, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. Add more soil around the cutting, gently pressing down to ensure good soil-to-root contact.

Step 4: Water and Care for Your New Plant

After transplanting, give your rubber plant a good drink of water. Be careful not to overwater, as this can also lead to root rot. Place the pot in a bright, indirect light and avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves of your rubber plant.

Step 5: Monitor Growth and Health

Keep an eye on your newly transplanted rubber plant over the next few weeks. The plant may experience some shock after being transplanted, so it’s normal for it to look a little droopy or wilted at first. As long as you continue to provide the right amount of water, light, and nutrients, your rubber plant should recover and begin to grow new leaves.

You can effectively transplant a rubber plant cutting that has roots and give it a new home in soil by following these instructions. 

Your newly propagated rubber plant will continue to flourish and develop into a lovely and healthy plant with the right care and attention.

Can you propagate rubber plant in water Summary

Propagating rubber plants in water is a great way to grow your collection of these beautiful and versatile houseplants. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this post, you can easily propagate rubber plants in water and enjoy the benefits of faster rooting and easier monitoring.

One of the main benefits of propagating rubber plants in water is that it allows you to monitor the progress of the cutting more closely. As the roots develop, you can see them growing and changing, which can be both exciting and informative. Additionally, water propagation tends to be faster than other methods, which means you’ll have a new plant to enjoy sooner.

When selecting a cutting for propagation, be sure to choose a healthy stem with at least a few leaves and a node. The node is where the roots will emerge, so it’s an essential part of the cutting. Once you’ve prepared the cutting for water propagation, it’s important to keep it in a bright, warm location out of direct sunlight. You should also change the water frequently to prevent bacteria growth.

Once your rubber plant cutting has developed a healthy root system, it’s time to transplant it into soil. Choose a pot with well-draining soil and make sure to water the plant thoroughly after planting. From there, you can care for your new rubber plant just like any other and enjoy its beauty for years to come.

Propagating rubber plants in water is a rewarding and straightforward process that any plant lover can try. So why not give it a shot and see for yourself? We hope this post has been helpful and informative, and we look forward to hearing about your success in propagating rubber plants in water!