Tag Archives: rubber tree


Either I’m a glutton for punishment or I’m just stubborn. I don’t want to give up on things I really like.

I bought myself two Thanksgiving cactus a few weeks ago at Tiny Flower, one with red blooms and one with pink.

The red blooms dropped in transit but there are still plenty of pink ones

I’ve owned and killed two (or was it three?) full plants over the past two years and I haven’t been able to start new plants from leaf cuttings. When I bought these, I regaled the lady behind the counter with stories of  my failure with this plant and asked for tips of how to keep it alive. She said not to water too much; that’s usually what kills them. Once every 3 weeks is good enough. So that’s the plan. Fingers crossed that these two will make it.

To my horror, my prized pilea dropped all its leaves after I moved it away from the window when the temperatures started dropping.

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Growth picked up in September. At it’s healthiest, it had 10 to 12 leaves

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It looks done for, doesn’t it?

I was upset but couldn’t bring myself to toss it, especially after building up the courage to ask for it.

I convinced myself that perhaps this was normal. I noticed earlier this year that my rubber plant was dropping leaves. Eventually it stabilized after forming a trunk. I thought perhaps the pilea was doing the same thing.

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You can see where the leaves used to be. Many dropped but there were new leaves at the top of the plant

So I brought it to work to get more light and low and behold, new leaves are forming!

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Patience is a virtue!

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Dumpster dive

For the past couple of years I’ve been saving cuttings from our office rubber tree (ficus elastica), rooting them, and giving them away as gifts. This year I had to dumpster dive for them (I couldn’t get to them before someone poured coffee all over the leaves, but that could easily be wiped off).

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Amaryllis taking centre stage while rubber tree cuttings try to make roots in the background. Just stick the cuttings in water and wait until they make roots before you stick them in well-draining soil. Don’t let the roots get too long or they might break as you try to transplant them.

I gave away 5 cuttings in April/May and kept one for myself. I watched over one for a friend as a house warming present so I was able to compare the progress of hers and mine. Hers took off right away. It’s only been recently that mine has started to make new leaves, even though they are both in the same environment.

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I was expecting a flower to come out of the red part. Happy to see it was a new leaf!

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And one became three, yay!!! This is one of my favorite plants, I’m glad to see that it’s growing.

Don’t knock dumpster diving. You can really get lucky. Even the shabbiest plant can sometimes be saved and give you or someone else great joy.

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