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lee
Summarise your question here...is it possible to take a cutting from a ficus plant?(robusta,rubberplant)

Due to hard water our house plants have a hard surface and it dries plant & stem,i gently scraped this off so to breath but the stem is damaged,before it dies completely,is it possible to cut stem below leaf nodgals & start to root,i dont it to die,leaves are drooping & stem thinning,i scraped hard substance off but it didnt work,the plant is a rubber plant(ficus/elastica/robusta).Please help me,just need to know is there somewhere above soil level i can cut so nutrients can rise up as stem is drying & thinning,unsure.Is there a better way to adjust tap water ideal for houseplants,ive used vinegar to lower p.h,any tips as my plants hate the water,showing yellowing/brown leaaf tips.

Submitted: 09:41AM, 14 Feb 2013
Answer: Hi Lee,

Ficus robusta is a particularly tough plant and it would take a lot of mistreatment for it to die.

When you talk about a hard surface being present on the top of the soil, could it be a build up of salts from fertilisers that have been applied. Indoor plants should be fed with a fertiliser that has been specifically formulated to meet the needs of these plants. Yates have a product called Thrive Concentrate Houseplant Food which supply the necessary nitrogen and potassium indoor plants need for healthy foliage and flowers.

I wouldn’t recommend adding vinegar to the water to lower the pH. Test the pH of the soil – it should be between 6-7. Most potting mixes will be within that range.

Ensure that the water you are giving to your indoor plants is not excessive and that the soil is well drained. Always test the moisture level in the soil before giving more water. Leaves browing around the edges indicate that the soil is too moist.

You can certainly take cuttings from your ficus. At this time of the year, take top cuttings with wood that appears hardened off a little. Cut below the node on the stem and reduce or remove a good percent of the foliage to prevent the plant from losing moisture. Dip the cuttings into striking powder and plant the cuttings into a well drained propagating mix. Keep cuttings moist and out of direct sunlight until the roots start to grow and the cuttings show signs of putting on new growth.

Answered: 02:34PM, 18 Feb 2013

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