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Rubber Tree - indoors

Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 134
I have a rubber tree which is about the fourth or fifth generation of the original plant, which I acquired about 40 years ago.  Each new plant has been air rooted in sphagnum moss as the existing plant has outgrown the space, usually reaching the ceiling, or ended up with long empty stems at the bottom. This was taken last year and is growing really well, but has developed what I think are aerial roots.  As can be seen in the photos, these are quite long.  They have appeared on the bottom half of the plant, with, as yet nothing on the top section.  

 They are growing quite quickly and my question is what do I do with them.  If I leave them will they just continue to grow? Do I cut them off? Please can anyone help with advise as to what to do.  The plant looks healthy and I do not want to lose it.  Thanks 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 60,694
    edited October 2019
    Not something I’ve experienced but research reveals that aerial roots grow when the ficus is growing healthily and the atmosphere is moist (as this is what the ficus likes).

    I also suspect that as your current ‘tree’ is actually quite mature as in fact it’s the top of a 40+ year old tree, it has reached the age when aerial roots are more likely. 

    Mr Google reveals that these aerial roots are highly prized by growers of bonsai ficus, (and maybe by others ... I’ve not been able to establish)  and if the plant is happy the roots reach down to soil level, growing thicker and adding to the appearance of the plant. 

    Fascinating 😊 hope that helps. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Novice23Novice23 East SussexPosts: 134
    Gosh, thanks Dovefromabove.  I am delighted that the plant is happy.  Had not even thought about it still being part of the original plant - not sure that my brain can take that in.   I do keep it quite moist, rather than the soil being actually wet.  

    At the moment as you can see from the photo these are growing straight out, perhaps they will begin to turn down.  I am assuming that cutting them back is a bad idea...

    Thanks again for all the information, 
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