Sunday, 1 March 2015

Rubber plant

I'd had this plant since it was a few inches tall (about twelve years ago, a three-for-a-fiver offer at Homebase) and dutifully chopped off all the sideways branches so that it would grow nice and straight (which it did).

Problem was, it grew so high it touched the ceiling, so it got relegated to the stairwell a few years ago. It didn't get enough light there, so most of the leaves fell off, apart from at the very top and on a stray branch at the bottom and one half way up.

So I have just chopped it off just above the bottom branch, repotted it vertically and will now start again.

Ho hum, we'll see:

14 comments:

The Stigler said...

Did you look at selling it? I once got a tenner for a yucca via the classified ads (and that was about 20 years ago). Some people want a plant for their homes without having to wait to grow it (I should grow bay trees likewise, considering what garden centres charge for big ones).

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, sell it? No the thought never occurred to me, it's like a child I've looked after for twelve years (apart from the few years when I didn't). Plants don't like being moved, not even from the front room to the hall.

TheFatBigot said...

It's looking very leggy - always a sign of lack of light.

When things warm up outside it will benefit from real sunlight. At the moment it is starved of light and growing tall to try to find as much as possible.

Take it outside in the late spring and summer, wipe its leaves with a damp cloth first (some people recommend using milk on the cloth, other just water)but they must be cleaned to maximise photosynthesis.

You did the right thing by shortening it, it encourages leafy growth from all leaf nodes exposed to light and will give a bushier plant. But unless you take it outside to get lots of real sunlight it will just go leggy again.

In autumn it will be perfectly happy outside provided the temperature is above about 5 degree C.

In April give it a little extra boost by scraping the top inch of compost out of the pot and replacing it with an inch of fresh compost. This provides additional nutrients and reduced the plant's temptation to shed lower leaves when it feels a bit short of light.

The 2015 series of Gardeners' World starts next Friday, I can't wait.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TFB, thanks, but that plant's never been outside in its life (except for when I brought it home from the shop).

It clearly didn't get enough light in the hallway, poor thing, which is why all the leaves fell off.

But it seemed to get enough light near the front window, which is where it was for five years and whence I have now returned it.

Lola said...

Nice looking home you got there Mr W.

James Higham said...

Nifty lighting scheme you have going there, Mark.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, i should hope so, seeing how much it cost.

JH, the lighting is excruciatingly 1970s kitsch. And not in a good way.

Lola said...

MW Ha Ha. And, well, yes. But I was really commenting on how you'd made it look. I have a deep respect for someone, or even especially a family, that organises its shoes so well.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, my wife is from Malaysia, they have a thing about not-wearing-shoes-in-the-house and also stacking them all up by the front door to show off how many pairs they own (see also: Imelda Marcos).

Lola said...

Ah.

Lola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DBC Reed said...

This rubber plant episode is a bit of a re-run of the tragic spider plant(s) vs MW face-off of 2009-10 when MW declared it was up to the spider plants to look after themselves even when left outdoors in winter or without water!

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, no it's not. I love and care for my rubber plant and hope it revive itself.

The spider plants came free with a house I bought and I ran an experiment - the answer was they can survive about two years without light, warmth or water.

Dinero said...

- The rubber plant , yes that will work