How to help a rescue rubber tree?
I recently acquired a VERY sickly rubber tree from a colleague who had pretty much left it in the corner to die. The roots were completely exposed and sitting on top of dry soil, and I don't think it had been watered in weeks. I repotted it with fresh potting soil and placed it outside for the summer, watering it often. It has perked up tremendously and looks much healthier, but the only problem is that it consists of only one very tall, thin branch (about 3 feet of nothing but wood) topped with about 6 leaves. There is a very small branch with 4 leaves jutting out about 6 inches from the base of this main branch, but that's it. How do I get this plant to branch out from the bottom instead of just keep growing up? I have a picture to share if it will help. Thanks!
Speaking for rubber trees everywhere, thank you, you're a saint. Just keep on doing what you're doing, and let the poor thing relax for awhile. Lots of water and fresh air (I know you have it in a shady place) will allow it to grow new roots, and the leaves that it puts out will contribute to its strength. You can fertilize once a month with balanced fertilizer at 1/2 strength. When you take it in for the winter (make sure you do it before the first frost,) you'll need to reduce the water quite a bit, and stop fertilizing. I would just let it gather strength until next June. Then you can cut it back to the point that you would like to see it start to branch. You should be able to root the piece you cut off, so you'll have two rubber tree plants. This article has some more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/rubber-tree/how-to-care-for-a-rubber-tree-plant.htm