rubber plant pruning
Hello - I've read the article on this website regarding pruning of a rubber tree; however, it doesn't quite answer my question. I inherited a 10 year old, very leggy, rubber tree from my sister today. The plant has five very long, thick (1-3") branches varying in length from between 3 and 4 feet. Each branch has a large cluster of leaves running from between 6-12 inches of the top of the branch. The main trunk is about 6" in diameter. The branches are all practically parallel from the floor and take up an enormous amount of room.
Question: Can I do a very severe pruning to the plant? I'd like to cut the branches back by about 2-3 feet, but this would obviously eliminate the leaves. Given its age, can I expect the plant to generate new growth after such a harsh pruning?? Thanks much for your assistance.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You really don't want to remove more than 1/3 of the plant per year. Any more than that and the plant can go into shock and die.
If you only take off a 1/3, it will recover quickly and will start to have new grow relatively soon.