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Rubber Plant » Indoor Plant Consultant | New York, NY | (917) 887-8601

Rubber Plant

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Question:

My rubber plant is about 2 1/2 years old. The lower part of the stem looks like it’s dying it looks like tree bark but the upper part is green. Is it dying? We just repotted it about 3 weeks ago.

Answer:

It is a normal part of the aging process for lower stems to develop bark as they age. Newer stems are green but will also develop bark over time. Nothing to worry about.

However, your decision to repot is worrisome. Unnecessary repotting is the single most common cause of plant failure. Plants do best when kept moderately potbound. Many things can go wrong when a plant is repotted. The pot may be too big and hold too much soil. The tiny roothairs may get damaged and they do most of the work. It is important to match the new potting mix with the existing potting soil. It is never a good idea to add “drainage material” to the bottom of the pot. Few people know how to repot properly, so there is a good chance you have not done it correctly.

Repotting is bit complicated for me to go into here, but you should be aware that any problems you have over the course of the next several months can probably be attributed to the repotting you did.

I am sorry that I may have relieved you of one problem, but introduced you to another one.