Staking Top Heavy House Plants
Hi this is Lori. I have a medium sized rubber tree plant that needs repotting
badly. The main reason is that it is leaning against my living room
wall. As soon as I move it I know it will fall because it has depended
on that wall for over a year now. I will be moving in a week and it
is a beautiful plant and I need to try to make it more sturdier when
I move across town but yet not kill it in the process. My mom has many
house plants but every time she tries to stake them so they don't fall
over, well they end up dead eventually. :-) Do you have any suggestions?
My thought was to use a dowel and some string, but I don't think string
would be the best idea. I look forward to your response.
I can't be sure of it, but I would guess that the failure of your mothers
plants was caused by damage to the root structure when she inserted the
stake into the pot. If your rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
top heavy enough that it tips the pot over, it's probably time for a larger
pot. The best time time to add a stake is when you are repotting, so that
you have control over any damage that is done to the roots. Rubber plants
will tolerate being planted a little deeper than their prior level. The
added depth will add stability to the plant. However if the plant isn't
due to be repotted, you can still add a stake. Rather than putting the
stake right next to the trunk as most people tend to do, it would be better
to slide it down the inside edge of the pot, and if necessary, add a T
which reaches the stem. Rather than using string as a tie, I recommend
using a length of an old nylon stocking because it will stretch as the
plant grows, rather than cutting into the stem, as string will do.
Loop each tie into a figure 8, with the crossed portion between the stem and the support to keep stems from rubbing or being choked.