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Ficus Tineke is a new variegated rubber plant that is making its way on the market with its highly patterned glossy leaves and fast-growing characteristic.
It is a specimen heavily used for landscape design and interior decoration. So if you’re up for more info about this variegated rubber plant, you’re in the right place!
About Ficus Tineke
Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ is a fresh variety of burgundy-colored rubber trees (Ficus elastica). Its stunning mix of pink, green, and white on its foliage certainly gives off that fresh tropical vibe.
The majority of Ficus plants have originated in Southeast Asia, particularly in India and Indonesia. The majority of ficus is considered to be outdoor plants. However, they can be planted indoors provided with the right amount of care.
The Ficus tineke is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Moraceae. It thrives in a wide range of growing conditions. On rare occasions, the plant will develop simple white flowers.
Caring for Ficus Tineke Plant
While the plant may appear overwhelming at a first glance, this variegated rubber tree is beginner-friendly. It is even considered a fairly low-maintenance houseplant.
With the correct placement, sufficient water, and bright light, your Ficus elastica tineke will do just fine.
Best Soil Mixture for Rubber Plants
The Ficus Tineke prefers light, well-draining moist soil. However, it can also tolerate heavy clay, sandy soil, and loamy soil. The only important thing to remember is to never let your rubber plant sit on soggy soil for long periods of time.
Waterlogged soil condition predisposes the plant to root rot which can affect overall plant health. Always use a pot container with drainage holes.
Ficus tineke grows well on a slightly acidic and alkaline growing medium. You can attain the perfect soil mix by mixing one part peat moss, one part pine bark, and one part perlite.
Preferred Light Condition
Ficus Tineke leaves are quite critical when it comes to the amount of light they receive. Too little light will cause the leaves to drop.
Ideally, a bright light proves to enhance the color patterns found in the variegated ficus. If they are grown indoors, find a good spot that receives an adequate amount of light to keep your rubber plant happy.
If you are to grow ficus tineke as outdoor plants, just be sure to place them away from direct sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause unattractive scorching of the leaves.
So be sure to provide your plant with just enough light to keep them vibrant.
Watering Requirement to Avoid Root Rot
Ficus elastica is typically watered once a week. Before watering, check first for soil moisture and water only if the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
When the hot and dry season arrives, you may water the plant to keep the soil moist. But during the winter months, you may need to water less frequently.
There are several factors that can affect how often should you water your Ficus tineke plant: a warm temperature can cause moisture to quickly evaporate from the soil. So, you need to water more often but do not overwater them since it can cause the to leaves drop. Seasonal changes can affect the watering cycle, and ficus plants growing in a larger pot can hold more moisture and thus may require less watering.
Pro tip: Always use room temp filtered tap water for your rubber plants, this will prevent any chemicals from accumulating in the soil.
Temperature & Humidity
Ficus elastica tineke performs well at USDA hardiness zone 10 and 11. If grown indoors, it is said that average room temperatures of 60 – 75°F (15 – 24°C) work just fine.
But avoid lower temperatures (< 12°C), because a series of observations indicate that when variegated rubber trees are exposed to sudden temperature drops, they will shed leaves as a response.
In addition, ficus tineke grows well at an average household humidity. However, the optimum level required by the plant is between 50 – 75 %.
Some of the tips to improve and increase air moisture levels are regular misting, use of a pebble tray, and installation of humidifiers near your ficus plant.
Feeding Ficus Tineke
You may fertilize your Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ on a monthly basis. However, it’s important to note that this is not entirely necessary when growing rubber plants.
During the growing season, you may feed the plant with a mild liquid fertilizer in order to promote more growth and vigorous foliage.
Most variegated rubber tree plants are light feeders. They can ultimately thrive without the need for one. But extra nutrition goes a long way. Hence the recommended period for adding fertilizer is at least once or twice a month.
Note: Opt for natural fertilizers and soil conditioners that can improve both soil nutrients and structure such as green manure, eggshells, and vermicast. Do not use cheap fertilizers as this can later accumulate in the soil.
How to Propagate Ficus Tineke?
Wondering how you can eventually multiply your variegated rubber tree? Well, there are two common methods by which you can easily propagate the plant: through the use of stem cuttings or air layering.
Cuttings: Choose a healthy stem about 12 inches long with at least 3-4 leaves and begin cutting using sharp or sterile pruning shears.
Afterward, you may place the cuttings in the water and allow them to sit for a couple of days. You may also use a rooting hormone to hasten root growth.
Air layering: You can induce rooting on a thicker plant stem while still attached to the parent plant by cincturing or girdling to disrupt the flow of assimilates. Later, a potting media is placed above the wound and will be covered to retain moisture.
With any success, the cuttings and the layered stem will form roots within 6 to 8 weeks. Also, propagating may become a bit tricky due to the presence of an oozing latex substance. Avoid prolonged contact as this can cause skin irritation and wash your hands immediately.
Ficus Tineke Varieties and Similar Plants
Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’
The Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’ is a modern type of rubber plant with a distinct appearance. It features a wider set of leaves with a more glossy texture. It’s a moderately fast-growing variety and can grow from 30 cm to 2 m in height.
The rubber plant robusta is one of the best air-purifying plants that you can find. It’s also a low-maintenance houseplant that does well under bright indirect sunlight – but can also tolerate lower light conditions.
Ficus elastica ‘Decora’
A relatively easy to care for the plant, the Ficus Decora boasts dark, rubbery, and glossy leaves. It can tolerate a wide range of light conditions but also prefers a well-draining and well-aerated potting mix.
Rubber plants in general do not like excess water, so water your Decora plant only when the soil already feels dry to the touch. Also, make sure to use a pot container with sufficient drainage holes.
Along with other ficus varieties, the Decora is a perfect addition to all your decorative indoor plants.
Ficus elastica ‘Sophia’
The Ficus elastica ‘Sophia’ has a fascinating set of foliage. When young the leaves are light green in color, but as the plant matures, it turns into olive green.
This foliage plant can tolerate a bit of neglect but would grow optimally under bright indirect light. The plant also does well under normal room temperature and with a watering cycle of at least once a week.
However, similar to its other counterparts, the plant will not tolerate cold drafts. So when winter comes (if grown outdoor), be sure to bring inside your Ficus elastica to prevent frost damage.
Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’
Ficus ‘Doescheri’ is an evergreen plant that can grow over 4 meters tall. The plant is characterized by its dark green leaves with narrow creamy white margins and gray blotches.
The leaves, which can grow up to 35 cm, are held together by velvety stalks. Leaf buds are also oftentimes used for propagation and those semi-hardwood cuttings.
Doescheri rubber tree adores loamy soil and thrives under filtered light. Perfect as an indoor foliage plant, and as a specimen for patio garden.
Ficus elastica ‘Red Ruby’
The ‘Red Ruby’ is a cultivar related to tineke rubber plant, but unlike the latter, the Red Ruby features unique tri-colored variegation.
The leaves are broad and green with a pinkish tint running around the margin. Some light spots may also be seen while the venation ranges from deep red to burgundy. This fascinating variegation is usually enhanced upon exposure to adequate light.
Water once or twice a week, as the Red Ruby likes its soil a bit moist but not too soggy. The optimum temperature that needs to be maintained ranges from 60°F to 77 °F.
Pro tip: Rotating from time to time can help even out plant growth both indoors and outdoors. Note that any drastic change in temperature and humidity may cause immature leaf abscission.
Ficus Tineke Diseases & Pests
Some of the most common diseases and pests that any plant parent may encounter when growing Ficus elastica tineke are:
Bacterial Leaf Spot. Usually causes the formation of angular yellow blotches which turns into brown spots over time. The leaves eventually fall.
Feeding Insects. Examples of these are spider mites, fig wasps, plant scale, and mealybugs. As they feed, they tend to leave slimy residues and tiny openings that may become a passageway for fungal infection. The leaf tissues become pale and then later on die.
To prevent infestation and infection, be sure to use sterile equipment when pruning and cutting plant parts. Also, monitor the RH level and ensure that it won’t go beyond 80%.
It’s also a good practice to regularly dust off the plant using a damp cloth and frequently check the undersides of the leave. Opt for natural means of controlling pests such as using neem oil and citronella oil as a repellent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Ficus tineke has a relatively fast growth rate. Growing at least 60 cm every year. This, however, is greatly influenced by different environmental factors.
Leaf dropping is often attributed to overwatering. Water the plants only as needed and be sure to maintain optimum temperature (60-85 °F). Also, check for diseases that may cause drastic falling of the leaves.
Variegation in plants shows because of the lack of chlorophyll. Exposure to bright light enables the plant to photosynthesize, later on causing the production of more chlorophyll. Hence, the green coloration. Ficus tineke turning pink may be caused by more indirect light.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!