Rubber Plant Care – All You Need to Know

The rubber plant should be your choice if you like house plants that create an exotic, tropical vibe in the room!

Of course, you should also know more about rubber plant care!

It is a tree with big shiny leaves and beautiful dense roots. Although it isn’t exactly a low-maintenance plant, it won’t take you long to figure out the rubber plant’s basics needs. Besides, that is why I am here!

In this guide, I have summarized my knowledge about the rubber plant. I hope that I will make its cultivation easier for you. Let’s see what you should do to let the rubber tree thrive!

About Rubber Plant

Ficus elastica, also known as the Rubber plant, belongs to the group of banian or banyan. The banian group, however, is an epiphytic member of the fig family. The species is also known under other names such as rubber tree, or Indian rubber bush.

Rubber plant lives in Asia but it has accommodated in the state of Florida, as well!

You may be wondering how the rubber plant got its name. Well, it produces a sap that was once used to produce rubber.

In nature, it grows as a large tree up to 15 meters in height! It has extravagant, but strong areal roots.

The leaves are shiny, oval-shaped, and bigger in the younger trees. They can be plain green or variegated. There are over 1000 different rubber tree species, one of the most beautiful being the burgundy rubber plant.

It has an extraordinary leaf color, reddish leading to black.

The rubber tree is a fast-growing plant that will create an exotic mood wherever you place it!

Pro-Tip

If you decide to buy a rubber tree plant, do it while it is still young – it’ll adapt easier to the new conditions.

They are known as plants that don’t like a lot of change.

Watering Needs

Rubber tree plant care requires moderate watering.

Enhance the watering frequency in the growing period and keep the soil slightly moist.

Still, never let it become waterlogged.

long leaves rubber plant

On the other hand, during the winter season, water it only once or twice a month. Make sure the upper soil layer has dried before you water the rubber plant again during colder months.

Pro-Tip

Since tap water is being treated with chlorine and other substances, it isn’t recommended to use it when watering.

Instead, place bottles filled with water outside without the lid. The harmful substances will evaporate.

Of course, the best way would be to collect and use rainwater.

Humidity

In general, rubber tree plant likes normal to increased room humidity levels.

You should occasionally wipe the foliage with a damp cloth. I suggest misting them first and wiping them afterward.

Even though the watering amount should be lowered during the winter, don’t stop misting the plant in this period.

Sunlight Needs of Rubber Plant

Rubber plant light needs aren’t that hard to fulfill.

It likes bright places with a lot of filtered light. A sheer curtain on the window will be of great assistance!

You can place rubber plants somewhere semi-shaded, as well.

Rubber plant and sunlight

If you happen to notice that the leaves are falling off, and the whole plant is leggy, it is because you haven’t been providing enough sunlight.

Another problem that might occur is that the leaves become less shiny.

Temperature Needs of Rubber Plant

Rubber tree likes a little higher room temperature, from 18 to 30 degrees Celsius.

It is intolerant to temperatures lower than 15 degrees Celsius.

Still, rubber plants don’t like change, so try to maintain a constant level of temperature and humidity.

Soil Needs

Make a mixture of equal parts of peat, pine bark, and perlite or sand.

This way, you will ensure quality drainage and good airflow – two essential requirements for the rubber plant soil.

Never overwater rubber fig! It doesn’t tolerate soggy soil.

Pro-Tip

The size of the pot decides the size of your rubber plant.

Place it in a smaller pot to restrict its growth.

Fertilizer

Rubber plants want occasional feeding in spring and summer.

Do it once a week or two and don’t fertilize outside the growing season.

Use a regular fertilizer for houseplants.

Repotting

If you want to enhance the rubber plant growth, repot it.

In any other case, there is no need for repotting.

If you decide to do it, don’t choose an overly large pot. Make it bigger by just a size.

Repot every two to three years to encourage rubber plant’s growth and development.

Propagating

If you want to propagate rubber tree plant the easiest way would be to use stem cuttings.

Just cut off a piece using a sharp knife or scissors, previously sterilized.

Put the stem in the rooting powder and plant it in a pot.

A heating source beneath the pot will encourage the process.

Common Problems

The rubber tree is pretty healthy and resistant.

The only problems you might have are scale and mealybugs.

In this case, you can use insecticide soap.

If you notice the potting soil being constantly wet, the leaves turning yellow and/or brown, and falling off, overwatering is probably the cause of it all.

Examine the roots and see if they are rotten.

If the rubber plant hasn’t been getting enough water, its leaves will curl inward.

Q&A

1. Should I Prune My Rubber Plant?

Rubber tree plant care can include pruning from time to time.

Don’t prune the healthy leaves, just the damaged ones.

Also, once you cut off the top, know that the rubber tree will no longer grow in height, but branch out!

So, only cut it off when you are sure you don’t want it to grow anymore.

2. Should I Grow My Rubber Plant Outdoor?

You can do it only if the temperatures in your area don’t go below 15 degrees Celsius.

3. Is Rubber Plant Toxic?

In general no, it isn’t.

Still, it can cause a mild rash or irritation to the skin.

Always wash your hands after you have been working with the rubber plant and never ingest it.

It can be the cause of mild stomach issues, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Final Word

If you still haven’t read the whole article, now is the time!

You’ll find that it isn’t that hard to take care of a rubber plant.

Simply provide a semi-shaded place with filtered light and maintain a temperature level between 18 and 30 degrees Celsius.

Moderately water once a week or two, and keep the soil well-drained!

You can repot your rubber plant as well.

Fertilize it a few times a month in spring and summer.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

 

 

 

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