Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)

by | Jul 28, 2022

Rubber Tree

A Ficus elastica is another name for a rubber tree plant. The tallest these trees can get is 50 feet (15 m). There are a few important things to remember about how to take care of a rubber tree plant, but it’s not as hard as you might think. If you start with a young plant, it will adjust to being indoors better than if you start with a more mature plant.

Rubber Tree Care Tips & Growing Guide

Rubber Tree

Rubber trees are a popular houseplant for their low maintenance needs and ability to thrive in a wide range of environments. Although they are tolerant of neglect, there are a few simple care tips that will help your rubber tree to grow strong and healthy.

First, rubber trees prefer bright, indirect light. If you notice the leaves getting pale or yellow, this is a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Second, water your rubber tree when the top inch of soil is dry. Allow the water to soak in until it begins to drain out the bottom of the pot, then empty any excess water from the saucer.

Third, rubber trees like humidity, so be sure to mist the leaves on a regular basis. Fourth, fertilize your rubber tree every two weeks during the growing season with half-strength liquid fertilizer. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy watching your rubber tree thrive for years to come.

Water

In the majority of the world, rubber trees can be grown outdoors, but they also thrive indoors. The cultivation of rubber trees is comparable to that of other plants. All you need is adequate lighting and drainage. The rubber tree plant also requires sufficient water. Throughout the growing season, it should be watered at least once per week in order to keep it moist. 

To encourage a rubber tree houseplant to produce new leaves, nick the node where a leaf has fallen off. This will aid in the development of a new leaf! During its dormant period, it may need watering only once or twice per month. Allow the rubber tree more water gradually until the fallen leaves begin to reappear.

Light

A rubber tree needs bright light, but it does best with cool, indirect light. Some people say to put it close to a window with sheer curtains. This lets in a lot of light but, hopefully, not too much heat.

Humidity And Temperature

The plant thrives in humid environments with consistent temperatures. If the humidity levels are too low, the leaves will begin to turn brown and curl at the edges. The plant will also stop growing if the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. For these reasons, it is important to monitor the humidity and temperature levels if you want to keep your Ficus Elastica healthy and happy.

Feeding

You should avoid using a fertilizer that is too high in phosphorus, as this can lead to leaf burn. A good rule of thumb is to use a fertilizer that is half as strong as the label recommends. 

Repotting

One of the most important things you can do for your rubber tree is to repot it every few years. The roots of a rubber tree grow quickly and need plenty of room to spread out. If the roots become pot-bound, they will start to strangle each other and the tree will become stressed.

This can lead to leaf drop and even death. When repotting, choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the existing one. Be sure to use a well-draining potting mix and water thoroughly after repotting. With a little care, your rubber tree will continue to thrive for years to come.

Propagating

Once you know how to take care of a rubber tree plant and it is doing well, you can start growing more of them indoors. There are many ways to make new rubber tree plants from cuttings. The easiest way is to take a small branch from a healthy tree and put it in good potting water or potting soil to grow roots.

Another method, called “air layering,” involves cutting a healthy rubber tree houseplant, putting a toothpick in the hole, and then putting damp moss around the toothpick. Then, cover it with plastic wrap to keep more moisture inside. Once roots start to grow, cut the branch and plant it.

Toxicity

The rubber tree is a popular houseplant that is known for its easy care and elegant leaves. However, what many people don’t realize is that the rubber tree is actually a toxic plant. If ingested, the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. In addition, the sap of the rubber tree can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

As a result, it is important to exercise caution when handling this plant. If you suspect that your child or pet has come into contact with the rubber tree, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. While the rubber tree may be beautiful, its toxicity makes it a potentially dangerous plant to have in the home.

Common Pests And Diseases

Some of the most common problems include scale insects, spider mites, leaf spots, and root rot. Scale insects can cause extensive damage to leaves and stems, while spider mites can cause leaves to yellow and drop off. Leaf spots can result in brown or black spots on the leaves, while root rot can kill the plant outright. Fortunately, these problems can be controlled with regular spraying and monitoring. By taking proactive steps to control pests and diseases, you can keep your rubber tree looking its best for many years to come.

Common Problems

Root rot is a common problem for rubber trees. This disease is caused by overwatering, which leads to fungal growth in the roots. Root rot can kill the plant if left untreated, so it’s important to be careful not to overwater your rubber tree. If you think your plant may have root rot, you can check the roots for signs

FAQ

How Many Hours Of Sun Does A Rubber Tree Need?

The Rubber Tree needs between 6 and 8 hours of light every day. This plant sometimes needs less light, but it does best with medium to bright light, preferably bright indirect light. Putting a sheer curtain over a window that gets direct sunlight can help soften the light. If the Rubber Tree isn’t getting enough light, the leaves will start to lose their color.

How Often Should A Rubber Tree Be Watered?

It’s best to water your Rubber Tree once every one to two weeks, letting the soil dry out in between. When the plant is getting more light, like in the spring or summer, choose the more frequent end of the range. In the fall or winter, choose the less frequent end.

If the plant’s leaves start to curl in or the soil in the pot is dry, it means you need to water it more often. On the other hand, if the leaves start falling off or the soil is wet, you should cut back on how often you water.

Do Rubber Trees Need It To Be Wet?

When it comes to humidity, the Rubber Tree is not picky. It can handle any level, even normal room humidity.

Rubber Tree

Final Thoughts

The rubber tree plant is a great plant for people who are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant. This plant does not require a lot of sunlight and can be kept in a variety of different pot sizes. Ficus elastica is also known for its ability to improve air quality, making it a great choice for people who are looking for plants that will improve their indoor air quality.

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Shelbi Clifford

Shelbi Clifford

Hi, I'm Shelbi! I am the founder of Houseplant Advisor - a blog for all things houseplants. Whether you are looking to add some green to your home or want to learn about how plants can help improve air quality in your space, Houseplant Advisor is here with the answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out and ask me anything!

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