The competition for the most well-liked indoor tree-like plants has recently been won by the ubiquitous fiddle leaf fig, which has defeated all rivals. However, we believe it’s time to take another look and a chance on this unassuming but stately tree with its sizable, deep green leaves. Here’s how to keep a rubber plant looking beautiful in your home for years to come.
Table of Contents
Types Of Rubber Plants
- Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’ is the most common variety, with large green leaves.
- Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ has dark crimson leaves that appear almost black in certain lighting.
- Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’ has blotched leaves with pink accents on the stalks’ undersides.
- Ficus elastica ‘Tricolor’ has the same thick, leathery leaves as the common variety, but comes in a mix of three colors: green, pink, and cream.
- Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ has pink stems and leaves that mix dark and light green with cream.
- Ficus elastica ‘Decora’ has large, shiny leaves that grow up to 12 inches long.
How Often Should You Water A Rubber Tree?
The best time to water your Rubber Tree is once every two to four weeks, allowing the soil to dry out in between. When the plant receives more light, such as in the spring or summer, choose the more frequent end of the range, and decrease the frequency in the fall or winter.
You should water the plant more frequently if the leaves start to curl inward or the potting soil becomes dry. If the potting mix is wet or the leaves start to fall, on the other hand, you should reduce the frequency of your watering schedule.
Factors Of Care For A Rubber Plant
The Right Light
Indirect sunlight that is bright is ideal for rubber plants. They should ideally have an east-facing window to let in the morning light. Your plant should be placed close to a window with a sheer curtain or drape to block the sun.
Avoid setting up your rubber plant in direct sunlight because the leaves could start to burn. Additionally, they are able to adapt to low lighting and can live in dimly lit offices and other places. Your rubber plant likely needs more light if you see the leaves fading or the bottom leaves falling off.
Rubber plants will grow taller and bushier if they are fertilized. Stunted growth, yellowing or browning leaves, and drooping leaves are indications that the plant is not receiving enough fertilization. During the growing season, fertilize rubber plants with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer every two weeks. 24 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorus, and 16 percent potassium make up the ideal fertilizer’s 24-8-16 ratio.
Select a fertilizer that is liquid, granular, or pelletized. Rubber plants can handle less fertilization on a regular basis in low-light environments. Rubber plants can grow leggy from excessive fertilization.
Additionally, the right amount of water is necessary for the rubber tree plant. It must be kept moist and watered frequently during the growing season. It’s also a good idea to spritz the leaves of your rubber tree houseplant with water or wipe them off with a damp cloth. The leaves of the rubber tree plant will start to turn brown and yellow and fall off as a warning if you water it too much. Cut a slit in the node where a leaf fell off on a rubber tree houseplant to encourage new leaves. A new leaf will be able to grow faster as a result. It may only need to be watered once or twice a month during the dormant season. If the leaves start to droop but do not fall off, gradually give the rubber tree more water until the leaves resume their normal state.
Temperature And Humidity
The ideal temperature range for rubber plants indoors is between 65 and 85 degrees. A rubber plant will grow faster if it is left outside in the summer. In fact, the plants can occasionally be grown outdoors year-round in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. When the temperature drops below 65 degrees, make sure to bring a rubber tree inside for the season.
Rubber plants are native to the tropics, where they prefer moist environments. Consider misting the leaves all year long if your home tends to be particularly dry due to the weather or indoor heating.
Washing your hands after coming into contact with a rubber plant is crucial because the milky white latex it produces can irritate the skin and eyes. It’s essential to keep rubber plants away from animals and young children because they are toxic if consumed.
Potential Pests And Diseases Of A Rubber Plant
Although rubber plants are typically pest-resistant, they can occasionally become infested. Aphids, spider mites, thrips, and scale are a few of the most frequent offenders. Use an organic or synthetic insecticide to get rid of any pests you find on your rubber plant. You can get rid of insects on your plant by using neem oil and other horticultural oils.
In case of excessive watering, rubber plants may experience root rot. Make sure the soil is completely dry before watering the plant again if you notice any drooping or yellowing of the leaves.
With the right knowledge at your disposal, caring for rubber plants is a simple task. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are a beautiful addition to your home or office. Whatever rubber plant you choose, they’re bound to delight guests and dazzle any room with their elegance and style.