Rubber Tree Plant Care: How To Grow A Rubber Tree

rubber plant

Ficus elastica, commonly known as a rubber plant, rubber tree, or rubber tree plant, is a popular indoor plant because of its waxy leaves and tree-like appearance. In their native Southeast Asian region, rubber plants can reach heights of 100 feet. Rubber plants can reach heights of six to ten feet when grown as domestic indoor plants.

Rubber tree plant needs bright light but prefers indirect light, and you’d better water your rubber tree plant every 1-2 weeks, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings, keeping the soil moist, but not drowning.

What You Need To Know About Rubber Tree Plant

Native to Southeast Asia and India, rubber tree plants flourish in the shade of taller trees. Known by the botanical name Ficus elastica, rubber trees take their name from the latex in their milky sap. That sap is still grown in some nations to make low-grade rubber.

Rubber trees can reach heights of 50 to 100 feet in their natural habitats.1 The height of the rubber trees you grow in your home will depend on the variety. Dwarf rubber plants may only grow to a height of 2 feet, but common varieties can grow to 10 feet in areas with high ceilings. The leaves can range in color from glossy green to burgundy or pink-tinged green and cream, and they can be at least a foot long.

Rubber tree plants dislike abrupt changes, just like other ficus or fig species. Always allow your plant to adjust gradually to new environments or circumstances. If you push it too hard, your rubber tree plant might lose its leaves.

How To Care For A Rubber Tree Plant

Rubber Tree Plant

About Light

Although they don’t like direct sunlight, rubber plants do well in bright, abundant light. Rubber plants often flourish in a bright area that is covered by a sheer curtain. If your rubber plant gets leggy, its leaves start to look dull, and its lower leaves start to fall off, it needs more light.

About Watering

It is best to water your Rubber Tree every one to two weeks, letting the soil dry out in between. When the plant is exposed to more light, such as in the spring or summer, choose the higher end of the frequency range; in the fall or winter, choose the lower end of the range.

You should water the plant more frequently if its 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.

About Fertilizing

Like most indoor plants, only fertilize your rubber plant when it is actively growing.

About Humidity

The Rubber Tree is quite unconcerned with humidity; it can withstand any level, including typical room humidity.

About Temperature

It is best to keep your rubber tree between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius), and to avoid letting it fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). Keep in mind that this plant is native to hot, humid jungles!

About Pruning And Re-potting Rubber Plants

Rubber plants don’t need much pruning, aside from removing dead or dying leaves. However, bear in mind the following when shaping: Wait until your plant reaches the desired height before removing the top. Your plant will branch out if you do cut the top off. By trimming back stray branches, you can always prune to the shape you want. It is best to prune in the spring or summer, but it is not required.

Your plants won’t thrive if you don’t re-pot them. But avoid using overly large pots when growing rubber plants. A good general rule of thumb is to transplant into pots that are about an inch larger in diameter than the previous pot.

About Propagating

Your family and friends will likely desire their own rubber plant once they see how beautiful yours is. Rubber plants are among the plants from which you can simply chop off a piece, stick it in soil, and watch it grow, though it doesn’t always work perfectly. You can improve your chances of success by letting the sap dry, dipping the cutting in a rooting medium, and placing a heating pad under the pot that the cutting is in.

You can also air layer, which Gardening Know How explains: “Making a cut in a healthy rubber tree houseplant, inserting a toothpick in the hole, and then covering the cut with damp moss is another technique known as air layering. To maintain a higher level of moisture, you then wrap it in plastic wrap. Cut the branch off and plant it once roots start to show.”

Make a notch in the node from which the leaf fell to encourage the growth of new leaves where leaves have fallen.

About Pests

Among the bugs that frequently make your rubber plant their home are mealy bugs, mites, scales, and aphids. If discovered early, you can get rid of these insects by wiping them down with an insecticidal soap solution or warm water and soap.

Rubber Tree Plant

Other Problems

It’s simple to upset your rubber plant if you stop attending to its needs because it requires balance in all forms. Monitoring the amount of light it receives, the amount of moisture in its soil, and the overall temperature of the space it occupies will help you combat this the best way possible.

The majority of plant diseases linked to overwatering most commonly affect rubber plants. To prevent drowning your plant, as we previously mentioned, you should let the soil get completely dry in between waterings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Rubber Trees Simple To Maintain?

In general, the rubber tree is a very laid-back species. You just have to make sure it doesn’t get plant pests like scale or mealybugs, in addition to giving it the light and water it needs. If so, take immediate action by giving the plant weekly wipedowns and horticultural (Neem) oil sprays.

Can Pets Safely Use Rubber Trees?

Due to its milky sap, this plant is not recommended as a houseplant for animals. If consumed, it is harmful to humans, dogs, and cats. Always keep these houseplants out of small children’s and animals’ reach.