The Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) is a popular, ornamental indoor plant that range in height from 30 centimetres to 2.5 metres in height.
There are a variety of rubber plants that are commonly available, including the ficus elastica decora, ficus elastica robusta, ficus elastica burgundy and variegated varieties which feature lime green, pink and white leaves.
- Loss of leaves – often due to overwatering, low temperatures, insufficient light or cold drafts. To remedy the loss of leaves, move your plant to a brighter location and change the soil.
- Leaf edges yellowing – could be due to poor soil, overwatering and under-feeding.
- Pests – the most common are mealy bugs, mites and scale.
- Over watering
- Moving the plant around excessively
- Placing your rubber plant in a location that experiences sudden drops in temperature and cold drafts
Watering: Ensure that your plant pot has sufficient drainage and allows water to escape the base of the pot. Deepwater your plant when the soil is dry to the touch and wait until the soil is dry again to water it again.
Light: Rubber plants can survive in low light conditions, but bright, indirect light is ideal to see your plant thrive.
Temperature: The ideal temperature range for a rubber plant is 15-24 degrees celsius. Avoid temperatures that drop below 12 degrees celsius.
Soil: The soil for your rubber plant needs to be well-aerated. A recommended potting mix for the rubber plant is made from 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark, 1 part coarse sand or perlite to ensure that water flows through and drains properly.
Repotting: Repot your rubber plant when it becomes root bound and stops producing new leaves. Repotting into a larger pot with more soil will encourage new growth of both the root system and its leaves.
Fertiliser: Feed your rubber plant during sprint and summer with a diluted fertiliser every two weeks.
Pruning: If you want a shorter, fuller appearance for your plant, cut off the top branch and prune back any unwanted branches. Pruning in Spring or Summer is ideal.
Cleaning: Your plant’s leaves will need a gentle wipe with a damp cloth to ensure the leaves are glossy and dust-free so they can absorb the sunlight.
All parts of the rubber plant (Ficus Elastica) are poisonous to pets if ingested.
In humans, the sap of the rubber tree can cause serious rash or irritation if handled by bare hands or exposed to bare skin.
If you have pets that will chew nearly any plant, check out our article on pet safe indoor plants.