How To Care For A Rubber Plant

How To Care For A Rubber Plant

Botanical Name: Ficus elastica

Origin: India and Malaysia


The Rubber Plant is a popular houseplant because of its large, leathery, glossy leaves that can grow to 8” long or more…and because it is so easy to grow.

Just like many other plants in the Moraceae family, this one doesn’t like to be moved around.  Sudden changes in temperature and light may cause it to drop leaves, although it is not as fussy as its cousin, the weeping fig or Ficus benjamina.

Keep the Rubber Plant out of drafts and repot in the spring only when its roots fill the pot, it likes to be slightly pot-bound.  The central stem will grow straight, without branching.  Regular pruning of the growing tip will encourage side branches to form as it grows, thus creating a more bushy plant.

Leaves that turn yellow and falloff are a sign that it’s overwatered, however it’s perfectly natural for older, lower leaves to do this.  Few other problems bother this plant.  The large, glossy leaves can sometimes gather dust, a simple wipe off with a damp cloth will easily keep the leaves clean.

Height: Slow-growing to 8’ tall.  

Light:  Bright light but no direct sun.  

Water:  Keep soil evenly moist, be careful not to overwater.

Humidity:  Average room humidity.  Rubber Plants will tolerate some dry air but keep it away from air vents and drafts.

Temperature:  Average room temperatures of 60-75 degrees F. (16-24 degrees C).

Soil:  Any good quality potting mix, needs good drainage.

Fertilizer:  Feed monthly spring through fall with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, diluted by half.  

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