Ficus Elastica aka Rubber Plant/Rubber Tree
Rubber Plant Quick Overview
|Full Size||Between 6 and 10 feet tall|
|Light||Bright filtered light|
|Temperature||Between 65 to 80˚F|
(18 to 27˚C)
Rubber Plants (Ficus Elastica) are part of the Moraceae family and are native to eastern parts of South and Southeast Asia. Rubber Plants come in a variety of different colours and patterns ranging from greens to variegated with pinks. They have large, glossy leaves and can grow up to 25+ feet when let to grow outdoors.
Ficus Elastica are a great beginner plant as they’re easy to care for and will thrive in bright indirect light while maintaining a moderate humidity. However, be sure to keep this plant away from pets and children as it contains a white sap that is mildly toxic.
When kept indoors with proper care you can expect your Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica) to reach between 6 to 10 feet tall. Rubber Plants can grow up to 25 to 40 feet tall in the wild so make sure you have a good pair of pruners.
Rubber Plants prefer to be positioned in bright filtered light for best growth and require this to thrive. A sign your rubber plant is not getting enough light is if it becomes leggy, leaves lose their luster or lower leaves fall off. This can be resolved by changing the position of your plant to somewhere that better suits its light requirements.
Rubber plants will perform best when in an area which maintains a temperature of Between 65 to 80˚F (18 to 27˚C). If you can, try and avoid temperatures that are below 55˚F (12˚C). Being kept outside of this temperate range for prolonged periods of time can lead to poor plant health.
Maintaining a moist humidity (70-90%) will assist in keeping your rubber plant happy and healthy. If your plant is housed in a spot with a humidity level consistently outside of this range click here for tips on how to increase or decrease humidity levels.
You can expect your rubber plant to require water at least once a week during its growing period. In the dormant season, watering may be reduced to about once or twice a month as plants require less water during their natural resting season. Yellow leaves can be an indication of over-watering. When watering your rubber plant be sure to water until it’s draining into the saucer. Aside from solely relying on the watering frequency to tell when your plant is thirsty, a tell tale sign that your rubber plant needs water is drooping leaves.
As a rule of thumb your rubber plant should be fertilized every 6 weeks during its growing period. Liquid fertilisers high in nitrogen are an ideal solution, and should be applied as per the directions on the bottle. This will assist in keeping your plant alive as well as promote healthy growth.
Rubber plants require a well draining soil as they don’t like to be sitting in water. Indoor plant potting mixes are a great choice and the addition of mixes like perlite will assist in soil drainage.
Diseases & Pests
The most common diseases and pests that you can encounter whilst caring for your rubber plants are aphids, scale insects and mealy bugs. For a wide range of information on combating a large range of indoor plant diseases and pests click here.
Rubber plants are considered to be mildly toxic. Ficus Elastica have a white sap that causes skin irritation and possible vomiting if ingested as well as mouth and stomach irritation.