Rubber Tree Care

Rubber Tree Care

Family: Moraceae
Common Name: Rubber Plant, Rubber Bush, India Rubber tree, India Rubber Plant
Botanical Name:  Ficus elastica 'Burgundy'

A favorite for those who wish to make a bold statement, this Southeast Asian native will immediately draw your eye to its thick, glossy foot-long leathery leaves tinged with deep purple. New growth has shades of pink within the veins, adding brightness and more color.  While this beauty requires moderate attention, its ability to tolerate less-than-ideal conditions makes it a very popular easy-care house or office plant that can double its size in approximately one year.  With simple pruning, you can control its height and fullness.  Just be careful about the rubber-like sap that gives the Rubber Plant its name!

Light

The Rubber Plant prefers bright, indirect light, but it will tolerate moderate, indirect sunlight.  Avoid fully shaded areas.

Water

It is better to underwater your Rubber Plant than over water because over watering causes yellowing leaves and root rot.  To help avoid soggy conditions, make sure your Rubber Plant is placed in well-draining soil (add sand or peat to your potting soil). During the growing season, water thoroughly once the top two inches of the soil is dry.

Temperature

Keep the plant in comfortable home temperatures 65-80℉. They can tolerate cooler temperatures, but warmer environments with plenty of air circulation will be the ideal conditions!

Humidity

Rubber plants prefer medium to high humidity, but can withstand lower humidity levels. If you find the leaf tips start turning brown, this could indicate a lack of humidity. To raise the humidity, use a cool mist humidifier placed near your rubber tree!

Fertilizer

When your Rubber tree is young, use a high phosphorous, water-soluble fertilizer to stimulate root development.  For more mature plants, Use a high nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).

Growth Rate

Rubber Trees can get very large, but indoors they will reach a height of 8 feet and higher, depending on the environmental conditions. They are moderate to fast growers once they are established in the proper location (lots of indirect light!)

Pet Friend or Foe

These indoor plants are Toxic to pets! Foe

Pro Tips

  1. Periodically transplant your Rubber Plant into larger pots, but only increase the pot size by one inch to maintain a tight root ball.
  2. For a fuller plant, prune the side branches. For every branch pruned, several will grow.
  3. The Rubber Plant’s sap may drip and cause skin and eye irritation. Handle the plant carefully.

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