How To Care For A Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

If you’re in search of a houseplant that makes a daring assertion, then look no additional than a Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica), additionally known as Indian Rubber Tree.

With their ease of care, these are excellent indoor plants for newbies or those that think about themselves having a black thumb. Let’s begin with a fast summary of rubber plant care, following further particulars.

How To Care For A Rubber Plant? Develop your Rubber Plant in soil that drains appropriately, create proper humidity and hold temperatures between 50°F (10°C) to 85°F (29°C). Water when the highest inch of soil turns dry and fertilizes monthly.

Proceed reading because we take away any mystery about growing and caring for your Rubber Plant and retaining a thriving houseplant for years to return.

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How To Care For A Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

Rubber Plants belong within the massive genus of Ficus, which embody around 900 different species of trees, vines, and shrubs, and is damaged down even additional with the vast quantity of various cultivars for every one of the species.

Therefore, rubber plants are not different and embody different varieties (cultivars) that differ primarily within the coloration of the foliage.

All Rubber Plants are broadleaf evergreens with massive, thick, leathery foliage. Their native vary is from the Himalayas to Sumatra, Malaysia, and Java.

Because of their reputation and ease of progress, now you can discover Rubber Plants growing outside all through frost-free areas of the world. As well as, they make hardy and carefree houseplants for these residing in places too cold for out of doors growth.

Rubber Plants can receive a mature top of 100 feet with the same spread when grown outside in its most well-liked local weather. However, don’t despair; as a result of even when grown indoors.

It might obtain a top of 10 feet and with the same spread if left unpruned and grown in most well-liked situations. Like nearly all species within the Ficus household, Rubber Plants have a reasonably quick progress charge.

These are enticing indoor trees that make an eye-catching assertion, with their massive, glossy leaves ranging round a foot lengthy and 5 inches throughout. The usual Rubber Plant’s leaves are stable green. However, you even have decisions within the various cultivars that pump up the color on the foliage.

We’ve outlined all the ideas under on their correct care and indoor growing situations, in addition to figuring out and stopping potential issues earlier than they happen.

A healthy and completely satisfied Rubber Plant will grace your indoor areas for years to return. Even those who consider killing all the pieces should have success growing a Rubber Plant.

Soil Conditions For Your Rubber Plant

Rubber Plants tolerate a variety of soil situations supplied they drain properly. However, since you might be growing the plant inside a container, you’ll need to get it off the very best begin potential by planting it in excellent soil combined with fertility.

You won’t need to use straight potting soil because it tends to be too heavy and retains excessive moisture, leading to issues with root rot.

However, for those who lower the potting soil with one other medium like a potting combine or peat and only have around 50 % of the soil straight potting soil, it’s best to loosen up the soil sufficient, so it drains properly.

Otherwise, the best choice is to use a fertile potting combine because it drains and won’t retain excessive water. Many varieties of potting mixes additionally include slow-release fertilizers, which further help feed the Rubber Plant, which helps those who forget to fertilize.

You may as well make your unique soil combination by using equal parts of peat, pine bark, and coarse sand. The most significant issue to recollect to maintain your Rubber Plant growing at its finest is to ensure the soil has some fertility and drains properly.

How A lot Light Does A Rubber Plant Want?

On the subject of most well-liked favorable situations for the very best progress, the place you place your Rubber Plant is determined by what kind you might be rising. These with stable green leaves can decrease mild indoor situations than variegated sorts.

To maintain the colors at their finest, place variegated Rubber Plants in a location that receives bright, oblique mild. Putting it in an area with low light conditions will make the plant lose a few colorations on its foliage.

Green varieties also tolerate bright, mild oblique situations indoors; however, they will even take areas where the sunshine is lower. No matter what you do, don’t place both the green sorts or variegated sorts in a location where it receives direct sunlight, or the leaves can change into sunburned.

Rubber Plants growing in light situations which are too low generally tend to provide spindly progress. Therefore, transfer the plant to a space receiving extra light for treatment.

If you resolve to offer your Rubber Plant a break from indoor situations as soon as the climate warms in springtime, place it in a location receiving partial sunlight to partial shade. If favorable conditions are too sunny out of doors, the foliage will find yourself burned.

Rubber Plant Temperature Requirements

On the subject of a Rubber Plant’s most well-liked indoor temperature, keep in mind, it’s native to tropical areas of the world that stay frost-free all year long.

Therefore, to maintain the plant completely satisfied and growing correctly, hold indoor temperatures between 50°F (10°C) to 85°F (29°C), though it’ll tolerate indoor temperatures as little as 39°F (4°C).

A great rule of thumb to observe regarding prime indoor temperatures to your Rubber Plant is that if it’s comfy for you, it’s comfortable to your Rubber Plant.

If you are growing the Rubber Plant outside the temperatures heat, keep in mind to deliver it indoors earlier than Frosty the Snowman pays his go-to in winter. In any other case, you’ll find yourself with a frost broken Rubber Plant, and if of doors temperatures are too cold, it would result in the plant’s death.

Water Requirements

To maintain your Rubber Plant acting at its peak, be sure to soak the roots totally once your water. This requires watering till you see it popping out of the underside of the pot’s drain holes.

However, you don’t need to let it sit in water for too long. Otherwise, you would possibly find yourself with issues with root rot. After about 30 minutes, empty the underside tray of any water that’s gathered.

Throughout the growing season, you’ll most likely water the Rubber Plant as soon as weekly. Figuring out when to water is easy: Stick your finger into the soil combine and if the highest inch of soil feels dry to the contact, apply water.

However, in winter, when the Rubber Plant goes dormant (progress slows), you’ll most likely solely water each other week. So, as soon as once more, stick your finger into the soil, and if the highest inch feels dry, apply water till it runs from the underside drain holes.

For the very best results, use room temperature water that’s been allowed to sit down out in a single day. You may as well use rainwater to water your Rubber Plant. If you notice the foliage starting to yellow, the plant isn’t likely getting sufficient water.

Humidity Wants

Of their native surroundings, Rubber Plants grow in areas where humidity is continuing. Due to this fact, to maintain your plant producing healthy progress and to stop potential issues, you must replicate humidity whereas it’s growing indoors.

As well as, don’t place the Rubber Plant in an indoor location. Of course, the air is dry, like close to a heating or air vent. No have to stress because creating humidity to your Rubber Plant indoors is comparatively fundamental, and you’ve got quite a lot of choices:

  • Fill a sprig bottle up with water and mist the foliage on several occasions every week. But, of course, you can’t mist an excessive amount, so the Rubber Plant won’t endure issues for those who spray the leaves each day.
  • You’ll be able to fill a big tray with small pebbles and sit the container on prime of it. This lifts the container out of the water, and the moisture within the rocks helps create humidity across the Rubber Plant.
  • You probably have a big lavatory that receives ample light situations, and you’ll be able to situate the Rubber Plant there. With the fixed operating of water using showering and such, a significant amount of humidity is, of course, created for the plant.

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How To Fertilize A Rubber Plant

Rubber Plants’ aren’t huge eaters with regards to fertilization. However, throughout the growing season, everyday fertilizer purposes retain the plant producing these vast, shiny leaves and helping maintain its health.

You only need to fertilize your Rubber Plant, whereas it’s actively growing, which is primarily spring all through summertime. As soon as winter strikes, the plant goes into dormancy, and progress slows, so it’s best to stop any purposes of fertilizer.

Throughout the growing season, you’ll be able to apply a water-soluble fertilizer once your water. You’ll solely have to fertilize monthly to maintain the Rubber Tree completely satisfied and healthy. When it comes to what to make use of, you may have several choices that may work properly.

  • It would help if you used slow-release granules, sprinkled them on top of the container’s soil, and also, you’ll also only fertilize each couple of months. Gradual-release fertilizer slowly breaks down into the soil every time you water, and most products final anyplace from two to a few months earlier than you could reapply. So observe the actual product’s beneficial quantities and frequency of application all the time.
  • You need to use a water-soluble, houseplant mix applied at half-strength. Combine the product into your watering can and apply as you usually would when simply watering.
  • A balanced, water-soluble mix for each indoor and outdoor plant can also be appropriate to make use of. Combine at half-strength and apply once you water the Rubber Plant.

Fertilizers generally tend to construct up salts within the soil over time, so you will want to flush the soil periodically to take them away. Though Rubber Plants have a reasonable tolerance to salty situations within the surroundings, an excessive amount of salt within the soil may cause the burning of the foliage.

Eradicating salt buildup is easy. Relying on the scale of the Rubber Plant, you’ll be able to both take the whole container to your kitchen sink or bathtub or take it outside to do the flush if the plant is just too huge to handle indoors.

Permit the water to run gently using the soil, flushing out the salts for about 5 minutes. Let the water drain from the underside, and as soon as it’s completed draining, place again in its indoor location.

Pruning Requirements

When lower, Rubber Plants exude a milky white sap, which some individuals discover irritating their pores and skin. If you aren’t positive how your pores and skin will react to the liquid, it’s most likely a good suggestion to put on protecting gardening gloves when pruning. You additionally don’t need to get the sap in your eyes, as it’ll irritate them too.

If your Rubber Plant remains minor, averaging solely several toes in top, there’s no need to prune. Nonetheless, as soon as it obtains the height you’d wish to hold it at, you’ll be able to prune off the highest branches. Hand pruners will usually do the job for indoor Rubber Plants, but use loppers when the components are too thick.

That will help you Rubber Plant department out and grow fuller, and you’ll be able to prune off the aspect branches. Then, in each department you prune, several new additions will increase, resulting in a fuller plant.

Because the plant goes into dormancy using the winter months and doesn’t begin placing on new progress until the climate warms in spring, there’s no need to prune through the cooler months of the year.

However, pruning off branches any time of the year won’t damage the Rubber Plant if you could do some shaping. It’s additionally tremendous to clip off any lifeless, broken, or diseased leaves as they seem.

As well as, you don’t want to switch any illnesses or pests to your Rubber Plant, so at all times, use precise pruning instruments to make your cuts. It would help if you didn’t do something elaborate to wash them and simply wiping the blades off with alcohol does the trick.

Potting And Repotting Wants

Your Rubber Plant should grow properly inside a 3-gallon container for several years earlier than it’s essential to repot. So, for example, if you’ve introduced your plant dwelling from the backyard heart and it’s solely growing inside a 1-gallon container.

It’s on the verge of being prime heavy, you would possibly want to go forward and repot right into a barely more enormous container.

This alleviates the necessity to repot the Rubber Plant in a few months. But, all the time, repot right into a container that’s barely bigger than the unique one. Planting in a pot too massive can have the soil remaining too moist, leading to health issues.

You additionally don’t need the Rubber Plant’s roots to outgrow the container, as it might impede good progress sooner or later. Plants that have been left to grow in containers that are too small develop intensive root wrapping and would possibly by no means grow to their full potential.

Even when transplanted into a bigger pot. On many occasions, roots will grow out of the container’s backside drain holes after they’ve outgrown their current container.

Any container works properly, so long as there’s drainage within the backside. You’ll be able to set the pot with drain holes right into a more ornamental pot without drain holes. However, make sure to empty any water from it after watering, or root rot can happen.

I like selecting stunning planters for my houseplants to make sure they take delight of place in my home and look fabulous.

For a lower upkeep possibility, self-watering planters are lovely, and rubber crops can grow appropriately in them. Listed below are some excellent choices for self-watering growers that I’ve used with success in my home.

The method of potting or repotting your Rubber Plant is comparatively fundamental, and also, you don’t should be a rocket scientist to do it accurately.

  • Gently take away the Rubber Plant from the container it’s growing in and punctiliously tease the roots aside if they wish to begin wrapping.
  • Fill the new container up a couple of quarters of how full with a fertile, well-drained potting combine.
  • Place the Rubber Plant into the new container and fill the rest of how up with soil. Be sure to don’t plant it any more profound than it was initially growing in its authentic pot. Agency the soil across the base of the plant using your fingers.
  • After planting, water the Rubber Plant to saturate the basis system. Water till it runs from the underside drain holes.
  • Place the Rubber Plant indoors that receives bright, oblique light.

Keep in mind to make use of a barely bigger pot that drains and is full of a wealthy soil combine that drains properly and doesn’t generally tend to stay too moist.

Propagating New Plants

You’ll be able to propagate other plants out of your Rubber Plant, whereas it’s actively rising using the nice and cozy months of spring all through summertime. The propagation steps are essential, and even those with black thumbs should succeed.

  • Using precise pruning instruments, snip off a couple of 4- to 6-inch parts from the top of a department.
  • Snip off all of the leaves apart from the highest one or two. This enables the reduction to place its vitality into forming new roots and never creating fresh leaves.
  • Because the lower part will exude its milky sap, permit the reduction to relaxation for about 30 minutes earlier than potting.
  • Fill a 6-inch to 1-gallon container with backside drain holes with a light-weight potting combine or seed-starting combination. Water the soil within the container, so it settles.
  • Make a several-inch indentation within the heart of the pot the place the top of the reducing can insert.
  • Before planting the Rubber Plant reducing, dip the lower finish in a rooting hormone.
  • Place the lower finish handled with the hormone into the middle gap and agency the soil around it using your fingers.
  • Water the soil once more until it runs from the underside drain holes. Maintain the ground moist however not soggy, whereas the reducing develops roots.
  • Place the container in an indoor location that receives bright, oblique sunlight.

It usually takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the Rubber Plant reducing to begin creating roots. After three to 4 months, it should have an excellent root system developed. If you touch the reducing, the reducing should stand firmly within the soil to develop a root system.

Cleaning The Leaves

With common misting, your Rubber Plant’s leaves will often stay clear because the water washes off any dust or dirt. However, for those who discover these huge leaves beginning to get a bit soiled trying, you’ll be able to dampen a mushy material and wipe them off.

There are products available on the market designed mainly for foliage cleaning. However, I wouldn’t suggest any of them, as plain outdated water and material work properly and are most acceptable to your plant.

I’ve acquired several ideas and tips for cleaning the leaves of your houseplants, which may also help you clear your plants with ease while retaining your crops in the very best of health.

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Pest And Disease Issues

When grown indoors, Rubber Plants are comparatively pest- and disease-free. The most considerable illness menace is root rot, which is brought on by overwatering. In addition, the soil remains too moist for too lengthy, resulting from heavy soils that don’t drain correctly or planting in a pot that’s too huge for the plant.

Rot exhibits typically up with the foliage turning black and the stems and foliage abruptly drooping. Unfortunately, in extreme instances of rot, there’s not much you can do besides discard the whole Rubber Plant. Nonetheless, if the issue is displaying up, you’ll probably be able to save the plant.

  • Take away the whole Rubber Plant from its container and inspect the roots.
  • Using sterilized pruning tools, trim away any rotted roots or look broken.
  • Repot in new, clear soil that drains properly, and only water when the highest inch of soil turns dry.

Indoors, the pests listed under could trouble Rubber Plants:

  • Spider Mites: It’s simple to diagnose a spider mite downside because the tiny pinhead-sized mites spin webbing that covers the Rubber Plant’s leaves. The mites suck the plant’s juices and, if left uncontrolled, can finally kill the plant and infest your different indoor plants.
  • Mealybugs:  Mealybugs additionally suck the plant’s juices and present up as cottony lots alongside the branches and leaves. They can also finally kill the Rubber Plant and infest your different indoor plants if the issue isn’t managed.

To treat the pest issues, as quickly as you discover the insects in your Rubber Plant, spray the whole plant with insecticidal soap or Neem oil, ensuring to get each side of the leaves. Then, reapply as really useful on the product label.

How Often Do You Water A Rubber Plant?

It’s simple to check when to water your Rubber Plant by sticking your finger into the soil and if the highest inch feels dry, apply water till it runs from the underside drain holes.

Using summertime throughout the rising spring season, you’ll most likely water weekly. However, it’s best to reduce watering to about as soon as every two weeks in winter.

Do Rubber Bushes Want Direct Daylight?

Rubber plants grown as houseplants ought to obtain no brighter mild than vivid, oblique mild because the foliage could burn. However, variegated varieties want extra light to retain their colors, and stable green varieties tolerate decreased light.

Why Are Leaves Falling Off Rubber Tree Plant?

Several environmental situations will bring on leaf drop. If the plant is being overwatered, the foliage can drop. As well as, if the indoor temperatures are too cold and the Rubber Plant is in a drafty space, the vegetation will even decrease.

Only water when the highest inch of soil turns dry and transfer the plant out of the drafty area and the place temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C).

Why Is My Rubber Plant Leggy?

Rubber Plants not getting ample mild will change into leggy. Transfer the plant to brighter situations and prune the branches again to department out and turn into fuller. Be sure to use precise pruning instruments to don’t switch pests or diseases to the plant.

Why Are My Rubber Plant’s Leaves Curling?

Several issues cause leaf curing in a Rubber Plant. If you are overwatering or under-watering, the leaves could curl. When the highest inch of soil turns dry and till it, water runs from the underside drain holes. Too dry air might also cause leaf curling resulting from lack of humidity. Move the Rubber Plant away from any heating or air vents and mist the plant with water on several occasions weekly to extend humidity.

Are Rubber Plants Poisonous?

Maintain out of attaining pets and youngsters, as all parts of the Rubber Plant are poisonous because of psoralen and proteolytic enzyme ficin if you’re in search of some implausible non-toxic indoor plant choices.

Does Rubber Come From A Rubber Plant?

Within the early 1900s, an inferior rubber product comprised the Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica). However, the primary supply of pure rubber comes from the Para Rubber Tree (Hevea Brasiliense), a distinct family.

Do Rubber Trees Bloom?

Rubber Bushes grown outside of their native habitat produce small, green fruits; however, they don’t grow indoors as a houseplant.

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