All Plants

Rubber Plant

Ficus elastica

Plant Type
Evergreen tree
Mature Size
50-100 ft tall, 50-100 ft wide (outdoors)
Sun exposure
Partial shade
Soil Type
Moist, well-drained
Soil PH
Acidic
Bloom Time
Rarely blooms
Flower Color
Rarely blooms
Hardiness Zones
10-12 (USDA)
Native Area
Asia
Toxicity
Rubber Plant

Introduction

Ficus elastica, commonly known as the Rubber Plant, is an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. It stands out for its oval-shaped deep green leaves with attractive burgundy undersides that offer splashes of color even from afar.

The Rubber Plant is perfect for novice or experienced indoor gardeners alike thanks to its need for minimal care. It prefers bright but indirect light and needs weekly watering when the top 2 inches of soil have dried out completely. Additionally, this plant likes slightly higher humidity levels than some other indoor plants, making it a great choice for bathrooms or areas prone to dry air due to air conditioning units.

Rubber Plant Care

The Rubber Plant is an easy to care for houseplant. It thrives in bright, indirect light and prefers slightly moist soil with good drainage. Although a tropical plant, it is quite adaptable to less humid environments, making it a popular choice for home and office settings. It likes temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Regular fertilization during the growing season can also boost its health and vibrancy.

Light

Rubber Plants prefer bright, indirect light, as direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. They can tolerate low light levels, but their growth will slow and the leaf coloration might lose some intensity. If your plant becomes leggy or the leaves lose their luster, it may need more light.

Soil

Rubber Plants need well-draining soil to avoid root rot. Use a high-quality potting soil mixed with a bit of coarse sand or perlite to increase drainage. If the soil holds too much water, the plant's roots can become waterlogged and root rot may develop.

Water

When it comes to watering, Rubber Plants prefer their soil to be kept consistently moist but never waterlogged. A good rule of thumb is to let the top inch of the soil dry out before watering again. Overwatering can lead to yellowing leaves and root rot. Underwatering, on the other hand, may lead to drooping leaves.

Temperature and Humidity

As tropical plants, Rubber Plants prefer a warmer climate. Ideal temperatures are between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive in lower temperatures, but growth will be slowed. While they thrive in more humid conditions, they are quite adaptable and can tolerate less humid environments. If the air is too dry, you can increase humidity by placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, or by using a humidifier.

Fertilizer

During the growing season (spring and summer), feed the Rubber Plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month. This will help keep the plant healthy and promote new growth. Be sure to reduce or cease fertilizing in the cooler, darker months, when the plant's growth slows down. As with all plants, avoid over-fertilization, which can lead to salt build-up and potentially burn the roots.

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