Rubber plants are a popular houseplant, thanks to their easy care requirements and attractive foliage. While they don’t require much attention, there are some important things to consider when caring for a rubber plant in order to keep it healthy and happy. Here we will explore the key elements of light, soil, water, temperature & humidity, and fertilizer to ensure your rubber plant thrives.
Rubber plants need plenty of bright, indirect sunlight in order to grow healthy and strong. Place your plant near an east or west-facing window that receives plenty of light throughout the day. If you don’t have access to enough natural light, you can supplement with fluorescent lighting for 12 hours per day. Be careful not to place your rubber plant too close to a window as direct sunlight can burn its leaves.
When selecting soil for your rubber tree it should be well draining yet still hold moisture. A mixture of equal parts peat moss and perlite is ideal as it will provide plenty of air circulation while still retaining moisture between waterings. You may also add some compost or worm castings for additional nutrients if desired.
The best way to tell if your rubber plant needs water is by checking the soil moisture about one inch below the surface. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again; this usually takes about 5-7 days depending on temperature and humidity levels in your home. Water thoroughly until the excess begins draining from the bottom of the pot then discard any remaining water that has collected in the catch tray at the bottom of the pot after 15 minutes – this will help prevent root rot due to overwatering.
Rubber plants thrive best in temperatures between 65 - 75°F (18 - 24°C). Too low or too high temperatures can cause leaf drop or other issues with growth so make sure you keep an eye on temperatures around your rubber tree. Additionally, higher humidity levels are preferred as they mimic their native environment so try misting them occasionally with a spray bottle filled with room temperature water or placing a humidifier near their growing area if possible.
Fertilization should be done only during periods of active growth from late spring through early fall; it should not be used during times when growth slows down such as winter months when light exposure is decreased naturally by shortening days. Use a liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion diluted by half according to directions on label every two weeks during active growing season but be sure not to overdo it as too much fertilizer can burn roots leading to potential death of your plant!