How to Care for a Rubber Tree

Is there an ideal houseplant? One thing straightforward to take care of, can develop for years and has a timeless magnificence? I believe the rubber tree ticks all of these containers. This tree has shiny, thick leaves and makes fairly an impression in any room.

My favourite rubber tree is in a scene from the film Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn. Within the scene, they’re having a lavish celebration and there’s a stunning, tall rubber tree within the room. That rubber tree is unquestionably a plant objective for me.

Perhaps sometime mine will get that massive and exquisite! With correct care, the tree can attain as much as 10 toes tall (typically taller) indoors! 

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The rubber tree is often known as the Ficus Elastica and comes from India and elements of tropical Asia. The shiny, leathery leaves give this plant a definite look. There’s actually nothing prefer it! The rubber tree has an exquisite form and is a superb possibility for anybody who loves houseplants. 


If you deliver house a brand new rubber tree, right here are some things to think about with regard to potting it. It would seem to be a good suggestion to place your plant in an enormous pot so it has a number of room to develop, however the rubber tree prefers to be a bit crowded in a pot.

Attempt to decide on a pot that provides about 2 inches of soil round the entire diameter. This may give your plant loads of room to develop and thrive. When selecting a pot, earthenware is all the time an amazing possibility. Unglazed earthenware permits the moisture within the filth to evaporate out of the pot and dry out quicker.

A glazed earthenware pot is not going to have the identical talents to let the moisture come out. I exploit each sorts of pots however a very essential facet of the pot is to ensure it has a drainage gap so water has a solution to escape (sitting water will most undoubtedly kill your rubber tree).

Upon getting your pot found out, it’s time to consider soil. The rubber tree likes properly draining soil. An all-purpose indoor combine works nice, however I add some further perlite to present the soil extra aeration.

Perlite is an natural materials that comes from volcanic eruptions and yow will discover it at most backyard shops. Scoop a few of your potting combine and place it on the underside of the pot. Then, put your plant in in order that it sits about 3 inches underneath the highest pot.

Fill in the remainder of the filth, ensuring your plant stays good and straight. Use your hand to maneuver filth down as you progress across the pot. As soon as the edges are stuffed, place a small layer of filth excessive of your plant.

As soon as the plant is potted, place it within the spot you plan to go away it (rubber bushes don’t like change). Repotting can typically make your plant drop leaves, so if this occurs, don’t fret … it’s simply getting used to its new atmosphere.

A interval of relaxation is significant to your rubber tree as soon as it’s been repotted and positioned in a brand new spot. Unsure about one of the best spot to place your plant?


This plant likes to drink up the sunshine, so placement in your house is essential to keep up a wholesome plant. The very first thing when selecting a spot is to be sure that it doesn’t have a draft, isn’t close to a vent, or has an AC unit blowing on it.

The plant will most certainly drop leaves (or it could possibly die) whether it is close to a draft. The rubber bushes thrive on an indoor temperature of 60-70 levels Fahrenheit. Discover a place in your house with medium to vibrant gentle. Brighter gentle will assist your plant develop quicker.

If you happen to put it in a darker spot of a room it could possibly develop into “leggy” because it tries to stretch towards the sunshine. In case your plant is “reaching” then simply place it in a brighter spot. The rubber tree has some stunning variegated species that do require extra gentle.

The tricolor variegated species has inexperienced, white and pink in its leaves. The white within the leaf requires extra gentle as a consequence of lack of chlorophyll ranges. They’ll “burn” simply so keep watch over the leaves.

They are going to let you know if they’re getting an excessive amount of gentle. If there’s any brown on the tip (burning), which means there’s an excessive amount of gentle hitting your variegated plant. 

Again to the non-variegated rubber tree. What for those who don’t have nice window gentle otherwise you’re anxious about your room being too darkish? Inserting a mirror by the plant will assist bounce extra gentle onto your plant.

One other tip to create a brighter atmosphere is a white room. White paint will bounce extra gentle round! Appears so easy, but it surely actually is efficient in serving to with a low gentle scenario in a room.

If you wish to get most gentle in your rubber tree, then be sure that the leaves are freed from mud. I’ve discovered that the rubber tree can get fairly dusty, so test the leaves each few weeks for mud buildup.

If there’s mud current, then a moist fabric will work nice to take away it. When dusting the rubber tree, watch out with new leaves. The brand new, skinny leaves are very fragile and if broken whereas they’re younger, then the injury will keep on the leaf its entire life.

When dusting mature leaves, be sure to place your hand underneath the leaf for help. Additional strain on the leaf might trigger it to snap whereas dusting. This has occurred to me earlier than and it’s fairly unhappy.

When it snaps, there will probably be a white sap-like liquid that comes from the leaf the place it was indifferent from the department. It’s utterly regular however it could possibly irritate some individuals’s pores and skin, so wash arms simply in case it will get in your pores and skin.


Discovering a constant watering rhythm to your tree will assist provide the confidence you want to maintain your plant alive and wholesome for years to return. If the leaves begin to droop a bit, then you understand your plant may be very thirsty.

Rubber bushes wish to dry out however they don’t wish to develop into bone dry. One other solution to inform in case your plant is actually thirsty is whenever you’re watering and the water runs out shortly via the soil. Soil with extra moisture will take longer to empty. If the water runs straight via, then give it one other good soak.

The rubber tree enjoys beneficiant watering however be sure that it has time to dry out to keep away from root rot (this occurs when the plant is waterlogged or if it sits in water too lengthy).

If root rot occurs. then your plant doesn’t have an amazing probability of dwelling anymore, so keep away from overwatering in any respect prices. As a rule of thumb, let the highest 2/3 of your plant’s soil dry out earlier than watering your rubber tree once more.

You too can stick your finger within the soil 3-4 inches) and really feel if there’s any moisture or choose up the pot and really feel if the put up is heavy from holding moisture. After watering your rubber tree, if any water drains into your saucer, discard the additional water so the plant doesn’t sit in water and get root rot.

Watering length will rely in your local weather and humidity ranges. If you happen to dwell in a drier local weather, then your plant will should be watered extra steadily. As soon as you determine your plant’s rhythm/length of drying out, a watering routine must be very easy to stick to. This plant loves consistency and can develop higher with a gradual routine.


The rubber tree can develop tall if left unpruned. If left unpruned, your tree could have one lengthy trunk. If that is your required look, then nice! This may make your tree develop vertical quicker!

If you happen to’d wish to have extra of a “bushy” tree, then you should use your fingers and pinch off a brand new rising tip to advertise the plant to create extra branches.

If you happen to snip or prune a department, then that half will break up into two branches as soon as the brand new progress is available in. Pruning is an thrilling behavior that produces nice outcomes over time.


The rubber tree likes to be fed with fertilizer to advertise progress. Fertilize your tree within the spring/summer time (the rising season), however again off within the fall/winter months. Fertilizing your plant each different watering session is an effective rule of thumb.

I really like utilizing a liquid fertilizer that I can add to my water. 

Figuring out my fertilizer is a liquid provides me the peace of thoughts that the fertilizer is evenly distributed all through the water (not like granules or a powder combine). When selecting fertilizer, it should have three letters on the package deal: NPK.

The “N” stands for Nitrogen. Nitrogen helps with chlorophyll manufacturing, which results in photosynthesis, which results in an even bigger, more healthy plant! The “P” stands for Phosphorus. Phosphorus helps with preserving the roots of your plant wholesome and promotes root progress.

The final letter “Okay” stands for Potassium. Potassium helps your plant distribute vitamins. It additionally helps your plant battle off illness. Consider it as an immunity booster to your plant! A regular fertilizer for houseplants will work nice to your rubber tree.

Be certain that to learn the label of your fertilizer and observe the directions. I like utilizing half of the really helpful fertilizer quantity with the rubber tree. Utilizing an excessive amount of fertilizer could cause your plant to burn.

Burning signifies that too many vitamins have been saved within the root system they usually can not settle for/soak up water anymore. If there’s a probability that your plant has had an excessive amount of fertilizer then give it an excellent watering to flush the roots. Don’t fertilize the following week in order that your plant has time to get better and relaxation.

What if Your Rubber Tree is Dropping Leaves?

If you repot your rubber tree or transfer it, it is rather widespread for it to drop a few leaves as a consequence of shock. Outdated leaves will fall off right here and there as they age out as properly. That is completely regular!

What in case your rubber tree drops a bunch of leaves on the identical time? This isn’t regular and it may very well be as a consequence of overwatering or different points. In case your tree’s leaves start to droop, flip yellow and ultimately fall off, then that is most certainly as a consequence of overwatering.

The yellowing of the leaves known as Chlorosis. Chlorosis signifies that chlorophyll just isn’t forming in your plant. It’s wonderful that vegetation can let you know what they want via their coloration.

In case your leaf is popping yellow, it’s probably a name for assist. Again off watering and ensure your plant is drying out between watering in order that it doesn’t get waterlogged.

If it continues to occur, pop your plant out of the pot and test for root rot. The quickest solution to inform in case your plant has succumbed to root rot is discovering mushy, black or darkish roots. If you happen to see this, typically your plant might be saved however there’s a probability the roots are finished and the plant received’t make it.

If you happen to can, snip the useless roots out of the basis system and place the plant in a pot of recent soil (not the waterlogged soil from the earlier pot). Give your plant a while and hopefully it should come again to life! 

One more reason your plant’s leaves may very well be turning yellow is an absence of sunshine. If that is so, then set your plant in a brighter spot so it could possibly take in extra solar. The solar is like medication to your plant and this might treatment your leaf drop downside. Additionally, be sure that the plant just isn’t close to a draft as this may also trigger the leaves to drop.

The rubber tree’s temperament is fairly easygoing and it’s a welcome boost to any plant lover’s house. I hope the following tips assist and also you’re in a position to get pleasure from your rubber tree for years to return! -Janae

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