Ficus Elastica ‚ÄòRuby‚Äô
Also known as the rubber tree, the ficus boasts large, oval shaped, green leaves outlined with strawberry-cream colored margins.
The Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) could be the ideal houseplant for you if you want a tough but easy going indoor plant that can reach staggering heights within just a few years.
The shiny glossy leaves look great in most homes and although young plants start off small they will fill the space in an empty corner quickly.
Around 30 years Rubber Plants were incredibly popular, but people started to live in more modern homes and apartments which tend to be smaller. Space became a premium and one of the first things to go was the giant Rubber Plant in the corner!
Rubber plants were once considered a staple of any home with their versatility and forgiving nature. With how popular they’ve recently become, you can expect to see them in even more homes soon! Rubber plant is an easy care houseplant that cleans the air while not being too demanding on your time or attention span – perfect for those who have busy lives like most modern day people do.
Rubber Plant helps remove toxins from our body as its native habitat contains forests full-of medicinal herbs which help relieve headaches caused by pollution exposure.
The true Latin name for this plant is Ficus elastica, however the traditional early versions have generally been replaced by more modern cultivars and closely related varieties. For this reason you might find the plant labeled as Ficus robusta (which as the name suggests is much more robust and hardy), some sellers even do both and will slap Ficus Elastica Robusta on the name tag.
There is often so much sap, that there can be a drip factor which you need to be careful with. Also the milky latex is not particularly pleasant to humans or pets if the sap is swallowed. It’s also an irritant to the eyes and skin so handle the plant carefully and if you do happen to get any on you, make sure you wash it off afterwards and you shouldn’t have any issues.
Rubber Plant Care Guide
Grow away from continuous direct sunlight. Instead give your Rubber Plant a well lit spot with some indirect sun if possible.
The all green types will take some shade and poorly lit spaces, but too much for too long and the plant will become lanky and spindly.
If you have a variegated type you must provide bright indirect light, otherwise If you opt for shade, you’ll lose the markings.
The Rubber Plant watering needs are simple – they love a good soaking when they’re growing, but dislike constantly damp roots. We’ve found the best way to treat them is to water your plant really well once the soil surface and top inch has dried out, then wait until it dries out in the same way before watering again.
If you’re watering more than once a week the Ourhouseplants.com Team are looking your way with narrowed eyes, questioning your technique. This might work for you and if it does keep doing it, but in most homes watering more than once a week is likely too frequent.
You shouldn’t let a Rubber Plant sit in water, so after 30 minutes if there’s still water remaining in the drip tray, pour it away. In Winter scale back and avoid the soaking, instead aim to keep the soil just moist, but remember to still let the soil dry out before coming back with the watering can.
You can mist the leaves from time to time when the air is very dry, but really you don’t need to worry about humidity levels.
To produce those massive leaves the Rubber Plant needs feeding. Little and often is best, a weak balanced feed every couple of watering’s during Spring and Summer.
As with usual feeding rules, don’t fertilise in Winter, or recently repotted and new plants for a good 3 to 6 months.
If your plant’s not producing new leaves don’t feed at all.
The Rubber Plant will be quite happy to grow in a broad range of temperatures between 50¬∞F to 85¬∞F.
If you go hotter, the leaves will lose some of their turgid appearance. You can go as low as 39¬∞F in Winter if you have to, but your watering must be spot on. If you’ve overwatered at this temperature you’ll kill the plant quickly!
These plants grow quite big even if their pots are tiny. However there will still come a point where the growth will slow down or even stop. You then have two choices, either leave it where it is and top dress instead.
Topdressing means scraping off the top inch or so of old soil and replacing with fresh compost which introduces fresh nutrients and beneficial microbes back into the old tired potting soil.
The second choice is to repot. Repotting a Rubber Plant is quite easy if it’s not to heavy. All you need to do is move it into a bigger pot using a standard potting mix. If you’re new to houseplants we have a more extensive repotting guide just for you.
Height / Spread
The end height and spread depends on how well your plant is treated. Rubber Plants in good conditions, big pots and with no regular pruning can achieve upwards of 9ft. Poor conditions, small pots or pruning will result in a shorter plant.
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