Methods to Look after a Rubber Tree

Is there an ideal houseplant? One thing straightforward to look after, can develop for years and has a timeless magnificence? I feel the rubber tree ticks all of these packing 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 social gathering and there’s a stunning, tall rubber tree within the room. That rubber tree is unquestionably a plant objective for me.

Possibly sometime mine will get that huge and delightful! With correct care, the tree can attain as much as 10 ft tall (generally taller) indoors! 

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The rubber tree is also called 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. 


While you carry dwelling a brand new rubber tree, right here are some things to contemplate with regard to potting it. It would look like a good suggestion to place your plant in a giant 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. It will give your plant loads of room to develop and thrive. When selecting a pot, earthenware is all the time an excellent possibility. Unglazed earthenware permits the moisture within the grime to evaporate out of the pot and dry out quicker.

A glazed earthenware pot won’t have the identical skills to let the moisture come out. I exploit each sorts of pots however a very vital side of the pot is to verify it has a drainage gap so water has a solution to escape (sitting water will most positively kill your rubber tree).

After you have 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 additional perlite to present the soil extra aeration.

Perlite is an natural materials that comes from volcanic eruptions and you’ll find 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 beneath the highest pot.

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

As soon as the plant is potted, place it within the spot you plan to depart it (rubber bushes don’t like change). Repotting can generally 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 on your rubber tree as soon as it’s been repotted and positioned in a brand new spot. Unsure about the very 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 probably drop leaves (or it may 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 mild. Brighter mild will assist your plant develop quicker.

For those who put it in a darker spot of a room it may 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 mild.

The tricolor variegated species has inexperienced, white and pink in its leaves. The white within the leaf requires extra mild as a result of lack of chlorophyll ranges. They will “burn” simply so control the leaves.

They’ll inform you if they’re getting an excessive amount of mild. If there may be any brown on the tip (burning), which means there may be an excessive amount of mild hitting your variegated plant. 

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

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

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

If there may be mud current, then a moist material 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 harm will keep on the leaf its entire life.

When dusting mature leaves, ensure you place your hand beneath the leaf for assist. 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 fully regular however it may possibly irritate some individuals’s pores and skin, so wash fingers simply in case it will get in your pores and skin.


Discovering a constant watering rhythm on your tree will assist provide the confidence that you must preserve your plant alive and wholesome for years to return. If the leaves begin to droop a bit, then 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 once 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 ensure 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 excellent likelihood of residing 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 may also stick your finger within the soil 3-4 inches) and really feel if there may be any moisture or decide 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 period will rely in your local weather and humidity ranges. For those who stay in a drier local weather, then your plant will should be watered extra steadily. As soon as you determine your plant’s rhythm/period of drying out, a watering routine must be very easy to stick to. This plant loves consistency and can develop higher with a gentle routine.


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

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

For those who snip or prune a department, then that half will cut 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 season (the rising season), however again off within the fall/winter months. Fertilizing your plant each different watering session is an efficient rule of thumb.

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

Understanding my fertilizer is a liquid offers 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 bundle: 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 struggle off illness. Consider it as an immunity booster on your plant! A normal fertilizer for houseplants will work nice on your rubber tree.

Be certain to learn the label of your fertilizer and observe the directions. I like utilizing half of the really useful 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 and so they can’t settle for/soak up water anymore. If there’s a likelihood that your plant has had an excessive amount of fertilizer then give it a very good watering to flush the roots. Don’t fertilize the subsequent week in order that your plant has time to get better and relaxation.

What if Your Rubber Tree is Dropping Leaves?

While you repot your rubber tree or transfer it, it is extremely frequent for it to drop a few leaves as a result 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 similar time? This isn’t regular and it may very well be as a result of overwatering or different points. In case your tree’s leaves start to droop, flip yellow and finally fall off, then that is most probably as a result of overwatering.

The yellowing of the leaves is known as Chlorosis. Chlorosis signifies that chlorophyll is just not forming in your plant. It’s wonderful that vegetation can inform you what they want via their colour.

In case your leaf is popping yellow, it’s doubtless 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 verify for root rot. The quickest solution to inform in case your plant has succumbed to root rot is discovering mushy, black or darkish roots. For those who see this, generally your plant could be saved however there’s a likelihood the roots are accomplished and the plant received’t make it.

For those who can, snip the useless roots out of the foundation system and place the plant in a pot of contemporary 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 a scarcity of sunshine. If that is so, then set your plant in a brighter spot so it may possibly absorb extra solar. The solar is like drugs on your plant and this might treatment your leaf drop drawback. Additionally, ensure the plant is just not close to a draft as this can even trigger the leaves to drop.

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