Hello my name is Ficus elastica
but my friends call me Rubber Tree
Ficus elastica aka Rubber Tree has been a popular houseplant for quite a while. Look closely in the background of any 1950’s sitcom and you just might spot one silently co-starring from the background.
You may have heard this plant can be difficult. It’s not un-true! It does have a few special requests when it comes to light, water, temperature, and humidity. If one of these are out of balance you may notice a large number of leaves falling.
Reason to love a Rubber Tree:
— Those big beautiful leaves that vary from almost black to variegated
— Large size that makes it a great decor piece
— The satisfaction you get if you manage to make this picky plant happy
A word of caution:
— Rubber tree sap it is an eye irritant and toxic to pets and people
Rubber Tree care instructions
Water need change with the seasons and general temperature
The summer months are prime growing time and your plant will need extra hydration so it can get its groove on and produce lots of beautiful new leaves.
In growing season the soil can be kept moist but always well drained.
In the winter months when things slow down let the soil dry out a bit to avoid soggy roots.
When in doubt check the soil! I’d highly recommend picking up a moisture meter to take the guess work out, a chopstick works just as well.
Bright indirect sunlight is key
Think a bright window with a sheer curtain to protect your plant from harsh rays.
If Ficus elastica’s sunbathing needs are not met you may notice it shedding leaves and becoming thinned out and leggy.
Variegated varieties with lighter colored leaves will require more sunlight to keep their leaves looking bright and saturated.
Avoid drafts or placing near the heat or a/c
Ficus elastic can be sensitive to temperature fluctuations and doesn’t like to be moved around a lot so resist the urge to see how it looks in every room and just pick a good spot. Avoid putting it near a drafty window, heater or air-conditioner.
If you play your cards right, have access to some amazing natural light, and are careful not to overwater you’ll have a happy plant with the potential to grow as tall as your ceilings will allow!