A Ficus Elastica Rising Information

Need an easy-care indoor tree with giant, deep inexperienced, shiny leaves? Right here it’s. These Rubber Plant care and rising suggestions will preserve yours trying nice.

After spending just a few years within the interiorscaping biz, I discovered the Rubber Plant to be the simplest of the Ficus trifecta (together with the Fiddleaf and Weeping Fig) to take care of and preserve alive.  It’s been barely pushed apart, and I feel now’s the time for the Ficus elastica to get the eye it deserves. 

The Ficus benjamina, or Weeping Fig, drops leaves prefer it’s fall daily. The Ficus lyrata, or Fiddleleaf Fig, is revered within the groovy design world, however we all know many discover it difficult to develop. I’ve discovered that each of those ficus vegetation do finest in increased gentle circumstances and are far more temperamental than the Rubber Plant. They don’t like sudden modifications in surroundings or care. 

So, the Rubber Plant stands out as the one for you!

Botanic identify: Ficus elastica Frequent identify: Rubber Plant, Rubber Tree, Rubber Tree Plant, Rubber Fig

Notice: This was revealed on 1/30/2018. It was up to date on 1/29/2024.

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Rubber Plant Traits

Large rubber tree plant grows indoors in a plant basket next to a window with a hanging string of pearls plant.
My Rubber Plant at this time. It stands about 11′ tall & is about to hit the ceiling. They develop quick!

Rubber Plant Varieties 

You’ve got a selection of types in foliage coloration in relation to the Ficus elastica if plain inexperienced isn’t your factor. Widespread varieties embrace decora (considered one of mine), robusta, ruby, Tineke (my different one), burgundy, and black prince. 


Rubber Vegetation are often bought as ground vegetation. I purchased mine in a ten″ nursery pot that stood 5′ tall. I repotted it right into a 16″ pot just a few years in the past. As I replace this publish, it now stands 11′ from the bottom (pictured above). 

Rising of their native environments, Ficus elasticas can get 60-80′ tall. Sure, they’re a big tree! The most important I’ve seen one rising indoors was round 20′  in an atrium. 

They’re generally bought in 6, 8, 10, and 14″ pot sizes.

Development Charge

When within the desired publicity and getting the care they like, Rubber Plant development price is average to quick. That is very true in late spring and summer time when houseplants do nearly all of their rising.

Rubber Timber are an excellent worth. These vegetation are cheap as a result of they’re simple to propagate and develop quick.

Makes use of

This plant is mostly seen as a ground plant.


As a Rubber Plant grows tall, it’ll want staking. When mine reached 8′, I hammered in 3-6′ thick bamboo stakes to assist every stem develop extra upright. This plant takes up sufficient room as it’s!

A rubber tree sits in front of a cactus. the text reads the easy care indoor tree ficus elastica growing tips.
My Rubber Plant about 10 months after I purchased it. You may see how a lot it’s grown within the 1st picture.

Rubber Plant Care Indoors

Rubber Plant Mild Necessities     

The Rubber Tree is a medium to high-light indoor plant. Hold yours out of direct, scorching solar (in a west or south-facing window) as a result of the leaves might deplete towards the new glass, particularly in summer time. 

Mine grows in my vivid kitchen in sunny Tucson, AZ. There are 4 home windows and a sliding glass door, so my Rubber Tree will get a whole lot of vivid gentle all day. It sits about 5′ from a west-facing window, receiving oblique gentle.

As a result of it’s up towards the wall, I rotate it each two or three months so it receives gentle on all sides.

Don’t do that plant in decrease gentle ranges – it’ll be a no-go. If not getting sufficient gentle, the plant will lean in direction of a lightweight supply, get a leggy, sparse look, and smaller leaves. If the sunshine stage lowers considerably through the winter months, contemplate relocating the plant to a spot with extra gentle.

Extra on winter houseplant care.

Rubber Plant Watering

Let your Rubber Plant virtually dry out earlier than watering once more. 

Within the hotter months, I water my Rubber Plant (11′ tall, in a 16″ nursery pot) each 7-10 days as a result of the solar shines virtually daily right here within the Sonoran Desert

Within the winter, I again off on the watering frequency to each 14-21 days.  It’s not the energetic rising season; the sunshine ranges and temps are typically decrease. I all the time use room temperature water.

I can’t offer you a watering schedule. It’s essential to alter the frequency in response to your plant’s pot measurement, soil combine, and residential surroundings. You wish to obtain a cheerful medium with this plant – not bone dry or soggy moist.

Make certain there’s at the very least one drainage gap on the underside of the pot. Mine is in a 16” nursery pot and has six drain holes. You need the surplus water to movement out, stopping root rot. 

Faucet water could cause salt burn on the perimeters and suggestions of the leaves over time. Think about using filtered water in case your faucet water is excessive in salts or different minerals. I’ve this tankless r/o water filtration system within the kitchen with a cartridge that places the great minerals again in. I take advantage of it to water my houseplants.

If you happen to’re a newbie, this information to watering indoor vegetation provides you with extra data.

Nell Foster in a greenhouse full of interior plants taking pictures of Rubber Plants.
Within the greenhouse taking footage for our houseplant care e-book. Ficus elastica burgundy, variegata & ruby lined up in rows, able to be shipped out.

Rubber Plant Temperature

As I say relating to houseplants, if your private home is snug, it’ll be the identical to your vegetation. Simply preserve yours away from any chilly drafts and air con or heating vents.


A Rubber Tree’s pure habitat is the rainforest. These tropical vegetation love excessive humidity. Regardless of this, I dwell within the desert, the place the humidity ranges are low, and mine is doing nice. Small brown leaf suggestions will seem if there’s a scarcity of humidity. 

I’ve this humidity meter in my eating room. It’s cheap however will get the job carried out and works fantastic, displaying the temperature and humidity after just a few years. I run my Cover humidifiers at evening when the humidity reads low, typically right here in Arizona! Any small humidifier positioned close by ought to assist.

Contemplate misting your Rubber Plant two or thrice per week. That is the mister I’ve used for 5 years, and it’s nonetheless going robust.

Rubber Plant Fertilizer

The optimum time for fertilizing your vegetation is throughout spring and summer time; early fall is ok for those who dwell in a temperate local weather like me.

We now have an extended rising season right here in Tucson from mid-February by way of October. I fertilize with Maxsea or Sea Develop, Develop Huge, and Liquid Kelp seven or eight occasions (as soon as per 30 days) through the rising season. 

It’s how I feed all my tropical vegetation. I select two to make use of every season. I alternate utilizing these granular and liquid fertilizers individually and don’t combine them.

Relying in your local weather and rising zone, fertilizing two or thrice a yr would possibly do it to your houseplants.

A Rubber Plant appreciates the vitamins however keep away from over-fertilizing, as an excessive amount of fertilizer too typically is extra dangerous than useful. 

I topdress all my giant houseplants with a worm compost and compost mix in early spring. I don’t repot them as typically, and this additional nourishment that breaks down slowly helps. 

A close up of the large leaves of a ficus elastica variegata variegated rubber tree.
The cream & inexperienced leaves of the variegated ficus seem like they’ve been painted on.

Rubber Plant Soil

Use a well-draining soil that gives aeration when repotting this plant. You need it to be enriched with good things and to empty nicely. 

I’m keen on Pleased Frog or Ocean Forest as a result of they’re formulated for container planting, together with houseplants, and have high-quality elements. 

I additionally add in coco chips and pumice, together with coco fiber. I do a whole lot of repotting and have a potting room to retailer all of the supplies. I offer you easier soil combine choices within the weblog publish listed within the “Repotting” part.


That is additionally finest carried out in spring, summer time, and early fall. If it is advisable to repot in winter, no worries. Simply know that it’s not the optimum time.

The quicker your Rubber Tree’s rising and the taller it’s getting, the extra typically you’ll must repot it. That is likely to be each two to 6 years, relying on its present pot measurement. 

This plant isn’t appropriate for small pots. For it to do nicely, you’ll must repot it to accomodate the rising root system.

One in all mine grew in a ten” pot. I repotted it right into a 16” pot 4 years in the past.

Right here’s a publish devoted to rubber plant repotting with many extra particulars.

Rubber Tree Pruning

Pruning is finest carried out in spring, summer time, and early fall. Keep away from pruning within the winter months for those who can. 

Pruning is an enormous a part of Rubber Plant care. They’re quick growers, so it is likely to be essential to manage the dimensions of this tree, which grows tall and large.

Make clear cuts straight throughout the stem above a leaf node when pruning. Make certain your pruners are clear & sharp.

If yours has a single trunk, you possibly can take away the decrease leaves in order for you it to develop in additional of a tree type.

Warning:  This plant emits a milky sap when lower into. To keep away from pores and skin irritation, preserve it away out of your face and put on gloves and lengthy sleeves when pruning or dealing with a Rubber Plant for those who suppose it’ll have an effect on you.

Scheffleras, ruby rubber plants & pink hydrangeas grow in a greenhouse.
Followers of pink unite!  Please let me introduce you to Ficus elastica ruby.

Propagating Rubber Plant

For me, that is the enjoyable half – extra vegetation, please!  I wish to propagate a Rubber Plant by air layering.

I’ve all the time succeeded with this technique and present you learn how to do it on my very tall and slim Ficus elastica variegata.  Right here’s learn how to prune off and plant the air-layered portion.

Air layering takes about two months, but it surely’s a really efficient strategy to propagate this indoor tree if the stems and branches are substantial. You will get a taller plant from the get-go with the air layering.

One other strategy to propagate this plant is by rooting softwood cuttings (the highest 6″ or so of development) in a unfastened potting combine.

Pest Management

This ficus is inclined to scale, mealybugs, and spider mites. The hyperlinks will assist with identification.

Neem oil or insecticidal cleaning soap is efficient for managing most pest infestations. I’ve been utilizing this insecticidal cleaning soap for 2 years. It’s confirmed to be fairly efficient.

Pests typically journey from one houseplant to a different. My finest recommendation: preserve your eye out, catch them early on, and take motion.

Looking down on the aerial roots of a rubber tree houseplant in a grow pot.
Don’t be involved concerning the dried-up roots on the base of the trunk. These are aerial roots, that are how this plant grows in nature. They don’t trouble me, however lower them off for those who’d like.

Pet Security

The Rubber Plant is taken into account to be poisonous to cats and canines. I get my data from the ASPCA.

80% of the vegetation in my home are thought of to be poisonous. I’ve two kitties; one sometimes chomps on a Spider Plant (it’s non-toxic). The opposite one might care much less about vegetation. your pets. Do a little analysis.

Most houseplants are poisonous to pets by some means, and I wish to share my ideas relating to this matter. Right here’s an inventory of 11 pet-friendly houseplants to your reference.

Cleansing Rubber Plant Leaves

These shiny, terribly giant leaves can get soiled quick. This plant advantages from a superb cleansing, finest carried out with a comfortable, barely moist, lint-free material. If it’s sufficiently small, spray it within the bathe or take it outdoors for a superb hosing.

I clear mine a few times a yr. Cleansing your Rubber Plant’s leaves will make it look higher and assist it breathe.

How & why I clear houseplants.

Rubber Plant Care Video Information

Conclusion: If in case you have the pure gentle and house for this plant to develop, that is the indoor tree for you. Caring to your Rubber Plant is a matter of offering the suitable gentle publicity, watering judiciously, and guaranteeing well-draining soil. Add some lush greenery to your indoor house!

Pleased gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

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