WEEKLY PLANT TIPS #2: RUBBER TREE

Ficus Elastica

“The India rubber plant, (Ficus elastica), also called India rubber tree, large tree of the family Moraceae, once an important source of an inferior natural rubber. It was largely replaced as a source of rubber by the unrelated rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) in the early 20th century. The India rubber plant is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly grown as an indoor pot plant elsewhere. The young plants are durable and grow well under less-than-ideal indoor conditions.

The India rubber plant has large, thick, oblong leaves up to 30 cm (12 inches) long and figlike fruits in pairs along the branches. The trunk and stems exude a milky sap, or latex.” - Encyclopedia Britannica

Plant Life

With proper care, a ficus elastica plant can last an average of 5-10 years. They prefer indirect light, so we don’t recommend for you to put it in a high light window sill.

Light Source

Rubber Plant thrives in areas with full sun to partial shade. Take care not to house plants in rooms that receive direct sunlight the entire day. A good measure for the proper brilliance of a room is to keep the plant in a room where one’s shadow can be easily seen on the wall behind the plant throughout the course of the day.

Watering Requirements

Water when the top inch of the soil becomes dry. Then thoroughly drench until the water drains out into the saucer. Empty the saucer if the water level is high so not to drown the roots. Do not splash water on the leaves, this can cause stains. The worst thing you can do to your Rubber Tree is to overwater it. This is shown by the plant when the leaves yellow. You might be inclined to think yellow leaves = dry plant, but with this plant, that’s a sign you’ve been watering too often.

Issues to Note for Pet Owners

The white latex sap in the rubber tree is an irritant for pets’ skin and innards. It is not “poisonous” but can make them sick. If you have cats or dogs in your home that like to gnaw on your plants, keep this plant away from their reach to avoid and foreseeable problems.

Questions?

If you have any questions about your plants, feel free to send us an email! We’re looking forward to adding video plant consultation services soon as well, but contact us with any questions you might have! 

Best, 

Rob & Meg


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