Part of the Ficus Family – Ficus Elastica – commonly known as the rubber plant is great for your home as it’s quick and easy to maintain and known to improve indoor air quality which eliminates bacteria and mold spores in the air. It’s over sized waxy leaves aesthetically brings in a design element of texture, colour and calmness.
The guidelines below are to assist you in taking care of your rubber plant. Regardless of how long you have had it, plant illnesses can occur at any time or change in climate can manipulate the environment for the comfortable plant.
*Medium- High watering
If your plant is looking healthy, continue to water it as you do. If the roots are over or under watered check by feeling the soil 2-5cm, if the soil feels dry add a cup of water and drain through, alternatively if the soil is moist check again the following week and skip watering.
*Small rubber plant add 2 cups of water, let it strain through.
*Medium rubber plant 2-3 cups of water, let it strain through
*Large rubber plant 4-5 cups, let it strain through
To awaken the plant poke the roots with a stick or your finger to get the roots aerated which helps to break up the compacted dirt and liven up the plant.
*Medium- High indirect sunlight
Rubber plants thrive against bright indirect light and grow their leaves lusciously quickly. I have positioned my rubber plant next to the bathroom window which pours in a fair amount of indirect sunlight and a fresh afternoon breeze.
*Normal- Medium leaves dust free
Rubber plants originate from the tropical regions and therefore require a higher level of humidity. Large leaves can easily gather dust which is a problem for a healthy plant to grow as the dust particles eliminate the lights absorption. You can either take a damp cloth or baby wipes or gently clean off the dust weekly. Or let the plant sit under the shower for a minute, let the water run gently onto the leaves and soil.
*Check every 6 months
Twice a year mix up the compacted dirt with new soil and you will see drastic differences in the grown and health levels of your plant. My plants leaves started drooping so I replanted it from a 15cm to an 18cm pot with a blend between the new and old soil and I added a growth tablet into the soil mix. After 3 months it has grown 10cm with four new leaves. Keep an eye if the roots start popping close to the surface, or the leaves are looking tired consider replanting it into a new pot
Rotate your plant
If you notice the leaves predominantly leaning on one side, it is gravitating toward the natural light. Turn the pot plant occasionally to prevent the plant from lob sided.
Rotting rubber plants
*Can happen anytime
Leggy (Bare stem)
If the leaves at the bottom are falling away and the stem is left bare, your rubber plant is drowning, cut back on the watering
Your plant is not getting enough natural light and that it could be overwatered. When light cannot reach the plant it will go into hibernation mode.
Your plant is thirsty and needs some tender love. Wipe away the dust particles in the basin, pour cups of water (dependent on side of plant) let it run through the sink.
Droopy leaves turning brown
The plant is not getting enough water which is causing the plant to dry and turn brown and crisp. The leaves start to dry out and drop to conserve their energy.
Hope the above guidelines assist you in maintaining a healthy rubber plant. If you have an ill plant and the characteristics haven’t been mentioned above, please leave a comment and let’s figure out what’s happening to your plant.