Rubber plants, or Ficus Elastica, are a popular choice for indoor houseplants. Caring for a rubber plant is easy and they can grow quite large. With proper care, rubber plants can live for many years and add a touch of elegance to any home.
Types of Rubber Plants
Here are some of the most popular types of Ficus Elastica rubber plants:
- Ficus elastica – This is the most common type of rubber plant. It has large, glossy leaves that are typically dark green in color.
- Ficus elastica ‘Decora’ – This variety has leaves that are variegated with white and cream.
- Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ – This variety has deep burgundy-colored leaves.
- Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ – This variety has leaves that are variegated with green, cream, and pink.
- Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’ – This variety has large, glossy leaves that are dark green in color. It is a more vigorous grower than the other varieties.
- Ficus elastica ‘Abidjan’ – This variety has deep green leaves with a reddish tinge.
- Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’ – This variety has leaves that are variegated with green and cream.
- Ficus elastica ” – This variety has leaves that are deep red in color.
- Ficus elastica ‘Melany’ – This variety has leaves that are dark green with a reddish tinge.
Rubber Plant General Care
Rubber plants are a relatively easy to care for houseplant. In general, they prefer bright, indirect sunlight and moist, well-draining soil. They should be fertilized every few weeks during the spring and summer months.
Rubber plants need bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.
The best spot for rubber plants is near an east-facing window. If you don’t have any east-facing windows, you can place your rubber plant near a west-facing window, My rubber plants love to be directly in a west-facing windowsill. My west-facing windows have some tree cover, however. If you have sun directly coming through your windows, you may need to draw the curtains during the hottest part of the day.
Rubber plants should be watered regularly, but don’t overwater them. The soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
Rubber plants prefer well-draining soil. A good potting mix for rubber plants is one that is made for tropical plants. You can also add some perlite or sand to the soil to improve drainage.
Rubber plants should be fertilized during the spring and summer months. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 fertilizer, and dilute it to half strength. Fertilize every two weeks.
Pests and Diseases
Rubber plants are relatively resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can be susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. If you see any signs of pests or diseases, treat them immediately with an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Rubber plants will need to be repotted every two to three years. When repotting, choose a pot that is one size larger than the current pot. Use a well-draining potting mix and water the plant well after repotting.
Rubber plants can be propagated from cuttings. To propagate a rubber plant, take a cutting that is about six inches long. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and dip the end in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix and keep the soil moist. The cutting should root in about six weeks.
With proper care, rubber plants can thrive for many years. With their glossy leaves and elegant appearance, rubber plants are a great addition to any home.
Additional Rubber Plant Care Tips
- Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust and keep them looking their best.
- Mist the leaves with water regularly to increase humidity.
- Turn the plant regularly to promote even growth.
- Prune the plant regularly to remove dead or damaged leaves.
With a little care, your rubber plant will be a beautiful addition to your home for years to come.