Rubber Plant

by Suzi Tehan

LIGHT:  Medium to bright light. 

WATERING:  Needs deep watering during the growing period but allow the top layer of soil to dry out before watering again.  Water less during winter. 

NUTRIENT:  Fertilize during growing period with half-strength liquid fertilizer.  Avoid feeding during the cooler months. 

TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY:  Grows best with temperatures of around 18 degrees but slightly lower temperatures will be tolerated.  Moderate to high humidity is best for this plant. 

PROBLEMS:  If leaves start to fall this may be the result of overwatering or sudden change in temperature and humidity.  It is normal for old leaves to fall off.  Red spider mites, thrip, mealybugs, and scale insects may be a threat to these plants.  If the plant grows too big to be kept indoors it is best to discard it as the large root system in the garden may be a problem. 

SPECIAL CARE:  Wipe down fronds to remove dust and allow the plant to breathe properly.  Cutting off the top of the rubber plant will help the plant to branch lower but the sap will weep from the wound.  This can be sealed with a dusting of powdered charcoal.  Repot in Spring if the roots become pot bound. 

BOTANIC NAME:  Ficus Elastica