Ficus elastica, commonly known as the rubber plant or rubber tree, is a popular indoor plant cherished for its lush foliage and easy-to-care-for nature. Originating from Southeast Asia, this resilient plant has become a staple in homes and offices worldwide. However, like any living organism, proper care is essential to ensure its health and vitality. In this blog post, we’ll explore some expert tips on how to care for and maintain your ficus elastica.

Ficus elastica thrives in bright, indirect light. Place your plant near a window where it can receive ample sunlight without being exposed to direct rays, which can scorch its leaves. Insufficient light may result in leggy growth and leaf drop, while too much direct sunlight can cause leaf burn.

  • Watering: 

Proper watering is crucial for the health of your rubber plant. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, and then water thoroughly until water drains out from the bottom of the pot. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to avoid waterlogged soil. In winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant’s growth slows down.

  • Humidity: 

Ficus elastica appreciates moderate to high humidity levels. While it can tolerate average humidity, providing extra humidity through methods like misting or placing a humidifier nearby can promote healthier growth and prevent leaf browning or curling, especially in dry indoor environments.

  • Temperature: 

Rubber plants prefer warm temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Avoid placing them near drafts or heating vents, as sudden temperature fluctuations can stress the plant. Additionally, protect your ficus elastica from cold drafts, as temperatures below 50°F (10°C) can cause damage to its leaves.

  • Soil: 

Use a well-draining potting mix rich in organic matter for your rubber plant. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and compost works well to provide adequate aeration and moisture retention while preventing waterlogging. Repot your ficus elastica every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its current pot.

  • Fertilisation: 

During the growing season in spring and summer, fertilise your ficus elastica monthly with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser diluted to half-strength. Avoid fertilising during the winter months when the plant’s growth slows down. Over-fertilization can lead to salt buildup in the soil, causing root damage.

  • Pruning: 

Regular pruning helps maintain the shape and size of your rubber plant while encouraging bushier growth. Remove any yellowing or damaged leaves as they appear using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. You can also trim back leggy stems to promote denser foliage.

  • Pests and Diseases: 

Keep an eye out for common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, which can infest Ficus elastica. Wipe down the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and discourage pests. If an infestation occurs, treat it promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Additionally, watch out for signs of fungal diseases like leaf spot and powdery mildew, which can be prevented by ensuring good air circulation and avoiding overwatering.

  • Propagation: 

Ficus elastica can be propagated easily through stem cuttings. Take a 4-6 inch cutting from a healthy stem, remove the lower leaves, and place the cutting in water or moist soil. Keep the cutting in a warm, humid environment until roots develop, then transplant it into a pot with well-draining soil.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your ficus elastica remains a vibrant and thriving addition to your indoor space. With proper attention to its light, water, humidity, and other needs, your rubber plant will reward you with its lush foliage and enduring beauty for years to come. Also, bring home more greenery with the monstera deliciosa today!