The rubber plant, or the Ficus Elastica, is a popular houseplant, currently trending all across the world. The plant is native to the regions of the Asian continent, and also to the regions of the Indian subcontinent.
The slender-plastic-like leaves make the rubber plant stand out even amongst a crowd of plants. The rubber plant can generally grow up to a height of 30 to 40 meters, with a stout trunk that can measure 2 meters in width.
The rubber plant gets its name from the sap that is present in the plant. This sap-like liquid is known as latex and can be turned into rubber.
What are the Benefits of Growing Rubber Plants?
The Rubber plant is a beneficial plant to grow, whether you do so outdoors or indoors. Here are some of the benefits of growing rubber plants.
- The rubber plant leads to a reduced chance of suffering from air-borne allergies. It acts as a natural air-purifier, and thus lowers the level of pollution in the area that it is planted in. This leads to a reduced chance of allergies like asthma, sinusitis, etc
- The rubber plant is known for being an anti-inflammatory The leaves of this plant help to cure reactions like skin rash and even inflammation. Also, the roots help to deal with rheumatic diseases
- Easy to grow and care for, the rubber plant is a very low-maintenance Just ensure that the plant gets sunlight and is planted in some well-draining soil. And then, all you have to do is just water the plant, and that's just once a week
Types of Rubber Plants
There are many different types of rubber plants. Have a look at some of the most popular and common varieties of the rubber tree indoors.
Burgundy Rubber Plant
Easily identified by its colour, the Burgundy Rubber plant is a unique addition to the rubber plant family. However, the leaves of the plant are either black or green, contrary to its name.
The Common Fig, or Ficus Carica, has leaves different from that of general rubber plants and their varieties. The plant generally grows to a height of 12 feet, but can also be grown as a Bonsai.
Fiddle Leaf Fig:
The Fiddle Leaf Fig is one of the more popular varieties of the rubber plant. Also known as Ficus lyrata, the Fiddle Leaf Fig is comparatively easy to grow and care for and is also available at a handsome price.
Also known as the PachiraAquatica, the Money Tree is often regarded as a rubber plant as it bears a close resemblance to the plant, especially the leaves. The trunk of the tree is shaped in such a way that it seems to be braided.
The Ficus elastica Robusta is a unique variety of the rubber plant as it is coffee-producing in nature. If grown indoors, the plant doesn’t produce coffee cherries that easy but is very easy to grow and maintain.
How to Care For a Rubber Plant?
The rubber plant can thrive well even with little care. Just ensure that you place it in a spot with exposure to lots of indirect sunlight. Make sure that you water the plant as and when required, and also help it take in all the required nutrients to grow.
Rubber Tree: Care Tips
True, the rubber tree indoors and outdoors needs little care to thrive. But here’s how you can ensure rubber plant care indoors:
- The light needs of the rubber tree are pretty simple; it needs bright yet indirect sunlight to thrive. Place it near a curtained window that gets sunlight throughout the day. Direct exposure to the sunlight can burn its leaves
- The rubber plant prefers some well-draining and well-aerated soil to grow. This allows the moisture to escape without harming the plant and also helps the roots to breathe
- Like other general plants, the rubber plant also doesn’t like to stay drenched in water for too long. Just make sure that your plant stays dry, neither the soil nor the leaves of the plant
- The plant prefers a humid environment to grow in. The best temperature range for the plant to thrive in is 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. In an environment exceeding this temperature, the plant won’t be able to thrive long
- Take to pruning your rubber plant if the interiors aren’t spacious enough to allow complete growth of the plant. Make sure that you do not cut off the top of the plant before it reaches the desired plant, and only prune during the growing seasons.
Does Rubber Plant Help to Improve Room Air Quality?
The rubber plant is NASA-recommended for its property of being a natural air purifier. The plant helps get rid of harmful toxins and pollutants that are present indoors. This purification of the air removes allergens that lead to different diseases like asthma, sinusitis, dust allergies, etc.
Also, the rubber plant absorbs carbon dioxide from the air. In doing so, it makes the air fresher and also gives us more oxygen to breathe in.
Rubber Plant Indoor or Outdoor
The rubber plant can do perfectly well in both outdoor and indoor environments. The only thing you need to ensure is that the plant gets enough sunlight and is set into the right potting soil. And then, it is good enough to be placed both outdoors and indoors.
Rubber Plant Indoor Benefits
The rubber plant is a rather popular choice for a houseplant. Here are some of the benefits that having a rubber plant indoors have to offer.
- First things first, the rubber plant is easy to grow and care for. This is one benefit that helps you feel good, giving you the sense of being a good plant parent and thus, encouraging you to have faith in yourself
- The rubber plant is a natural air-purifying agent. It is a NASA-recommended plant that helps you to get rid of harmful toxins from the house, helping you to breathe in clean air
- In addition to purifying the air, the rubber plant also helps to remove the excess carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. This removal of carbon dioxide also results in more oxygen and fresh air
Rubber Plant Variegated
Variegated rubber plants are those plants that differ from regular rubber plants in terms of their leaf colours. The rubber trees generally have leaves green in colour, but the leaves in the variegated ones differ in colours like cream, green, red, yellow, etc.
Also known as the Ficus elastica Variegata, the variegated rubber plant is native to the regions of South and Southeast Asia. It can grow up to 30 to 40 feet in height, spreading to an area of 30 feet. While indoors, these plants mostly grow up to a height of 10 feet.
Variegated Rubber Plant Care
The variegated rubber plants require lots of bright indirect light to survive. The best way to ensure this is to place the plant near a curtained window, while also rotating it regularly to promote even growth. The leaves also require cleaning from time to time to help them absorb the sunlight.
Water the plant as and when the top 2 inches of the soil goes dry. Also, see to it that you do not drench the roots in water as it can lead to root rot. The variegated rubber plant also loves humidity so misting it daily can help.
Rubber Plant Watering
It is important to figure out the right watering needs of your rubber plant for it to grow well. The plant prefers some moist soil to grow in, not soggy. The leaves of the plant, too, do not like to stay dry for too long.
So, it becomes important that you water the plant at least once or twice every week during its growing seasons, that is, during the summer months. In winters, the plant doesn’t require watering too often and thus can do well with being watered just once or twice a month, taking a look at the condition of the plant.
Rubber Plant Fertilizer
Fertilizing the rubber plant is not a must, but additional care for the plant. Using a fertilizer helps to ensure that you keep up with the nutrient requirements of the plant. However, use it only during the growing seasons, not in the winters.
Rubber Plant Propagation
Propagating the rubber plant is an easy enough task for everyone, given that it is done the right way. The easiest way to do it is to cut off a branch from a healthy rubber plant and then plant it in soil or water. However, let the latex dry off from the branch before you decide to replant it. Another easy way to propagate a rubber plant is through the means of air layering.
There are also two other ways to efficiently propagate the rubber plant- through leaf cuttings and rooting hormones. However, these methods are a little hard to follow.
Why is the ficus tree dropping leaves?
The dropping of Ficus tree leaves is a sign of unhealthiness in the plant. Here’s what might be leading up to it.
- Change in the environment is the most common reason leading up to this. So, try to keep the plant in a stable environment
- Under-watering or over-watering can also lead to a loss of leaves in the plant. Make sure that you meet the adequate water requirements of the plant
- Inadequate lighting conditions can also cause the leaves of the plant to fall off. In such a case, the new leaves that emerge might be pale or white
- Exposure to pests and fungus can also make the leaves of the plant drop off
Rubber Plant Price
The rubber plant is pretty affordable. The plant is also easily available, be it in nurseries nearby or online sites. The plant can easily be bought online, at a handsome price.
Here we have answered some FAQS to help you know more about rubber plants.
Is rubber plant good for indoor?
The rubber tree indoor plant can thrive quite well. The plant is extremely easy to grow and care for. It also helps to purify the air indoors and gets rid of harmful toxins, helping us breathe in a little cleaner air.
Do rubber plants need direct sunlight?
No, rubber plants generally prefer bright but indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight is harmful to the rubber plant as it can cause burning in the leaves.
Where should I place a rubber plant in my house?
The best spot to place a rubber plant in the house is to place it by a window that receives sunlight throughout the day. However, make sure that the window is curtained to filter the sunlight.
How do you take care of indoor rubber plants?
To take care of indoor rubber plants, place them in a spot with lots of bright indirect sunlight. Also, water the plant as and when the top layer of the soil dries out. Ensure that the roots of the plant don’t remain drenched in water.
What plants are best for improving indoor air quality?
Many plants are known for their air-purifying capabilities. Eminent among these are the Areca Palm, Rubber plant, Snake plant, spider plant, etc.
What indoor plants don't need drainage?
Plants like Chinese evergreen, Pothos, Snake plants, etc. can survive without drainage.