How To Care For A Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica)

 Ficus elastica, often known as the rubber plant, takes its name from the latex it produces, which was originally used to create rubber. It's an unusual-looking variety endemic to Southeast Asia's tropics. This species is a member of the fig genus and is also known as rubber tree, rubber fig, and rubber bush. It has enormous, oval-shaped leaves with a brilliant green tint and may grow swiftly, reaching up to 10 meters high in its native habitat. However, it is more commonly maintained inside as a houseplant, where this can be grown and maintained year-round and its growth may be kept more manageable.

These tropical evergreen trees have grown quite popular as houseplants all around the world.


Because the Ficus elastica prefers wet soil, avoid planting it anywhere dry, such as near a drafty window or vent, heater, or in full sunshine. Although bright, indirect light is optimum for cultivating the Rubber Plant, they are surprisingly tolerant of low light environments for a ficus. To keep the plant happy, it is frequently recommended that it be put near a southern facing window with translucent curtains to let more light pour through.

Photographer: Scott Webb (under the Unsplash License)

Is it simple to care for rubber plants?

Rubber plants are low-maintenance and may grow swiftly in the correct conditions. They're tough, patient, and easy to please. Keep their soil slightly damp, give them lots of sunlight, and if you're at a comfortable temperature, they'll be as well.

Keep rubber plants out of reach of little hands and paws, as latex can be harmful if consumed and can cause skin irritation.

Needs for Light

Rubber plants want bright, abundant light, but not direct sunshine. A bright location protected by a sheer curtain is typically ideal for rubber plants. More light is required if your rubber plant gets leggy, its leaves lose their shine, and lower leaves fall off.

Water Requirements

During the dormant season, it may only require watering once or twice a month. If the rubber tree's leaves begin to droop but do not fall off, gradually increase the amount of water you give it until the leaves perk up again.

The rubber tree plant relies heavily on water balance. During the growth season, it must be kept wet and watered at least once a week. It is also advisable to spritz your rubber tree houseplant's leaves with water or wipe them down with a damp cloth. If you overwater the rubber tree plant, you will see the leaves becoming yellow and brown and dropping off.

To encourage new leaves on a rubber tree houseplant, make an incision in the node where a leaf has fallen off. This will expedite the growth.

Insects should be avoided

If you notice any pests or bugs on your plant, take a snapshot with your phone and bring it to your nearest Bunnings - show a team member and they will assist you in locating a solution to address the problem. We utilized an Eco pest oil spray to eliminate mealybugs at our facility. This product is fantastic since it has been carefully designed to eradicate insects and pests from indoor plants. It works great — simply isolate your sick plant for a bit until the problem is resolved.


Rubber plants prefer temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F. They can live in temperatures as low as 50°F in the winter. A healthy temperature balance is essential for this plant's growth, just as it is for water and sunlight. Because of its tropical origin, it favors wet and humid air, although it may thrive in less humid conditions. Rubber plants are sensitive to temperature and like to thrive in conditions of regular humidity and temperature.


You'll need to trim your rubber plant to help it maintain itself, encourage new development, and keep its size under control so it doesn't get too big. Pruning in the spring is preferable to pruning in the winter, although a rubber plant may be trimmed at any time of year. Keep in mind that cutting the branches will allow some of the plant's sap to leak out.

Change the vase to monitor its progress

A rubber plant could only grow as big as its pot. Repot your rubber plant every year or two to ensure it has enough area to thrive. Select a new pot that is one to two inches larger in diameter than your plant's current container.

The Rate of Growth

Your Rubber Plant's growth rate will most likely be described as moderately rapid. Many owners keep their plants outside throughout the summer, believing that this fosters a quick growth of new leaves. However, don't overdo the sun exposure, and keep an eye out for damp chilly Summers, which can promote illness and overwater.

Plants that are extremely pot confined will not grow and don't expect any growth amid winter because the growing seasons are Spring and Summer.

Dust is the most common issue with indoor Rubber Plants. To keep them looking excellent, wipe them over with a moist cloth every couple of months. Leaf shine products can also be used to achieve a glossy appearance.