rubber tree

Rubber Tree Caring and Propagating: The Ultimate Guide

Rubber tree has another name: Ficus Elastica. There are a few important things to keep in mind while learning how to care for a rubber tree plant, but it’s not as tough as you would imagine. A young rubber tree houseplant will have an easier time adjusting to life inside than a more established plant.

What is a Rubber Tree?

rubber tree plant
rubber tree plant

Rubber trees, also known by their scientific name, Ficus Elastica, may be grown to the size of medium-sized house plants or to the size of stunning interior trees if they are allowed to mature. Plants that start off younger when you purchase them adapt better to indoor life than beginning with a more mature plant. If you are patient enough to cultivate your own, starting with a younger plant is preferable.

Within a few years, they may reach astonishing heights, particularly if you leave the plants outdoors in the summer. If you wish to keep the plants smaller, potting them in tiny containers will limit their development.

Common Types of Rubber Tree

types of rubber tree
types of rubber tree

There are several types of rubber trees as follows:

  • The most common variety, known as Ficus elastica ‘Robusta,’ has leaves that are wide and green in color.
  • The fibrous and leathery leaves of the Ficus elastica ‘Tricolor’ are indistinguishable from those of the standard species, with the exception of their multicolored appearance (green, pink, and white).
  • Ficus elastica ‘Tineke’ has pink stems and leaves that are cream-colored, and it has a combination of dark and light green in its leaves.
  • The large, glossy leaves of the Ficus elastica ‘Decora’ tree may grow to be as long as 12 inches in length.
  • The Ficus elastica ‘Doescheri’ plant has pink highlights and blotched leaves on the undersides of its stalks.
  • Under some lighting circumstances, the dark crimson leaves of the Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ tree seem to be almost completely black.

Rubber Tree Plant Care: Things You Should Know

Rubber tree care can be difficult in case you don’t know the below information:


Rubber plants need well-draining soil in order to prevent root rot. Between waterings, the soil must totally drain. However, they do enjoy soil that retains water well and doesn’t dry up too rapidly. Basically, the soil must be kept wet without getting soggy for rubber plants. One part sand, one part pine bark, and one part peat make up the perfect combination.

rubber tree care
rubber tree care


The leaves of your rubber plant might start to burn if you place them in a location that gets direct sunlight. They are able to adapt to low lighting and may live in workplaces and other dimly lit spaces. Your rubber plant likely needs additional light if you see the leaves becoming paler or the bottom leaves dropping off.

Thermodynamics and Humidity

The ideal temperature range for rubber plants inside is between 65 and 85 degrees. A rubber plant will develop more swiftly if left outside in the summer. In reality, the plants may sometimes be grown outside year-round in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. As soon as the temperature drops below 65 degrees, bring a rubber tree inside for the season.

Rubber plants are tropical in origin; thus, they prefer moist environments. Consider spraying the leaves year-round if the weather or indoor heating makes your house extremely dry.


Keep the soil wet while the plants are developing, which takes place in the summer in most regions. Once a week, spritz the plant’s leaves with water or gently wash them off with a moist cloth. It’s OK for the soil to grow dry between waterings throughout the winter when rubber plants are dormant. During this period, water them every two to three weeks. Overwatering is indicated by leaves becoming brown or yellow, whereas underwatering is indicated by leaves drooping.

rubber tree indoor
rubber tree indoor

Safety Considerations

Washing your hands after handling rubber plants is crucial because the milky white latex they generate irritates the skin and eyes. Additionally poisonous if ingested, rubber plants must be kept away from animals and small children.

Typical Pests and Diseases of Rubber Tree

Although rubber plants are often pest-resistant, they may nonetheless get infested on occasion. The most frequent offenders are scale, thrips, aphids, and spider mites. If you see bugs on your rubber plant, apply an insecticide, either natural or synthetic, to get rid of them. Other horticultural oils, such as neem oil, may also aid in the pest control of your plant.

Overwatering may cause rubber plants to develop root rot. Make careful to wait until the soil is totally dry before watering the plant again if you see the leaves drooping or turning yellow.

hardy rubber tree
hardy rubber tree

Pruning and Repotting Rubber Tree

Rubber plants just need to be pruned to remove dead or dying leaves. However, bear the following in mind while shaping: Wait until your plant reaches the required height before removing the top. Your plant will branch out after you remove the top. You may always trim to the form you want by removing stray branches. Although it is ideal to prune in the spring or summer, it is not required.

tineke rubber tree
tineke rubber tree

Your plants won’t grow if you don’t repot them. However, avoid putting rubber plants in very large containers. A decent general rule of thumb is to transplant into pots that are approximately an inch larger in diameter than the previous container.

Propagating Rubber Plants

Rubber plants are easy to propagate in large numbers. When the sap has completely dried, just cut off a piece of the stem and insert it in some kind of rooting medium. Check that each cutting is at least 6 inches long and has four leaf nodes before you use it. After removing the leaves at the bottom of the cutting, you should save two or three leaves at the top of the cutting.

To promote roots, plant the stem in the soil and think about warming the container holding the stem. In general, early spring to late summer, when houseplants are in their growing season, is ideal for propagation.

burgundy rubber tree
burgundy rubber tree

Above is all information about rubber tree as well as the comprehensive guide to caring for this kind of plant. Hope that you can get enough beneficial information. Good luck!


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