Talking about the perfection of nature and plants, there are so many different kinds to choose from, color, flowers, texture. The rubber plant, also known as Ficus elastica has a very unique texture to it, and more than that it is a beautiful and very low maintenance plant, making it a great addition to your home environment. There are a few tips for the care of a rubber plant. So if you are interested in bringing one of these beauties into your home plant family, read on to find out how to take care of a rubber plant.
The rubber plant has this name because its sap has been used in the making of rubber. Their leaves have this rubber quality to them when touched. They are native plants of the southeast region of Asia and in the wild can grow up to 30 meters tall. But don’t worry they will not grow that tall in your house, when planted in pots they don’t grow that far. They have really beautiful leaves which will for sure bring more beauty to your home.
Can Rubber Plants Live Outside?
es. But it is also possible for you to have them indoors. The thing is the younger they are brought into the indoor living, the better they will adapt, so the best thing is that you get a plant that is still very young, or you plant your own. If you get a plant that is more mature, the chances of it adapting to the indoor environment are smaller. These plants can, within a year, grow quite tall, especially if you give them some time outside in the summer. If you wish to keep them smaller, maintaining them in a small pot will limit their growth range. These are already a few initial tips about rubber plant indoor care. Next let’s talk about the three important factors to be considered for the optimal environment for your plant to grow: Light, soil, and water.
Rubber Plant Light Requirements
When you are keeping a rubber tree plant as a houseplant, inside, you need to find the spot to put it at with the right amount of light. Its preference is for indirect but bright light. A good idea for example is to place it close to a window that has curtains that allow the light to pass through, but at the same time, filters it a bit so the sunlight is not hitting the plant too strongly.
Rubber Plant Soil
When choosing the soil for your rubber plant you want to be aware that they are not fond of sitting, swimming in the water, so it’s important that the soil you choose has good drainage. An equal-parts mixture of pine bark, peat, and perlite(or coarse sand) is a good option for this.
Water and Fertilizer
How Often to Water the Rubber Plant?
The amount of water you need to give your plant will vary depending on the season. During the summer, when it’s growing, you should keep your plant moist. And this means not just the soil, but also using a damp cloth to wipe the leaves or mist them, keeping them with enough water during the hot times. In the dormant season, however, it can be that your plant will only need to receive water once, maybe twice a month. If you see that the leaves are becoming droopy, it means that the plant needs more water. If they start to turn brown and yellow it means that there is too much water.
If the air is too dry, you can mist it in any season. During winter, indoors, when the heater is on a lot the air can become quite dry so it’s important to keep the leaves moist. Another thing that will make your rubber plant really happy is to water it with lukewarm water. Allow the tap water to sit out for a bit at room temperature so that the chlorine can evaporate, and the water becomes less cold, this way there won’t be such a temperature shock to the plant roots.
You may add fertilizer to your plant but only during the growing season. This is true for the care of most houseplants.
Re-potting and Pruning Rubber Plants
When caring for rubber plants they don’t really require too much attention about pruning, all that is needed really is to remove leaves that are dead or dying. If you have the wish to shape them, just pay attention to a few things. Until your plant has reached the height you want it to be, don’t cut off the top, when you do that the plant will start branching out. If you have a shape in mind you can cut branches that are not following the shape. The best time to prune your plant is during spring or summer.
Re-potting is what will allow your plant to grow, so as long as you want them to keep growing you will need to keep repotting them. But don’t exaggerate and put your plant in too big of a pot. An inch bigger than the pot it was in before is a good size step up.
Because it is such a gorgeous plant, there is a chance that the people who visit you will fall in love and want one for their own home. Now, it doesn’t work every time but in the case of rubber plants, there is a good chance that a piece that you take from it, when placed in new soil, will grow. What you have to do is allow the sap to become dry, use rooting to dip the cutting inside, and add a heating pad underneath the pot. This will make the chances of successful growth higher.
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