We bet you’ve been noticing a trend on social media – a new plant has been taking the place of the fiddle leaf fig! The Rubber Plant is the new kid in town and we are here for it! Today I’m sharing all about rubber plant care and how to add this new plant to your space.
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Rubber Plant Basics
The Rubber Plant, formally ficus elastica, is a fairly easy plant that can grow to incredible heights! It can grow to be 100 ft tall in its native home, Southeast Asia! In your home, it can grow to heights of 6 to 10 feet tall. If you’re patient enough it’s best to get these plants when they’re young so they have time to adapt to an indoor setting.
Rubber plants are also called rubber tree or rubber plant tree. They get their name due to their sap which is used to make rubber! Their leaves also have a bit of shiny and rubbery appearance, also contributing to their name.
Keep them in smaller pots to keep them small or put them in larger plants to allow them to grow to super tall. These can be brought outside during the summer months.
The Rubber Plant is also one that removes toxins from the air. Three that they remove are carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
According to the ASPCA, rubber plants are not toxic to dog or cats so this makes a great plant for you pet owners! The sap has been known to be a bit of a skin irritant to some people so watch out for that and don’t consume it!
Rubber Plant Care Tips + Tricks
They need the right balance of water with more during the growing season and much less during the dormant season. Once you figure out a good mix of water and light you’ll find that rubber trees are very easy to grow!
Rubber plants ideally grow best with a good amount of bright sun so keep that in mind when purchasing one. They like bright, indirect light – such as near a window with a sheer curtain. They won’t do well in low light.
You can put rubber plants outdoors in the summer to grow nice and big and tall. Just remember to not put them in direct sun or they won’t do so great!
Temperature and Humidity
Rubber plants like comfortable temperatures between 60°F-75°F. They prefer more humid spots but can do fine in a place with regular humidity. They’re sensitive to temperature changes so keep the away from drafty windows or doors.
Rubber plants are toxic to cats, dogs and humans if consumed so keep this clear of your furry friends and tiny hands!
Pruning and Re-potting Rubber Plants
Rubber plants don’t need a lot of pruning unless you want to shape them a bit. Just be sure to not cut the top of of your plant or it will branch out!
The size of your pot will directly impact the size of your plant. If you keep them in a small pot they will stay small. If you repot them too slightly larger pots they will continue to grow. Be careful to not put them in a pot that is too oversized or they won’t!
Propagating Your Rubber Plant
I have yet to propagate my rubber plant but there are a few different ways to do this.
One is simply cutting off a healthy branch from your tree. Dip it in rooting hormone (for best results) or just put it directly in good potting soil and let it root!
I’ve also read that you can propagate your plants in water but you may not have quite as good results that way.
Rubber Plant FAQ
Do rubber plants need direct sunlight?
As mentioned above, you don’t want to put them in direct sunlight as this can be too drying.
Do rubber tree plants clean the air?
Yes, rubber plants do remove some toxins from the air. It’s been known to remove formaldehyde from the air making this a great plant to have in your home!
I hope this rubber plant care post inspires you to try out a new plant and have success doing it! Now the question is – do you keep them small or let them grow giant?!
And if you’re looking for even more plant posts, be sure to check out one of these!