Rubber plant Ficus Elastica 3 gallon
Rubber plants are a neat indoor tree with bright coral new growth and mature deep glossy green leaves. Their preferred growing environment is pretty particular, they want bright indirect light, or filtered morning sun with shade in the afternoon. They can get leaf scald if exposed to too much direct light, keeping them a few feet away from the window can help eliminate the risk. They are sensitive to cold drafts that can dry them out, keep them out of the air conditioner draft and ideally in a humid place such as near a wash room or kitchen.
Indoor they will typically grow to around 10 feet high but if they get more light and fertilized regularly they can grow much larger. They look great in courtyards and patios that are shielded from our intense sun and dry heat. They can be a fast grower that gets root bound in a year’s growth, repotting your plant will help it continue growing, or using a lighter dose of fertilizer or fresh few inches of soil can buy you time before repotting. They prefer a slightly acidic soil that stays moist but not soggy. Black gold all purpose potting mix can help achieve the right pH since its sphagnum peat moss based, amended with extra perlite to help aerate the soil and prevent boggy conditions. Using an organic fertilizer such as Down to Earth acid mix is another way to lower pH and fertilize your Rubber tree if established in the ground or in a larger container.
Rubber plants are vulnerable to a few pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, scale, and thrips. Keep an eye on new plants and check regularly by dusting the leaves and looking for damage or waxy substance on the underside of the leaf. Keeping a bottle of neem oil or insecticidal soap on hand to treat infestations quickly is ideal. Due to their preference for moist soil keep an eye out for fungus gnats and root rot as well. With the right care rubber plants are a great addition to your home’s design, when choosing a location to grow them keep in mind they can be slightly toxic if ingested by animals or children. Even touching the plant can be an irritant to those with latex allergies.