Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.

Houseplant Care Tips

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rubber Plant Care

Common Name: Rubber Plant
Scientific Name: Ficus elastica
Lighting: Moderate to Low
Watering: Heavy

The rubber plant is a popular houseplant found in many homes. Characterized by its thick, shiny, oval shaped foliage in either a deep green or burgundy color. The rubber plant requires medium to low light so keep within 5 to 8 feet of a window for best results. The rubber plant also requires heavy watering. It should be watered once or twice a week, keeping the soil moist at all times.

If lower leaves begin to yellow or die your rubber plant may be pot bound. The rubber plant is know for having extensive root development in some cases. Another cause of yellowing of leaves may be over watering. Be sure that your pot has the ability to drain excess water. You do not want your plants roots sitting in water. Placing 1 to 2 inches of pebble stones at the bottom of your pot usually prevents this problem.

The rubber plant is usually one of the easiest houseplants to care for. As long as the plant receives the recommended water levels, this plant can survive in low light environments. I say this plant is usually one of the easiest to care for because even though I have been told I have an excellent green thumb, this is the one houseplant I struggle to keep alive.

This houseplant is toxic if eaten by animals or children. It is one of many poisonous houseplants that are common in many homes.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all these tips. I have a rubber plant at home. I first placed it in a corner in the hallway which limited light got to. I noticed the whole plant turned slightly yellow, or the green rich colour was slowly fading. So I moved it to a west facing window (probably too close to the heater). Tips and edges near the tips are turning yellow or dried out. What have I done wrong? I googled high and low and found no help.
Can you shed some light please?

2:21 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


First thing you need to do is get it into a good location that receives the right amount of light as listed above.

Have you had the plant for a while? It may be root bound. You could try re-potting the plant. Try also giving it some houseplant food for some extra boost.

Keep me posted.


1:44 PM  
Blogger Teacher said...

Thanks for your tips. My plant may be root bound, however it looks healthy to me. There are several branches that have 6-8 leaves at the end. The leaves are dark green. I will be moving it in June and wonder if i can cut the branches back. It is about 5 feet tall. Thanks!

1:14 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Your rubber plant can be pruned back. It will actually help the plant quite a bit and help keep it more compact. Try and prune as close to the stem as you can. New growth will typically begin just below where you pruned.


9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that has grown to more than 9 feet high. I've been meaning to cut it, but afraid that I will harm the plant. So I was wondering if I could still replant the cut stem.

4:28 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


From what I've read on other forums and this one below, you can simply put the stems you cut into dirt.

Trimming / Propagating Rubber Tree

Hope that helps,

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a small rubber plant that was very happy for a few months. I recently re-potted it as the original pot was small and it was growing well. Since then, it seems very unhappy. I tried moving it further away from the sun but that did not help. Many leaves are turning yellow and the green ones don't look that great. I am limiting the water intake in case of over watering but it does not help... can I still save it??

5:15 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


After repotting, plants will go through a type of shock period. Put the plant back in the same spot as it was before, water it the same. Basically make everything the same as it was before you repotted, with exception to the pot.

Give it a little houseplant food for boost.


3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that is dropping perfectly green leaves for no apparent reason. Does anyone have a solution to this problem? New leaves are growing at the bottom but when they get bigger, they fall off, too.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same problem that the last commenter is having. Perfectly healthy leaves seem to be just rapidlly falling off my plant that is 3ft tall. It just seemed to start doing it alot in the last 2 weeks, it was full and beautiful now it is beginning to look sad. PLEASE ! HELP

1:03 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Is your rubber plant root bound? Are the leaves yellowing before falling off?


3:28 PM  
Blogger Greenhouse said...

A few weeks ago, I noticed spots on 3 of my rubber plant's leaves. The spots are a paler shade of green rather than yellow, and their shape and distribution remind me of the patterns on some butterfly wings. The spots are appearing on more leaves. The rest of the plant is a healthy dark green.
Is this a fungus? I'd be grateful for your advice.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My rubber plant is also dropping healthy looking dark green leaves, they are almost all gone, other than this, it seems fine, i dont get it... can anyone help?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a varigated rubber plant for a few months and have noticed the edges of the leaves turning brown. Is this overwatering or too much fertilizer?

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant which seems to be excessively dropping leaves. The plant is in a huge 3 ft wide pot, so i dont think its root bound. I have it in a corner about 2 feet from a window, but its against the wall. Is that why my plant seems to be stressed? please HELP?
(ps plant is 11 years old with pot changed in 2006 is that maybe wats wrong?)

7:33 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Are the leaves yellowing or browning before they drop? If they are yellowing before they drop you may be overwatering the plant.

Have you changed anything on the plant lately? Where is was located, etc.?


9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two similar problems with shriveled leaves:

I have a small rubber plant which is only about a foot tall with very little stem and mostly leaves. It has been happily established for about a year. Recently, it has dropped its larger leaves and started putting on new smaller leaves. The new leaves appear shriveled up for some reason. There have been no changes in its environment except for it being slightly warmer (80º) in my office due to the fact it’s summer. Why are the old leaves falling off and the new leaves shriveled at the edges?

A co-worker who has a rubber plant she’s had for several years recently repotted the plant and cut back the stems to about three feet tall. It is producing leaves just on the ends of the stems. Those leaves recently starting shriveling up and falling off also; even the stems appear to be shriveling up. Why?

M.L.Q. - Arkansas

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a varigated rubber plant/tree. Is there a difference between the rubber plant and a rubber tree? Also how do I clean the leaves. I heard milk works good or mayonnaise but I don't want to hurt it. Any advice?
Thank you
Janis W
Dubuque, IA

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant and for the first 5-6 years the plant was very healthy. Now, some of the taller branches only have leaves at the top and the bottom is very hard woodish color with no leaves. The are tons of new baby shoots at the bottom coming out of the soil. Any ideas why the taller branches will only grow leaves at the top?

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can a rubber plant be pruned? I have one that is 13 yrs. old and huge. I put it outside in the summer and it loves it. It is getting too big for my house. Any suggestions??

3:31 PM  
Blogger hiedi2000 said...

hi i only have a small rubber plant that Ive just potted into new potting mix about 5 weeks ago, i only water twice weekly, now the problem is its just started getting spots of a white powdery substance appearing on all the leaves, i have wiped it of only to find it has reappeared a few days later any advice would be greatly appreciated.

3:46 PM  
Blogger srac said...

I live in north Florida. I have four rubber plants in pots that I keep outdoors. They receive full sun in the afternoon and seem to be doing quite well. Can they be planted in the ground?

8:21 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


I have no experience with houseplants outdoors as I live in Wisconsin.

Can any of my readers give us a hand?


9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have this plant in my home and I have a cat. He does not seem to mess with it at all - should I still get rid of it though?

5:22 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


If your cat leaves the plant alone, then I would leave it. You could always put the plant in an area where the cat can't get at it.

Basically, its up to you. If you think you're cat will leave it alone, I'd keep it.

-- drayas

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


One of my neighbors moved out and left their rubber plant out back of our building. I'm in Colorado and it unexpectedly (or not but it did) got cold. So I brought my orphan plant inside. I hot stem showered it (with out the catch all drain pan), and left it in the bathroom with the humidifier for 2 days hoping the humidity would bring it back. Well, no because I am here asking for help. It is currently 2 feet tall and has been trimmed in the past (I can see the scars). Its leaves have turned brown, but it is still absorbing water. I have a humidifier running constantly in its room.
What are the guide lines for trimming and what is not enough/too much. I have been frantically searching to find answers to help my poor new friend. I read every one else’s comments about being root bound, but the plant is smaller than the pot. Would you recommend taking it out and “re-organizing” the roots? Please help! :~(

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 2 rubber tree plants one is a clipping form the original and mine are next to my front door where there are two side light windows facing the west they receive filtered light through the light curtains, they are doing very well I do not water as recommended I only water once a week at most, I let the soil get a bit dry before watering again. I hope this helps those in need of help.

8:05 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


The cold may have gotten to it. I would begin caring for it as instructed above. Give it some houseplant food, but as for watering and lighting, get it in a good spot and on a schedule. It may come back.

Please keep us posted.

Thank you,

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all i have is african violet soil right now. i'm tempted to put my new rubber plant in this type of soil. what do you think about this?

9:34 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


You should be fine using the African Violet soil. It shouldn't hurt the plant at all. Remember that anytime you repot, the plant will go through a short shock period so don't be alarmed when it looks bad or sick for a little bit.


2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that is about2ft. The botton leaves are green and healthy looking however, new leaves grow in with grey looking spots. Does my plant have a disease and if so what can I do about it?

12:09 PM  
Blogger drayas said...


Your plant may not be receiving enough nutrients. Try giving it some houseplant food to give the new growth an extra boost.


12:52 PM  
Blogger Vasti said...

I have a rubberplant, and it was full of big leaves, but I had to relocated it. All of leaves fell off, and it only has one new leaf at the very top that has not opened. The stalk is very brown at the bottom up to the middle of the stalk, then the stalk is greenish from there up. Can I cut the stalk in half and replant it in dirt or water to re-root it. What can I go to save it? Please help!!

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant which was recived in October. It was from a flower shop I had been told not to repot it in the winter. It is terribly root bound and all the leaves are turning yellow with spots and falling off it gets plenty of indirect sunlight most of the day. Should I go ahead and repot it? Also what type of houseplant food do they like.

8:40 PM  
Blogger lisalicious said...

I have a rubber plant also, the leaves are all very green, I found it to be root bound and I thought in a result of that the leaves were falling off.... So I repotted it and added soil so it could thrive and grow... I have not found that it is growing any better as a matter of fact the healthy green leaves are continuing to fall off.... I seen others reporting the same problem with their plant but no solution, only the question of are the leaves yellow... I can assure you they are not yellow but they are still falling off.... Please this plant means a lot to me if you have any advice I am listening...
Thank you very much

1:34 PM  
Blogger lisalicious said...

Hi again I found this article, I thought I would post it in case if it is helpful to anyone.....

Ficus elastica, also called the rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber plant, or Indian rubber bush is a species of plant in the fig genus, native to northeast India (Assam), south to Indonesia (Sumatra and Java).

It is a fat bush in the banyan group of figs, growing to 30-40 m (rarely up to 60 m) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 m diameter, with an irregular trunk which develops aerial and buttressing roots to anchor it in the soil and help support heavy branches. It has broad shiny oval leaves 10-35 cm long and 5-15 cm broad; leaf size is largest on young plants (occasionally to 45 cm long), much smaller on old trees (typically 10 cm long). The leaves develop inside a sheath at the apical meristem, which grows larger as the new leaf develops. When it is mature, it unfurls and the sheath drops off the plant. Inside the new leaf, another immature leaf is waiting to develop.

As with other members of the genus Ficus, the flowers require a particular species of fig wasp to pollinate it in a co-evolved relationship. Because of this relationship, the rubber plant does not produce highly colourful or fragrant flowers to attract other pollinators. The fruit is a small yellow-green oval fig 1 cm long, barely edible; it will only contain viable seed where the relevant fig wasp species is present....

Ficus elastica is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant. Although it is grown in Hawaii, the species of fig wasp required to allow it to spread naturally is not present there.

In cultivation, it prefers bright sunlight but not hot temperatures. It has a high tolerance for drought, but prefers humidity and thrives in wet, tropical conditions. When grown as an ornamental plant hybrids derived from Ficus elastica Robusta with broader, stiffer and more upright leaves are commonly used instead of the wild form. Many such forms exist, often with variegated leaves.

Most cultivated plants are produced by asexual propagation. This can be done by planting cuttings or air layering. The latter method requires the propagator to cut a slit in the plant's stem. The wound, which oozes with the plant's latex sap, is packed with rooting hormone and wrapped tightly with moist sphagnum moss. The whole structure is wrapped in plastic and left for a few months. When it is unwrapped, new roots have developed from the plant's auxiliary buds. The stem is severed and the new plant is potted on its own.

It can yield a milky white latex also known as sap, which has been used in some cases to make rubber, but it should not be confused with the Para rubber tree, the main commercial source of latex for rubber making. This sap is also an irritant to the eyes and skin and can be fatal if taken internally.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Srac:
I lived in the coastal bend of Texas which can get into the 30's at night. Yes, these plants can be planted in the ground. Though they can get quite large, I would recommend they be planted close to a house or building for protection during the winter.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know as well why perfectly GREEN leaves keep fallling off my rubber plant. Do not ask me if they are yellow when they fall. I just said they are G-R-E-E-N! Thank you.

11:33 AM  
Blogger drayas said...


I need some more information before I can try and help. How long have you had the plant? Did you change its location / amount of sunlight? Any changes in watering schedule?

Typically healthy leaves falling off is a sign of a water issue. Typically. Please keep in mind that I am simply a person who loves houseplants and try to share my experience with others by providing experiences that have worked for me.


9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to get information on propagation for Ficus elastica. How and when a rubber plants have seeds.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that was given to me when a friend moved away, but before she left it with me she repotted it. Since then i feel like it might be in a bad shock stage i keep it about 5 feet away from the sun coming through the window and i water it every week 4 cups just the same as it was getting when she gave it to me. Lately the leaves have been falling off from the bottom up to the top, but i noticed some new leaves are comming in at the top. It's very bear towards the bottom and has grown about a foot, i am just concerned about all the leaves falling off so rapidily and most of the leaves are turning brown. What do i do to help save my plant i want it to grow big and strong like it was when i recieved it. Any suggestions????

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the best way to re-root a rubber plant. In dirt or water? Please advise. Thanks

10:37 AM  
Blogger stephanie 23 said...

hello i have a 7feet tall rubber plant i bought it off my old landlord he could no longer take care of it when i got it it was beautiful now i looks dead it had leaves from top to bottom it was a nice full plant and very green now the stem turned brown on me and all the leaves fell off except the ones on the top and then i had it gettin better for a wile and some leaves start growing on the bottom now its goin down hill again i never start doin anything different it seems like no leaves wanna grow in the middle and its been like this for about a year now how do i gt the stem green again and get my plant looking full and beautiful again PLEASE HELP ME ITS IN NEED!!! THANKS STEPH P.S how can i clean the leaves

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a rubber plant in May of this year, 2009, at a street fair--I live in NYC--from a vendor from Florida--I think.

Description of the Plant: The plant grows a crimson spike about 2 inches long that eventually opens into a shinny green leaf which matures into a duller, darker leaf with a dark crimson center vein. Some of the leaves are variegated with crimson. It's about 21" high with approximately the same spread.

Light:The vendor assured me it would do fine in low light. I have windows more or less facing west, north, and east; the north-facing rooms get the most light--low to medium but very, very little direct sunlight lasting about a half hour (enough to mark the time for planting and harvesting)--so, I placed the plant in the brightest of those two rooms. It used to sit about 10' from the window but I just now moved it in front of the window. I suspect it will eventually wind up somewhere in between.

Watering: I keep the root ball moist in the pot it came in (10" diameter, 9" tall) and mist 2-3 times a week.

The Problems:
It's lost many of its lower leaves (all the leaves from the old wood and about half way up the green) and isn't replacing them although it's growing new leaves at the top. I nicked the stalk just above where the lost leaves were; the nicks in the green section of the stalks produced a drop of white sap (I don't recall where I saw that recommendation) It's also begun growing leaves from a new shoot.
2. A small bump sends one of the leaves to the floor; especially the older leaves. Some of the leaves are a bit dusty and I would wipe them but I'm afraid I'd wind up with a plant having only new growth at the top.

It's a beautiful plant and I'd really hate to lose it. Any suggestions?

1:59 PM  
Blogger LuannD said...

I have a gorgeous rubber plant with large, shiny, dark green, oval-shaped leaves. It stands 4 feet tall. Today, I noticed a large mature leaf on the bottom half of the tree had developed orange/rust colored streaks. One streak follows the entire main vein in the center of the leaf, and the other orange streaks spread out from that, so the majority of the leaf is now dark orange with only a little green still left showing. I see no signs of this on any other leaves, but I am afraid it may spread. Can you please help me identify and solve this problem? Also, I had heard rubber plants do not like their leaves wet so I dust them frequently. Is this a true statement? Thank you for any help you can send my way!

9:54 PM  
Anonymous WhimsicalWayne said...

So...I moved the plant closer to the window, 1 1/2' - 2', the leaves stopped falling (there's not a lot left) and all the branches are growing new leaves at the top.

Now...a couple of the leaves have split about half way down close to the middles. On one or both sides there are small off-white specks. In one case the white specs go down the branch a ways. I thought maybe it was sap from where the leaf split. Does anyone know what might be causing the leaves to split?

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Catherine said...

I have a rubber plant which I have in direct sunlight for a lot of the day. I water it occasionally, sometimes once a month and sometimes twice a week - whenever I remember really! It is growing like wildfire, so perhaps I am just lucky!
Regarding cleaning the plant's leaves which someone asked about, I recommend wiping them with a cloth dampened with milk. Or wiping a banana skin. Sounds strange but it works, the plant seems to love both and the leaves come out super shiny!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being serious ... does it make any difference if it's 100% whole milk, 1%, skim? Should the milk be diluted at all? Does wiping with milk or banana skin/peel apply to other plants just as well?

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an answer to a previous post:

Blogger drayas said...


Your rubber plant can be pruned back. It will actually help the plant quite a bit and help keep it more compact. Try and prune as close to the stem as you can. New growth will typically begin just below where you pruned.


9:49 PM

"Try and prune as close to the stem as you can." Some of the rubber trees in this forum have one or two stems. Mine is compact and has, as I count them, 8 stems. Is that possible or am I delusional?

Given a stem with one or two leaves at the bottom or along the stem but most of the leaves at the top, could I cut off the upper part of the stem leaving sufficient length to put it in water until it grows roots, then transplant it back into the pot. Meanwhile, the portion of the stem I left, having a couple of leaves, should have begun growing new leaves at the top, yes?

Do I have this right? Should I expect to lose leaves at the top, bottom, or both?

3:02 PM  
Blogger Rinamom393 said...

I have a huge rubber plant that has grown like crazy for over a year. It is in a VERY large pot that can't be moved. It has done fine all year until about a day ago it drooped all the way to the floor. I'm a little concerned about this, what should I do and what most likely caused this...It has just gotten colder, but it didn't seem that drastic.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want too take some time out thank the active members for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would just like to take time too thank the active members for doing what you do and making the community what it is im a long time reader and first time poster so i just wanted to say thanks.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering which part of the rubber plant is toxic to animals. We are thinking of planting our very healthy plant in our chook pen to give the chooks some much needed shade. But of course i am concerned that they will peck at the plant and need to know whether it would be dangerous for them to do this.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous merman said...

Hello, this is very urgent since if i cannot find an answer i fear my rubber plant will die in the next couple of days. The plant is over 20 years old and for the last 10 years has thrived in the same spot. 4 weeks ago it started dropping good leaves as well as some that turned yellow then dropped. I consulted a local nursery and was advised to check the roots and soil for weaval or small worms. I bought a new pot and soil, checked then repotted it 2 weeks ago then fed it as advised. There were no eggs or worms in the old soil, it was not pot bound (i repotted it a few years ago) but I repotted nonetheless. The leaves are dropping so much still and it actually looks like it is dying. The leaves are droopy and falling off so much. I consulted another plant nursery and they merely reiterated the previous advice. I do not know what to do, I cannot bear to watch this lovely old plant die. Can anyone out there help.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

My rubber plant is probably 10 - 12 years old. It is about 4 feet high..and I have tied it off in the radius because it is expanding. I have seen some dying leaves, but it seems this plant thrives on one watering per week. How big can these plants get?

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 3 ft tall rubber tree plant which is only growing tall not wide. Can it be pruned at the top so that new shoots can branch out to make it wider, not taller?

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. For those of you who have more technical questions I would visit your local Home Depo or a library for any advice you didn't get here. Keep in mind plants do differ in some ways. I had a 4 foot rubber tree I kept on the porch in arizona during 110 degree weather and it did just fine under the shade while another one in my house with plaenty of light and recommended watering and it died within months. For any doubts ask an expert.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I recently saved an Indian rubber from a bad case of dehydration. However, I stupidly watered the plant with moldy water (I obviously didn't realize the water was moldy until I watered the tree).

Now a week has gone by, and the plant seems very healthy, and it's growing new leaves to replace the ones it lost when it was dehydrated.

Here's my question: I recently noticed very tiny, white spots on the plant's lower leaves. The spots are easily under a milimeter in diameter. There seem to be maybe 50 on each leaf, and they only form toward the outside of the leaf. Are these spots normal, or does my tree have a fungal infection?


12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How frequently are you watering your tree? Your plant's symptoms matched those of my plant when it was dehydrated. Make sure to water it at least twice a week...

12:46 AM  
Blogger jbarilla said...

Hello drayas,
Thank you SO much for this informative blog.

I have had a rubber plant for about 3 months.

When it started dropping bottom leaves pretty frequently, I looked online and found your blog.

I just took it out of the pot to find water gather at the bottom.

It does not appear to be pot-bound so I am guessing the over-watering is the only issue... guess I went a little crazy when I read it requires "heavy" watering here.

Anyway, I am letting it dry out a bit before I replant it in the same pot. I am also going to buy some stone to put in the bottom.

Do you know... will leave every regrow in the spot at the bottom where they have already fallen off?
Now there's just circles where the leaves/stems once where.

It's pretty barren at the bottom and the top is doing well so I am hoping it will fill out.

Thanks again for your help!

11:31 AM  
Blogger NickB said...

How do you fix a pot bound plant if you cant afford the weight and space of a larger pot? Also, aside from pulling the plant out, how do you know if it is pot bound? My plant is simply too large to easily work around.


4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that was getting too leggy I trimmed it back and now all of the leaves are curling. What does it need?

2:55 PM  
Blogger wendy1 said...

I have a rubber "tree" its really tall ,it has been in my family years it was my Mum's first but when I was young my brother and me once threw a dart and it hit one of the leaves, and put a hole in it, but that leaf is still going strong today, is that possible?.

6:21 PM  
Blogger megalonis said...

Dear drayas, I recently got a rubber plant and I was wondering how often is the best time to water a rubber plant? Thanks

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received a rubber plant last month. I was dealing with the bottom leaves dropping off, re-potted it. Now there are tiny little gnat like bugs all over the soil. HELP What do I need to do to take care of this problem?

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a forked rubber plant(tree) and the taller side of the tree is losing all of it's leaves one by one from the bottom to the top. Eventhough the taller side is still producing new leaves at the top. The shorter side of the tree is just fine, the leaves are big, beautiful and green. Please help...Thank You.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Coach P said...

I have a rubber plant that is branched off in two directions. The taller of the two branches is dropping a leaf almost every two or three days, but yet still has new growth at the top. The smaller branch has all of it's leaves and new growth as well. Why is the taller branch dropping it's leaves?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Texas Girl - I received a 2-3 ft rubber plant 6 months ago that I keep in my foyer. It gets moderate but not direct sunlight. I tend to water it once a week & use miracle grow every 2 weeks and that made it happy. However the past 2 weeks it's gotten droopy (and leaning over) & the leaves are dropping. Also since it's leaning over the branches are getting weaker. Did I over water it? I doubt it's root bound since I've on had it a short time. Typically how long before you would transfer to another pot?

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that sits in my living room... i went to check on it the other day when watering it and found mushrooms growing in the soil.. and lots of them!!! I cleaned them out and went back a few days later and now the "trunk" is a moldy green. PLEASE HELP or tell me what i'm doing wrong!

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we had our rubber plant outside and it froze. Yes we are cruel. Any chance we can save it?

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My rubber plant is covered in what looks like fruit flies. Can anyone help? thank you

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a rubber tree plant that is so tall and beautiful. But it's getting hard to move around. I would like to trim it but use trimimg to start new plants anyone know how please help? please email

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks everybody for valuable info. I have arubber plant which was very good but in the last few months its leavs cruling back there is no sigh of any bugs anybody knows what is wrong with it?

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have I have a 2yr old rubber plant,its about 4ft tall i transplanted into a real large pot over the summer i keep it under my covered patio,it loved it I live in texas, we had 3days of 25 to 30 degrees tempiture i pulled the plant way back on the patio, where there were no wind i covered it with a sheet. a couple of days later i took the sheet off the weather went to 60 degrees, so i uncovered the plant watered it gave it mg plant food. the next night the tempiture dropt to 30degrees did the same thing covered again now the plant leaves droop they look brown and curled up the plant looks sick.. please HELP..

12:16 AM  
Blogger FaithHopeLove said...


I have a rubber plant that my friend's puppy got ahold. Luckily the dog was okay because I hear these are toxic to people and animals! Before he tore it up, there were two branches stemming from about an inch about the soil. One of those branches was broken off all the way. I have tried slitting it to encourage growth, but to no avail. Any suggestions on how to get that side growing again? It has gotten somewhat hard and woody, is it too late?

9:30 AM  
Blogger FaithHopeLove said...

Along with my last comment and, I may be way off, but can I graft a part from the same plant to that stem? Thank you so much for any help!


10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rascal1 says: I have a rubber plant on my gets medium to high light and is growing very well. In fact, last summer it reached the roof of the balcony and looked unhappy so I chopped it off halfway down! For many months nothing happened, but now I have gorgeous red leaves growing from the "chopping place" and at the joints of many of its healthy, strong, green leaves. I'm very happy with this plant!

11:20 AM  
Blogger jon said...

I have robber plant that appears to be during fine, it’s kept near the front door window where the light is just about right.

But I just noticed a ring of white scales around the pot and very small fly like bugs around the root, which appears to be drying.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that I accidentily left outside and it froze a a couple nights. The leaves are falling off and I don't know how to save it.

Any tips for me?

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that has been doing fine . I repotted it .
Now the leaves are turning red & falling off. Even the new shoots coming up leaves are turning red & dropping.

The only change has been a bigger pot 1 month ago. what do i need to do to stop the leaf drop ? thanks

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

canu help my rubber plant has scarid fly how do i get rid of them its moving with them thanks

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I bought a rubber tree plant about six months ago it was doing very well and then I tried replanting it in a larger pot a few months ago in tropical plant soil. My bottom leaves turned yellow to the point that I cut them off. It took about three weeks for a new leaf to grow now it is brown around the edges and cracking. I have my tree plant about 9 feet away from the window. When I put water in it the soil seems to grow a little mold but I haven't been putting in too much water in it or in a damp room. Could my soil be the problem or could the soil be packed too tight? I am just not sure what to do.

Thank You

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to prune my rubber plant (as you suggested to another person) I cut one twig right next to the sem and it poured with white milk sap. Is this bad, I'm too scared to prune another one. Have I hurt it???

2:42 PM  
Blogger drayas / Logical Mama said...


The milky sap is normal. When you prune a Rubber plant it will ooze a milky sap. Please do take caution. The sap is toxic if ingested and can sometimes cause an allergic reaction in some people if it gets on their skin. Just wear some gloves and long sleeves when pruning, just to be sure.

Thank you,

9:23 AM  
Blogger drayas / Logical Mama said...

To all of my readers!!

I mentioned this earlier this year, but comments I'm receiving are not seeing it. I'm honored that my blog has gotten so popular, however I am having an extremely hard time answering all the comments. I will try my best to answer, but will not be able to get to everyone. I am a mother of two children under the age of 6 and work full time. I apologize for not being able to answer everyone. I truly wish I could. I am still here, and I do publish all the comments.

Thank you for reading and I enjoy all of you who love plants as much as I do. I just wish I could help more people out!

Thank you!

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have two rubber tree plants. Last spring I made three diagonal cuts just below three branches on the larger main plant, dusted the area that oozed white liquid with root hormone, wrapped the stem in wet sphagnum moss. I covered the wrapped stem with plastic wrap and by June I could see roots through the plastic wrap. I then cut the stems off and repotted them in another pot and I now have two healthy rubber plants. I keep them in a cool softly lighted room in the winter months and since I live in Georgia I put them back out on the deck (in a shady spot) for the summer months. This is november and I will be putting them in my garage at night for a few days and then bring them back into the house for this winter.Note: Before bring the large plants back in the house I drown the pot in the tub of water to kill any bugs that might be in the dirt. I water all my plants on the 1st and 15th of the month (except orchids, they get three ice cubes once a week)

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone and the Poster,
I am in USA and started growing rubber plant in house recently. However, for some reason, I see that all the advisers seem to suggest that the plant should be receiving only indirect sun-light in low-medium-high range. I grew up in India, where in my garden (obviously outside) we had the rubber plant(tree), which was almost as tall as 3 floor house. Since it was grown outside, and in India, it received very high sun light during all the seasons. From my experiences, I can say that you can put this plant in any amount of sun light, and it will grow without any problem. Moreover, as a kid, I used to make new plants just by pulling off some leaves and putting them in somewhere else in my garden. Again, even though they were just single leaves, they grew in plenty of direct sun light of India. Just to let everyone know, who is not familiar with Indian weather, that the summers are really hot and it can easily get around 50 degree Celsius everyday. AND, the plant has no problem whatsoever.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a rubber plant that is about 25 years old, it was healthy and growing more leaves until I sadly overwatered it, badly!! I rinsed the roots and repotted it in new compost without any further watering for about 2 weeks, the once lovely firm thick leaves are now wilting and although still green are empty of sap and falling off. Its become an old friend, can you please advise.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi all i ve had my rubber plant for a year,its been in the same place since i bought it but all of a sudden its starting to badly droop and i dont know why as i hav nt done any thing different please help thank you

12:17 PM  
Blogger karen theis said...

I have just bought my first rubber plant and i was told not to water it except once a month ,but when i bought itit was so dry ,so i watered it i hope i did the right thing also i hav it in my front window and i closed the heater vent is this a wise thing to do ?

6:57 PM  
Anonymous kitty said...

thank you for sharing these tips my plant has grown alot and it is not going yello anymore so thanks for the tips and know my plant is proper big even my friends say how do you even look after all these plants because i am green fingers

12:04 PM  
Blogger tonya said...

I need some help with my rubber plant I've noticed flying bugs and also some if the leaves have turned like a yellowish color and I even have healthy looking leaves falling off help me save my plant

4:03 PM  
Blogger carley said...

How tall will these get? I have had one for many years now, and I am not sure if it is rubber plant or not, but it is a good 15' now and wont stop growing, and out house is only 25' so we might have a bit of a problem in the future...

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My rubber plant has lost all the leaves on the bottom, the top is constantly putting out new growth. Will there ever be new growth on the bottom where the healthy leaves dropped off?

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was giving a rubber plant as a gift while i was in the hospital and i brought it home that was six yrs ago and i just had it transplanted how tall will it get . my husband seems to be the green thumb and it just keeps getting taller mhow much taller will it get or will we have to transplant it again?

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Artis said...

I rescued my rubber plant ficus nearly 30 years ago. Once, about 15 years ago I left for three weeks and returned to find all leaves had frozen. I revived it. I have cut off a long lateral branch twice. The last time, 4± months ago. Since then it has not added a single leaf when previously it prospered well, a leaf every few weeks. I water often, it is in a 12" diameter, 12" deep pot and stands 3'± high. Zup?


11:54 AM  
Blogger Kwesi Appiah said...

Please how long does the rubber plant take to mature?



6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a rubber tree for five years now and repotted it twice.Mine grow wide and I had to but big sticks in it to train it to grow upward. I have placed it outside every summer in full sun and trust me this plant has done every well. Turned a beautiful green when I bring it in it still sets in a full sunned area in my home. I have to move it in another area of the house that has low light and the leaves starting falling. I placed it back infront of window and it still doing well today. I guess mine must like the sunlight.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My rubber plant has completely taken over the landing outside my flat door! Fortunately, my neighbour likes it! I have taken four cuttings from side shoots so far,but would like to know if you can cut it down in height without killing it off? any ideas? anyone?

1:28 PM  
Blogger Alyse Buskey said...

Should I brace my plant with sticks or let it fall on its own? Will it break it I don't support it?

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi can somebody help my rubber plant that i recently got has drooping leaves but that i can fix however the tip of the plant where the new leaves unfold has turned black and so im rather worried that it will die. does anybody know whats wrong with it and how to fix it, many thanks

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was trying to water my rubber plant twice a week. The leaves started turning yellow and falling off. I went to a florist and they told me to only water the plant when it got dry, and not to over water it at that time. The plant is doing much better.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

What kind of fertilize would recommend for my rubber plant?

2:30 PM  
Blogger moenio said...

I have 4 rubber plants in my home. I used to have that same problem with my plants dropping good leaves specially in winter when the heater is keeping the temps moderated through the day. It is because the plant senses it is dry or lack of nutrients. Get a water mister/sprayer...and put luke warm water and spray your rubber plants every other day....your plant will reward you with vigorous healthy leaf growth. I use water from my fish tank to water my plants....its full of good nutrients and chlorine free. Sometimes if you use tap water calcium builds up in your soil and affects the plant. Use a mild dose of plant food....once a month.....remember, moderation is key. You might want to test your tap water with a kit, you might be watering with hard water.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my rubber plant is about 5 ft. tall and seems very healthy, but it does not branch out. it just grows straight up without branching. what can I do?

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Albert said...

My better half gives me a right ear bashing if I water our Rubber Plant when the soil is dry. She insists it only needs watering once a month (and not a lot at that) regardless of season.
I must admit the plant always looks healthy and constantly produces new leaves in the summer months.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read this info until too late and went on vacation for three weeks without watering my rubber plant. It is about 3ft tall and has lost most of it's leaves. Naturally I watered it upon my return. What are the chances of it regaining it's beauty and health?

12:58 PM  
Blogger Christina Guire said...

I water mine about once a week, then once a month I feed it with a cup of diluted black coffee. This helps to keep the bugs away. Mine is a year old and 2 feet tall beautiful green leaves also I repotted it in November and mixed used coffee grinds with the soil. When I first got it it was only about 4" tall..loves the afternoon son as I have it sitting in a west window.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your rubber tree is dropping off healthy looking leaves (a few of you had this problem) its because its not getting enough light. I noticed the forum says low to medium light which is incorrect. This is a tropical plant needs bright light (not direct)especially indoors! Mine is on my back porch where it gets little (but some) early morning direct sunlight and I water it 1-2 times a week. It has doubled in size in just 2 months. Do not place it in direct sunlight in the afternoon however as this will kill your plant. And for those who don't know, yes there is a difference between morning & afternoon sunlight.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious when the rubber plant can be planted outside and survive? I have seen few people have these planted in their yard. So was just curious.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a plant. The instructions in the plant says house temp 70-75 degrees. I keep mine at 67. Is that too cold?

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My rubber tree ficus is about three feet tall and has a brown stem with no leaves about half way up the trunk then has nice green trunk with leaves on the top half. It is tall but only one trunk. Where can I cut it to make another trunk with leaves?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been growing Rubber Trees { Ficus Elastica} for years and I can say that in this article , you are not being told of the proper care a Rubber Tree needs in the home.
First of all , a Rubber Tree needs full sun. If full sun is not available in your home , bright artificial light placed above the plant will work.
Now as for watering , the soil needs to be just slightly dry between waterings. Never keep a Rubber Tree sitting in a saucer of water.
Now on to the problem of leaf drop that so many people are dealing with. Most of this is due to the lack of proper light and low moisture in the air. Rubber trees like humid air , as it is in the tropics. Also keep away from cold or hot drafts. This will also cause leaves to drop.
Rubber Trees really are very easy to grow. Just give them the proper care and you will see! Oh , by the way , I have been in the Tropical plant business for over 35 years. I planted one in the ground in St. Petersburg Florida almost 20 years ago. Today , that tree is about 30 feet high and always in full sun.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello reader! , 67 deg. is not too cold for a Rubber tree to grow , but they do grow much faster with warmer temps. They will slow down in growth with temps in the 60`s but love hot humid tropical conditions. Just keep it in a sunny window and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Misting the leaves daily , or placing your tree on a pebble tray filled with water adds moisture to the air around the plant. Just make sure the pot does NOT sit in the water , but on the pebbles only.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the reader asking about planting a rubber plant outside...Where do you live? If you are in Southern California , or Florida , you can plant your rubber tree almost anytime of the year provided that it is not during a season prone to cold snaps. Spring , Summer and early Fall is a good time. Just make sure that if the Rubber tree has been indoors for some time , gradually expose the tree to direct sun , as it will burn. Doing this for about 2 to 3 weeks will get your tree ready for it`s sunny location in the yard. Remember to check the moisture of the soil often after planting and not let it get too dry.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just been given a rubber plant that was a baby of my grandmothers plant. I think it may be 12 years old ish. It only has one stem that is about seven feet tall with no leaves for the first three feet. How can I encourage it to grow more stems and bush out? As my mum has been so attached to it, I darent just lop the top off in case I kill it! Do you think I should let it settle in our home first as it had been in its previous situ for about 10 years!
Thanks in advance

3:22 PM  
Anonymous una said...

Hi there, my rubber plant has started drooping but the bottom leaves are turning yellow and dropping off.. Too much water or not enough? Help! I gave it a bit water a couple of days ago and it hasn't perked up, though the soil is almost dry again.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Luke Montague said...


Our rubber plant has started growing odd root like 'fingers' on the stem, mainly at the bottom. The growths vary in lenght, the longest isabout an inch and the rest are between 2mm and 1cm.

What are these? I can't find anything online. Something to worry about?

Any help appreciated!

4:39 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Summers said...

Too much water.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Tropical Gardener said...

Yes it can be planted outside but it will grow into a large tree 25 ft, lots if roots as would any ficus. Not sure how much could it can withstand so check what the low temperature is likely to be and see if other posts mention cold temperatures and the effects.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Tropical Gardener said...

Your plant may lose its leAves as it got "freezer burn" but nurse it back to health, no need to trim as this will likely stress it even more. The leaves may fall but new ones will emerge

4:43 PM  
Blogger Tropical Gardener said...

Yes it can be planted outside but it will grow into a large tree 25 ft, lots if roots as would any ficus. Not sure how much could it can withstand so check what the low temperature is likely to be and see if other posts mention cold temperatures and the effects.

4:46 PM  

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