Ficus Elastica 'Abidjan' 40cm
Ficus elastica, also known as the rubber plant, is an unusual looking species native to the tropics of Southeast Asia. This long-lived plant has overly large, oval-shaped leaves with a rich emerald hue and can grow quickly, reaching as high as 100 feet in its native habitat. It is not the easiest plant for beginners as it is not very forgiving if it is not given the care it needs. However, it is more commonly grown indoors as a houseplant, where it can be planted and cared for year-round, and where its size remains more manageable.
As far as caring for a rubber plant, care is straightforward. It needs sufficient light, moisture and heat (it is a tropical plant). Give it a southern or eastern exposure, but keep it a few feet away from the windows, and you'll be rewarded with an exotic addition to your houseplant collection.
How to Grow Rubber Tree Indoors
The rubber plant has waxy looking leaves that start with a pink-coral hue, eventually deepening to a dark rich green. As the rubber plant grows it will begin to droop, so you will need to help support the leaves by using a long wooden dowel (or bamboo stem) to help keep them upright.
Like most plants in their genus, rubber plants like lots of bright, diffused light. They tolerate soft morning sunlight, but should be moved out of the line of harsh direct rays in the afternoon, which can scorch the leaves. Plants that don't get enough light become leggy, lose their lower leaves, and their leaf color becomes dull instead of shiny and vibrant.
Water your rubber plant regularly - they like to be kept steadily moist, but not soaked. Rubber plants are also vulnerable to excessive drought and do not tolerate drought well. To check if it's time to water again, check the moisture in the first few inches of soil - if it's dry and crumbly, it's time to water your plant again.
Temperature and Humidity
Like other types of ficus trees, these plants are vulnerable to cool drafts. Unhealthy plants become sinewy, with stretching internodes, and the leaves may turn yellow and then brown before falling off completely. In general, rubber trees are best kept in moderate to warm temperatures between 21 degrees Fahrenheit and 24 degrees, with moderate humidity as well. If your home tends to be dry, invest in a room humidifier to raise the level.
Give the plant a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. They are relatively heavy eaters when healthy. Some experts recommend fertilizing houseplants only lightly to prevent them from stretching and plants becoming root bound due to rapid growth.
Potting soil and drainage
What their soil composition rubber plants are not picky. Usually any good, fast-draining potting soil will do - many indoor gardeners opt for a cactus mix. In addition, rubber plants prefer an acidic soil mixture. Like fiddle leaf fig trees (which many believe they resemble), they also "eat" their soil and their roots will eventually become exposed. If this happens, just top up your pot with extra soil and it won't be a problem anymore.
Botanical name Ficus elastica
Altitude 40cm Pot size 12cm Place Partial shade Water requirement Keep moist Toxic Toxic Repot Every 2 years Packaging Special plants mail box Maintenance Normal