Houseplant of the Week: Rubber Tree

Posted on by

Tall, dark, handsome and super easy to grow: what’s not to love about a rubber tree plant, the first of our ficus trifecta.

(The other two are the Ficus Benjamina and the Fiddle Leaf Fig; click on their names to read more.)

With it’s beautiful dark glossy leaves, ficus elastica is one of the easiest varieties to cultivate. It doesn’t drop leaves and doesn’t demand much maintenance.

It also grows fast. In nature, rubber tree plants can grow to up to 80 feet, so if you keep re-potting this houseplant into bigger and bigger pots it will get wider and taller. However, If you limit it to a 10-inch diameter pot, you should get a nice 3- to 4-foot tall plant.

Rubber plants love light but keep it from direct sunlight that might burn its leaves. Do not attempt to grow this in a spot with low light; you’ll be disappointed.

Water your rubber tree about once a week during the spring and summer and every two weeks in fall and winter. Good potting soil will make your rubber tree happy. Use fertilizer sparingly – maybe once in the spring and once during the summer.

Also, do not be alarmed by some root structure that you might see at the base of the plant. Your plant is not trying to climb out of its pot; these are “aerial” roots and perfectly normal.