Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

The Rubber Plant, scientifically known as Ficus elastica, is a popular houseplant renowned for its large, glossy leaves and robust nature. Native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, this plant can grow into a striking indoor tree, adding a touch of tropical elegance to any space. With its relatively easy care requirements and impressive appearance, the Rubber Plant is a favorite among both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts.


The Rubber Plant offers numerous benefits that make it a valuable addition to any indoor environment:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: The broad, shiny leaves of the Rubber Plant create a dramatic and sophisticated look, enhancing the visual appeal of any room.
  2. Air Purification: Like many houseplants, the Rubber Plant helps improve indoor air quality by removing toxins such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and trichloroethylene.
  3. Low Maintenance: This plant is relatively easy to care for, making it suitable for busy individuals or those new to plant care.
  4. Growth Adaptability: The Rubber Plant can be pruned to control its size and shape, making it versatile for various indoor spaces.
  5. Durability: The Rubber Plant is hardy and can tolerate a range of indoor conditions, making it a resilient choice for indoor gardening.

Watering & Care

Caring for a Rubber Plant is straightforward, but following these guidelines will ensure it thrives:

  1. Light: The Rubber Plant prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sunlight. It can also adapt to lower light conditions, though its growth may slow down. Place it near a window with filtered light for optimal growth.
  2. Watering: Water your Rubber Plant when the top inch of soil feels dry. Typically, this means watering once every 1-2 weeks. Ensure the pot has good drainage to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom and causing root rot.
  3. Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix. A mix designed for houseplants or a blend of regular potting soil with perlite or orchid bark works well.
  4. Temperature & Humidity: Rubber Plants thrive in temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C) and prefer moderate humidity levels. They can tolerate lower humidity but will benefit from occasional misting in very dry environments.
  5. Fertilizing: Feed the plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce fertilizing in the winter months.
  6. Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape and encourages bushier growth. Remove any dead or damaged leaves and trim back branches to control its size.
  7. Cleaning: Dust the leaves regularly to keep them clean and allow for better light absorption. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe each leaf.

Facts Check

  • Origin: Ficus elastica is native to the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
  • Growth: Indoors, Rubber Plants can grow up to 6-10 feet tall, depending on the size of the pot and the care provided. In their natural habitat, they can reach heights of over 100 feet.
  • Varieties: There are several popular varieties of Rubber Plants, including ‘Burgundy’, ‘Tineke’, and ‘Ruby’, each with unique leaf colors and patterns.
  • Toxicity: Rubber Plants are mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested, causing mouth irritation and stomach upset. Handle with care and keep out of reach of children and animals.


How often should I water my Rubber Plant?

Water your Rubber Plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically once every 1-2 weeks. Ensure the pot has good drainage to prevent root rot.

Can Rubber Plants tolerate low light?

While Rubber Plants prefer bright, indirect light, they can tolerate lower light conditions for short periods. However, prolonged low light can result in slower growth and leggier stems.

Are Rubber Plants toxic to pets?

Yes, Rubber Plants are mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested, causing mouth irritation and stomach upset. Keep them out of reach of children and animals.

How can I propagate my Rubber Plant?

Rubber Plants can be propagated from stem cuttings. Place the cuttings in water or moist soil until roots develop. Once the roots are established, the new plant can be potted in soil.

Why are the leaves of my Rubber Plant turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Ensure you are watering appropriately and that the pot has good drainage. Adjust your watering schedule as needed.

The Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) is a striking and resilient plant that brings both beauty and health benefits to any indoor space. With its large, glossy leaves and air-purifying qualities, the Rubber Plant is an excellent choice for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. By following the care tips outlined above, you can enjoy the lush greenery and robust nature of the Rubber Plant in your home or office for years to come.