Caring for a Rubber Plant: the Ficus Burgundy Robusta
The Rubber Tree Plant
Rubber plants have always been a favorite plant. Partly because of the big green leaves but also because when I was growing up I was told they brought good luck. Sold!
If you are thinking of enjoying a rubber plant - below is some basic information, along with useful tips:
- The rubber plant is also known as the ficus burgundy robusta: The scientific name is ficus elastica decora. The word "ficus" is Latin for the word "fig" - and the plant is a member of the family Moraceae, which contains more than 800 species.
The rubber plant is an extremely hardy plant with large, waxy, deep purple-green leaves. If the plant is left outside, it can grow into a tree.
- Light levels vary for the rubber plant and range from deep shade to full sunlight. If the plant is grown indoors under low light, it should be rotated every week to evenly distribute the light.
- If grown under low-light conditions, the rubber plant will lose its burgundy color and the leaves will turn completely green. The recommended light is medium to bright.
How to Propagate:
- Propagation of the rubber plant is done with rooting of the cuttings, or tissue culture, or air layering. The recommended mediums are perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss and pine bark.
- The rubber plant should be grown in a shade-house with a temperature ranging from 70 F to 95 F. The relative humidity should be between 60 to 100%.
- During active growth, the soil of the rubber plant should be kept evenly moist and fertilized every two weeks. However, it the soil is kept too wet, the plant will quickly drop its leaves.
- Temperatures at night should range between 62 to 65 degrees. During the day, temperatures should range between 80 to 85 degrees.
The rubber plant grows best in an east window. Some shade should be provided when there is summer sun. Dusty leaves can be washed with water and a soft cloth. Repotting is best done late in winter or early in the spring. Pruning is best done in the spring.
For people with latex allergies, gloves should be worn when handling rubber plants. Additionally, the plant is not intended for consumption and do not let your pets eat it.
For more plant information, see the links below:
The Rubber Plant
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