Ficus Elastica Tineke vs. Ruby – What’s the Difference

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You might be confused as they both look the same! Here are all the important Ficus Elastica Tineke vs. Ruby differences!

Stunning varieties of the rubber tree often create a lot of confusion among the growers. To make it a little easier for you, here are all the differences between Ficus Elastica Tineke vs. Ruby!

Check out our article on Ficus Tineke rubber tree care here

What is Ficus Elastica Tineke?

What is Ficus Elastica Tineke

Ficus Elastica Tineke is a popular indoor plant renowned for its robust nature and distinctive variegated foliage.

  • Size: Ficus Elastica Tineke typically grows to a moderate height of 2-10 feet indoors, making it suitable for tabletops and floor placements. Outdoors, it can reach up to 30 feet.
  • Leaf Shape: The leaves of Ficus Elastica Tineke are broad and elliptical, exhibiting a lovely lanceolate form.
  • Leaf Color: The leaves showcase a captivating blend of green and creamy white tones.

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What is Ficus Elastica Red Ruby?

What is Ficus Elastica Red Ruby

Ficus Elastica Ruby is another Rubber plant cultivar celebrated for its unique burgundy-hued foliage. 

  • Size: Ficus Elastica Ruby is slightly smaller or moderate in size, growing 2-8 feet indoors. However, it can easily reach 100 feet in a tropical environment.
  • Leaf Shape: The leaves of Ficus Elastica Ruby are also elliptical, mirroring the typical shape of the Rubber Plant.
  • Leaf Color: The standout feature of Ficus Elastica Ruby is its deep burgundy-colored leaves. The intensity of the color can vary, adding a dynamic element to the plant’s aesthetics.

Ficus Elastica Tineke vs. Ruby

They are often confused with each other and mislabeled by nursery centers or sellers due to close similarities. You should look out for these differences.

Growth Habit

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke: It has a short and bushy look. It’s not too tall and spreads out a bit.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby: This one likes to stand up tall. Tineke is smaller compared to Ruby as it grows more upward.

Leaf Color

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke: ‘Tineke’ features beautiful variegated foliage in green and off-white with pink veins. The new growth shows a pink tint that lightens over time.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby: The leaves of ruby have variegated cream, green, and brilliant red or pink hue. The main attraction of Ficus Elastica Ruby is its new growth, which is quite intense in color.

Note: Both of them have a pink hue in the new growth, and this creates confusion. Keep in mind that Ficus Elastica Ruby has bright pink or red sheaths, and the new growth of many Ficus Elastica varieties has pink tones.

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The sheath is the part that covers the new foliage. The sheath develops straight from the main stem or secondary branches in both varieties.

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke: The sheath of ‘Tineke’ is green and often has a light pink blush.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby: ‘Ruby’ has more profound, vivid shades of red or pink, giving it the name.


‘Tineke’ and ‘Ruby’ rubber plants are popular and widely available. However, you may have to spend a few extra bucks for Ficus Elastica Ruby.

  • Ficus Elastica Tineke: ‘Tineke’ is quite common and has been around a bit longer.
  • Ficus Elastica Ruby: ‘Ruby’ is a new variety that can be harder to find and can be a bit expensive.

Similarities Between Tineke and Ruby

These rubber plant cultivars are low-maintenance houseplants with a beautiful, tropical look. You can grow these easily as they both have similar growth habits.

They need soil that drains well, not too wet but a bit damp. Sunlight is their friend, but not too much, just the bright and gentle kind every day. They grow just right when the temperature is between 60-80°F (15-27°C). And every two years, you should move them to a new pot.

Note: You might wonder if there’s a “Ficus Tineke Ruby.” Well, there isn’t. These are different cultivars of the Rubber Plant. 

Check out Traveler Palm vs. Bird of Paradise differences here

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