How to Grow the Best Rubber Tree Plant in Your Home

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Rubber Tree Plant Care as a houseplant is easy. Besides being a low-maintenance specimen, it becomes a great tall statement plant!

rubber plant care

Welcome to the world of Rubber Tree Plant Care! Whether you’re a beginner or an avid plant grower, this guide will give you masterful advice on nurturing and growing the best Ficus elastica in your home. Botanical Name: Ficus elastica

USDA Hardiness Zones: 10 – 11

Common Names: Rubber tree plant, rubber fig, rubber plant, India rubber tree, Indian rubber bush, rubber bush, rubber tree, rubber fig tree, rubber fig bush, Assam rubber tree.

Check out our article on rubber plant decor in home ideas here

Rubber Tree Plant Information

The Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) is a resilient and popular houseplant that is native to Southeast Asia. It is known for its attractive glossy and waxy leaves and easy-care nature. With its origins in tropical regions, this plant has adapted well to indoor environments and is regarded as one of the best low-maintenance houseplants.

It features large, leathery leaves with a shiny appearance. The leaves can be dark green, burgundy, or variegated, which is up to the variety, adding visual interest to any space.

Rubber Trees can grow quite tall. They can reach heights of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) or even more inside. This vertical growth habit makes them an excellent choice for adding greenery and height to indoor spaces. With proper care and pruning, they can be trained to develop an upright tree or shrub-like bushy form, depending on your preference.

If you’re thinking about rubber plants being easy to care for, Absolutely! And it survives even in poorly lit areas, which makes it a very popular houseplant.

Learn about Growing Baby Rubber Plant here

How to Propagate a Rubber Plant?

If you are planning to propagate a rubber tree or multiply it because you have a mother plant, then it can be done in three ways. One is by seeds, but for that, you’ll have to obtain the seeds and follow the usual seed-sowing process, so skip it.

The number two is probably the fastest and easiest way to multiply: Divide your mother plant into two or three sections and repot. The third way is to plant its cuttings, which is not difficult either.

Propagate Any Plant Cutting Quickly Using this Trick

Pot Size for Growing a Rubber Plant

To ensure optimal growth of your Rubber Plant, choose a pot that accommodates its specific needs. Start with a pot that is about 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) larger in diameter than the plant’s root ball. This allows sufficient space for the roots to spread comfortably without overwhelming them.

  • Avoid selecting a pot that is excessively large because this plant likes to grow in a slightly root-bound state.
  • Growing in a big pot can also lead to water retention and potential root rot issues.
  • As the Rubber Plant grows, gradually increase the pot size during repotting every 1-2 years or when you notice root-bound symptoms.
  • Additionally, ensure the chosen pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.

Here is How to Convert Plant Pot Sizes from Inches to Gallon

Requirements for Growing Rubber Plant

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Confused about rubber plant light requirements? Well, it varies, it can grow in complete shade and in full sunlight too, so you don’t worry much about the position.

However, Keep your plant in a spot that receives a good amount of indirect light. They prefer a location with filtered sunlight or partial shade. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s best to avoid placing them in intense, direct sunlight.

If you have placed your rubber plant on a south or west-facing window, ensure that the plant is shielded from direct sun exposure by using sheer curtains or placing it a few feet away from the window.


Rubber plants prefer a well-draining soil mix that retains some moisture but doesn’t become waterlogged. Want the best soil for your rubber plant? Go with a mixture of equal parts of peat moss or coconut coir, perlite or coarse sand, and regular potting mix, if you’re using garden soil, it would be great to sterilize it. Optionally, mix around 10 percent compost to enrich it.

Find out some Helpful Hacks to Improve Your Garden Soil for Free here

This combination provides adequate drainage while retaining enough moisture for the plant’s needs. Avoid using heavy clay-based soils that can lead to water stagnation and root rot.


Wondering how often to water a rubber plant? Again, you don’t have to worry much! It’s pretty drought tolerant, and your infrequent watering after a few days will not bother it. Keep watering it every few days when the soil seems a little dry.

Just make sure it doesn’t sit in dry soil for a long time. Otherwise, the leaves will shrivel and drop. This also is not a warning sign–it will perk up again after watering thoroughly.

Here are Signs of Overwatering & How to Save an Overwatered Plant

Remember that watering less often is better than watering more often. Adjust your watering frequency based on environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and the plant’s specific needs.

Temperature & Humidity

Rubber plants love average to warm temperatures ranging between 60-80°F (15-27°C). They can tolerate temperatures above 100 F (38 C) easily and slightly cooler temperatures too, but are sensitive to cold drafts.

The best advice is to avoid placing them in areas with sudden temperature fluctuations or near air conditioning vents or heaters.

As for humidity, rubber plants appreciate moderate to high humidity levels. If the air in your home or office is dry, you can increase humidity by grouping so many plants together or using a humidifier. This helps prevent the leaves from drying out and maintains optimal growth conditions for the plant.

Here are 10 Ways To Increase Humidity For Houseplants That Work

Rubber Plant Care

Wondering how to care for a rubber plant? We’ve got you covered. 


Rubber plants benefit from regular fertilization. During the growing season (spring and summer), apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks. Dilute the fertilizer to one-quarter to half of the recommended strength to avoid overfertilization, which can lead to the burning of the plant’s roots.

 Here are Effective Homemade Lawn Fertilizers That Are Safe From Hazardous Chemicals

If you don’t live in a frost-free zone (USDA 10 and 11) in the dormant season (fall and winter), reduce fertilization to once every 1-2 months or suspend it altogether. Thinking about variegated rubber plant care? It’s almost the same.


Pruning is an essential aspect of rubber plant care. Regular pruning helps maintain the desired shape, removes dead or damaged foliage, and encourages bushier growth.

You can trim back overgrown branches to control the plant’s size and shape. Use clean and sharp pruning shears or scissors to make clean cuts just above a leaf node.

Pruning can be performed throughout the year, but it’s generally best to do the major one during the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.

Pests and Diseases

While rubber plants are relatively resilient, and you’ll be surprised to see how low maintenance they are, they can still be susceptible to certain pests and diseases sometimes.

Common pests to look out for include spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, and aphids. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of infestation, such as webbing, sticky residue, or visible insects.

Overwatering the rubber plant can lead to root rot, while excessive moisture and poor air circulation can encourage fungal infections. Lack of humidity can lead to the onset of spider mites and also a lack of luster in the plant.

To prevent these issues, ensure proper watering practices, provide adequate drainage, and promote good air circulation around the plant. Promptly remove any diseased or infected foliage to prevent the spread of diseases to healthy parts of the plant.

Click here to learn the Amazing Natural Pesticide Recipe that can Kill any Pest

Rubber Plant Care Tips

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  • Confused about repotting the rubber plant? Repot the plant when it becomes root-bound. It grows quickly, and you’ll need to repot it within a year or two.
  • Once the desired size is achieved, stop repotting and keep it root-bound.
  • If you’re unable to repot the plant, scrap a few inches of potting soil and replace it. Trim off the roots as well to avoid repotting.
  • When fertilizing indoor plants, ensure you don’t feed them heavily. A light dose is enough.
  • Wipe and clean the leaves with a damp sponge once in a while. This is the most important spider plant care tip to follow!
  • Avoid overwatering or misting of leaves with too cold water as rubber plant loses their leaves due to overwatering or when sprayed with too cold water.

Here are the Best Types of Rubber Plants

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Rubber Plant Leaves Curling Solution

Curling leaves in a rubber plant could be due to overwatering or underwatering. Ensure the plant is receiving consistent but moderate watering and maintain appropriate humidity levels.

2. Why is My Rubber Plant Dropping Leaves?

Dropping leaves in a rubber plant can be caused by various factors, including underwatering, overwatering, insufficient light, temperature stress, or pests. Assess the plant’s care routine, check for any signs of pests, and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal growing conditions.

Check out amazing rubber plant benefits here

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    • Its the “tap water. I use my “fish tank water. Go buy “tap water conditioner. (2) drops per (10) gallons. Then let it sit 4 an hour. Then its ready. My “dropping stopped after this.

  1. I’ve just bought my rubber plant, it’s about 100cm tall and i’ve got 3 stems all in one pot. How much water do you recommend to give it each time i water it? Many thanks


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