How to care for: Rubber plant (Ficus)
Ficus plants belong to the fig genus family. They are pretty popular as indoor plants, and they usually look like small trees with a trunk and a canopy. Ficus plants can grow up to 18 metres in the wild, but indoors, their growth is slow. Indoors a Ficus can grow as tall as 2 metres. A Ficus is native to tropical areas and is used as decoratives, food, and even as religious symbols in some cultures. Ficus plants can be quite demanding to care for, but they can grow for decades if cared for well.
Water once a week
How do you take care of a Rubber plants?
The Ficus likes to be placed in a spot with lots of light. Not all species tolerate bright light well. It is best to place the plant in medium bright light. The Ficus prefers a spot next to a window on the west or east. A spot near the south is of course also possible. Make sure that the plant is at least 2 metres away from the window. A spot near the north probably has too little light. If some species of the Ficus receive too much light, it can result in leaf loss and scalding.
It is therefore important to always keep the soil of the Rubber plant slightly moist. You can check this by putting your finger in the soil. It is best to water the Ficus once a week all year round. In the winter it may be a smaller amount.
In addition to the watering you may need to create a humid environment if your indoor space is too dry. Spraying regularly with a plant sprayer can ensure that the root ball doesn't dry out. Leaves should be washed with a lukewarm shower or using a damp rag to avoid vermint.
The Rubber plant uses a lot of energy from spring onwards to make new leaves. As a result, the plant needs extra nutrients. You can provide these nutrients by means of plant nutrition. We recommend giving plant nutrition once every two weeks. From spring until autumn. After autumn and in winter it is better not to give extra nutrients. In the winter, plant nutrition can actually be harmful for the Rubber plant!
Repotting the Rubber plant is necessary every 2 years. Repotting the plant gives the plant new nutrients and more room for root growth. The airier soil is also very good for the water flowing through. The best period to repot is spring.
Rubber plants are air-purifying plants. This is mainly due to the large leaves of the plants. The large leaf surface gives the Rubber plant extra stomata. Rubber plants use these stomata to convert CO2 into oxygen during the day. And that is always good. For you and your home.
Is the Rubber plant toxic?
Ficus plants are not very toxic, though they may be a concern to people who have latex allergies. The plant contains latex, and thus, people with these allergies should not be in the same room as the plant.
Diseases and peculiarities
A Ficus is very susceptible to diseases and pests. Is it sticky around the flowerpot of Ficus? Maybe there's aphid active. An aphid gives off a sticky substance, which you can easily recognize it from. Make sure you keep a close eye on Ficus leaves. The sooner you encounter vermin, the better.
Shop our Rubber plants
Frequently asked questions about the Rubber plant
Why does my Ficus drop its leaves?
There can be several reasons why a Ficus drops its leaves. The most important reasons are:
- Relocation: Have you just bought a new Ficus? This move to a new environment can cause some stress and leaf drop.
- Too little light: If there is a lot of leaf fall, it is advisable to move the plant to a location with more indirect light. Especially if the plant suffers a lot of leaf fall in the winter.
Especially when buying a Ficus in the winter, they can drop a lot of leaves. A relocation in combination with little light in the winter is not ideal.
Why doesn't my Ficus grow?
If Ficus gets too little light, it will have no energy for (leaf) growth. In such a situation, place the Ficus in a location with more indirect light.
How big can a Ficus get?
In nature, a Ficus can grow about 30 metres high. As an indoor plant, Ficus will not reach this height, but 2 metres should do.
Can a Ficus be kept outside in summer?
We don't recommend taking a Ficus outside in the summer. Moving the plant can be very stressful for Ficus. A move can cause the leaves to fall out. Ficus leaves can also burn if they get too much light outside. Decide for yourself!