The rubber plant, also known as Ficus Elastica is a tree from south and southeast Asia. These trees in nature can grow up to 30–40 meters (100–130 ft).
More commonly the rubber tree is propagated as a houseplant and can be grown almost everywhere on this planet. In this article, we will discuss how often to water your rubber plants and generally, how to care for them.
How often should I water Rubber Plant?
A rubber plant should be watered once every 7-10 days, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to avoid letting the plant sit in standing water. To determine if a rubber plant needs watering, stick your finger into the soil to check the moisture level, and adjust watering accordingly.
If you are out of town and can not water your rubber plant, do not worry much, this plant is very resilient. But if you want your plant to be healthy, try to water it on schedule.
During the growing season, you can water the rubber plant once every 3-4 days. During this time the plant needs a lot of resources and watering it often is a good call.
During colder seasons watering the rubber plant, every 6 to 8 days will be enough for the plant. The key to successful watering is closely monitoring the plant. This rule applied to every houseplant, in general.
The appearance of the plant can tell you a lot about the overall condition and the frequency of watering. The location of the plant can also affect the frequency of watering. If the plant gets a lot of direct sunlight, then the evaporation is high. Therefore, the rubber plant will need more water.
When creating the schedule for rubber plant watering, pay attention to outer factors such as:
- Level of direct sunlight
- Room temperature
Based on these factors plant will generate its own water cycle and tell you when and how much water it needs.
How do I know if Rubber Plant needs water?
The general rule for understanding if your plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil and check if it is completely dry. This works for every plant and obviously, the rule applies to rubber plants as well.
Monitor your rubber plant closely and you will understand its watering needs. If your plant still has moist soil after a recommended period, do not worry. It just means that the general environment of the plant influences the absorption levels of your rubber plant.
You can understand if your rubber plant needs water by checking the soil and the condition of the leaves. Rubber plant leaves can tell you a lot if there is a case of over or underwatering.
How to water a Rubber Plant?
You should water your rubber plant thoroughly which means that you have to make sure every root gets water. The general rule is that if the water comes out of the drainage holes, you have given your plant enough moisture.
Another way to hydrate your plant is to water it through the leaves. It is highly recommended to spray water on the leaves of the rubber plant or wipe them with a wet cloth during the growing season.
Trust us, your plant will highly appreciate this kind of treatment. Also, misting the plant can be a very relaxing process for a plant enthusiast.
Signs of overwatering Rubber Plant
Rubber plant owners also face this challenge. If the soil does not get dry and is always moist, it means that you are overwatering the rubber plant.
The most common result of overwatering rubber plants is a yellow leaf. Even if the leaves have not turned completely yellow and start slightly yellowing the color, that’s a sign of overwatering.
Another common sign of overwatering a rubber plant is dropping leaves. Especially if they drop from the basis of the plant, you should lower the frequency of watering.
You should be careful with diagnosing a plant-based on dropping leaves because it can be a sign of underwatering as well. Usually, as a result of overwatering leaves drop due to too much moisture and sogginess.
Signs of underwatering Rubber Plant
As we mentioned, the rubber plant is very resilient against underwatering.
However, if you leave the plant without hydration for a long time, it will have a damaging effect on the rubber plant. A sign of underwatering is a drooping leaf.
The texture and feel of the leaf can show you if they are falling as a result of over or underwatering. If the leaf feels dry and has wrinkles, it due to underwatering. Also, if the edges of the leaves start turning brown, it means that the rubber plant is drying up and you should water it immediately.
Tips for caring for a Rubber plant
The rubber plant as a houseplant is smaller than its wild and natural version. But it can still grow up to 6-10 feet (180-300 cm) given the opportunity.
The rubber plant is very helpful as a houseplant, it is able to remove contaminants and purify the air. In addition to this useful trait, the rubber plant is a very nice addition to your house – it’s beautiful and trendy. Here are several factors you should consider when caring for a rubber plant.
Rubber plant loves a bright and light environment.
So, the best option is to put it in a sunny room. Rubber plant does not enjoy too much direct sunlight, because it can damage the leaves of the plant.
We would advise you to put a rubber plant in a bright room place where it can get direct sunlight early morning or late afternoon
The rubber plant loves being watered.
But at the same time, it tolerates lack of water quite well. You should water your rubber plant once every 5-7 days. The exact number of days depends on the overall environment, season and humidity. We will discuss this in detail below in the article.
Rubber plants can live indoors almost everywhere, given that the room is properly heated.
The plant thrives from warm to normal room temperature. 65°F-85°F (18°C-30°C) is the temperature that creates a perfect growing environment for a rubber plant.
Rotate the rubber plant
Rubber plants tend to move towards the light.
If you leave the rubber plant at the same place for a very long time, the plant will grow towards one particular side.
If you like the symmetry and pay attention to aesthetics, you will want to spin the rubber plant so it can grow evenly. You can rotate once every 1-2 months.
Use well-draining soil
By planting a rubber tree in well-draining soil you will avoid root rot and help the plant hydrate better.
Avoid direct sunlight for a variegated rubber plant
The variegated rubber plant is very beautiful, but its leaves are sensitive to sunlight. If you put it in direct sunlight for a very long time, the leaves will burn.
Trim the damaged leaves
If the leaves have changed the color, or have damages caused by sunlight, trim the leaves. The plant will be able to grow healthy leaves.
Gently moisture the leaves
The rubber plant has big leaves that have a solid structure but can be very sensitive. When you decide to wipe them with a wet cloth for hydration or for dust removal, be very gentle. You do not want to damage the leaves with too much force.