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Rubber Plant Care - Know Types, Maintenance Tips, and Benefits

by Surbhi Tanwar 25 Oct 2023
Rubber Plant Care - Know Types, Maintenance Tips, and Benefits

Greenery entices the eyes with its stunning beauty and soothes the heart with its serene presence, and this is the primary reason why so many gardeners worldwide welcome these surreal plant buddies inside their homes. While an extensive variety of plants are available for outdoor propagation, several others raise their hands to become an integral part of our indoors. The rubber plant is one such popular houseplant in the Indian subcontinent, so let’s learn about rubber plant care and its benefits!

What Is A Rubber Plant?

A rubber tree plant traces its origination in the Southern parts of Asia, from where the plant traveled worldwide with its low-maintenance temperament. The rubber plant scientific name is Ficus Elastica, but generally, it is known by less complicated names like rubber fig, Indian rubber bush, etc. Although it is a flowering beauty belonging to the Moraceae species, it’s only seldom that one will witness it blooming with flowers due to the plant's complexity for pollination.

The rubber plant name is justified by its service in extracting rubber; however, only a few gardeners globally propagate it to gain rubber. Rubber plants are also famous for being trained to become living bridges with robust aerial roots. In contemporary times, it is mainly propagated as a houseplant flexible enough to deal with low light conditions and minimal care from its parents. In the wilderness, though, one might witness it reaching the zenith with an elevation of about sixty meters.

Rubber Plant

Types Of Rubber Plants in India:

Several rubber plant varieties are waiting for you to be discovered so that you can bring a sense of newness by including them in your interior plant decor. Here’s a list:

★ Robusta

One of the most commonly found varieties of rubber plants in India, this is casually spotted in almost every Indian household. The plant can escalate to a height of about six feet maximum with leathery and glossy dark green leaflets, peaking out from a single stem. It is also among the top-listed rubber plant indoor varieties in India, as the plant can grow seamlessly without much humidity.

★ Tricolor

As the name implies, it is a variegated rubber plant that ditches the traditional dark green and gets colored in three shades - cream, pink, and green. These striations are what sets this cultivar apart from the original variety. Besides that, it has features similar to the Robusta variety with firm and leathery leaves. Moreover, this plant will look superb in aesthetically pleasing floor planters.

★ Decora

The Decora variety will suit you best if you are looking for a baby rubber plant. This plant can only grow up to one foot on maturity so it will stay short and cute all its lifespan. It grows with mini-sized leaflets covered with a bright green hue with a tinge of cream at the edges. One may grow it in color-popping plastic pots to make it even more eye-catching!

Types Of Rubber Plants

★ Burgundy

What attracts one to the rubber plant is its mesmerizing and bold presence due to its leathery dark leaves, right? The Burgundy variety makes all the noise with its eye-stopping foliage colored in bold red, burgundy, and black. The foliage sits atop a red trunk that is resilient enough to hold the weight of its robust leaflets. The best way to grow this black rubber plant is by settling it at a bright stead with an overload of humidity.

★ Yellow Gem

Bring some shine and sparkle to your indoors by introducing the yellow gem rubber plant to your surroundings! This magnificent variety should be placed in a brightly lit space where its leaves get enough light to rejoice with their greenish-neon hues. This variety will make everyone stop and stare at your beautifully planted garden!

Tips for Rubber Plant Care and Propagation:

Now that you have learned about some of the most enchanting varieties of rubber plants, it is time we dived into the guidelines regarding rubber plant care indoors:

1. Propagation Prerequisites

Rubber plant propagation can be done in one of two ways - get yourself a healthy plant from the nearby nursery or online gardening store, or you can propagate it using stem cuttings from a healthy-growing plant in your neighbors’ backyard. Make an inclined cut in the main stem, removing the lowermost leaflets. Store this cutting till the sap dries, then place it in a water-filled container to pave the way for root formations. Once the roots are visibly strong, propagate the cutting in an attractive ceramic pot.

Tips for Rubber Plant Care

2. Climatic Circumstances

The indoor rubber plant is a massive lover of tropical and subtropical landscapes where humidity remains on the higher edge. Nonetheless, it can tolerate cold temperatures that do not decline below ten degrees Celsius. The plant can get a bit finicky in areas with constant temperature fluctuations, but it will also adapt well to humidity and temperature alterations as a low-maintenance variety.

3. Sun's Exposure

Most of us confuse the rubber plant as an inclusive indoor variety, but the truth is that this plant will happily endure the outdoor environment. One should always place the plant in a well-lit spot indoors or outdoors. When indoors, look for the brightest windowsill receiving filtered light, and when outdoors, let it face south or west for thriving growth.

4. Potting Mix

The rubber plant indoor or outdoor prefers soil that can stay moist while draining well and fast. It has almost negligible tolerance for waterlogged situations, so propagating it in a well-draining plant soil filled with organic boosters like manure, perlite, and vermicompost will naturally boost its growth in the right direction.

5. Hydration Cycles

The rubber plant is quite particular about its watering schedules, as too much or too less of water can quickly decay its condition. The ideal way to hydrate your rubber plant is by keeping the external factors of weather and lighting in mind. During the hot months, the plant will absorb more water, so hydrating it now and then won’t be a problem. However, once the heat passes, it’s time to slow down your watering cycles while keeping a check on the dryness of the soil. One pro tip to ensure your rubber plant’s well-being is to poke holes in the ground for proper aeration and drainage!

Rubber Plant Growth Tip

6. Nutrient Supplements

Although the rubber plant is a low-temperament green buddy, one can always treat it with additional boosters to let it blossom with larger, healthier, and stronger foliage. One may use organic fertilizers to push its growth naturally. Further, don’t forget to re-fill the soil with organic matter like vermicompost once the danger of the frost has passed, ensuring the plant gets enough nourishment during the warm months.

7. Problem-solving

The best part about growing plants is they talk with their foliage about any issues and diseases they might have been going through! In the case of rubber plants, the common issue of overwatering is demonstrated with curled leaves that take on a paler shade than the original. If you place the plant directly under the sun, you will soon see brown spots due to burns. Brown scars on the plant’s leaves can also be a symptom of severe dehydration. Moreover, mealybugs can show their presence with white spots on the foliage, but worry not, as you can quickly remove them by wiping them with a clean and damp fabric.

What Are The Benefits Of Rubber Plants?

The ubiquitous presence of rubber plants in global gardens is not for no reason. Read further to learn the rubber plant benefits before engaging them in your home garden:

➜ Rubber plants are widely known for their appealing nature to Vastushastra and Feng Shui proponents. According to these architectural sciences, the plant gathers positive vibrations in its place of residence due to its round, soft-edged, large, and glossy foliage. It is suggested that one settles the plant in the southeast corners for wealth and northern spots for the career.

Benefits Of Rubber Plants

➜ It is in the rubber plant’s nature to absorb carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen, so when the plant is placed indoors, it aids the residents by increasing the oxygen component in the atmosphere. Its presence is enough to leave the atmosphere fresher and cleaner than before!

➜ What’s better than an ornamental plant? An ornamental plant that requires the most minor maintenance. Rubber plant is the perfect candidate for busy plant parents who wish to enjoy the benefits of greenery without putting too many hours into maintaining the greenery!

FAQs About Rubber Plant Care in India

Ques: Is The Rubber Plant An Indoor Plant?

Ans: One may grow rubber plants indoors and outdoors by placing them in a well-lit spot that doesn’t receive direct sunshine.

Ques: How To Take Care Of Rubber Plants?

Ans: Rubber plant care is effortless as it doesn’t fuss much about its growth prerequisites. Place the plant in an appropriately lit spot, preferably in a well-draining and nourished soil, and water it based on the soil’s dryness.

Ques: What Are The Uses Of Rubber Plants?

Ans: Besides being propagated as an ornamental houseplant, it is also known for commercial rubber extraction. Further, the plant’s roots can be trained and hanged as living bridges.

Ques: Do Rubber Plants Require Fertilization?

Ans: Rubber plants can do without fertilization, but feeding them with a balanced fertilizer once a quarter is not bad, either!

Ques: Which Pot Is Best For Propagating Rubber Plants?

Ans: One may propagate the plant in terracotta pots for a rugged look, plastic pots for an eye-catching appearance, and ceramic pots for aesthetic appeal.

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