Rubber plant

(Question)

I purchased a Rubber plant this summer which did very well outside. I brought it in in October and placed it in my stairway landing where there is diffused light. Two of the leaves have started to turn yellow.  I have given the plant a lot of water. However, I am  concerned about how much water to give this plant and how to properly take care of it. Please help.

 

 

(Answer)

Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)  is a tropical plant from the ornamental fig family, and as such it needs warm temperatures and appropriate light to thrive.  Rubber plants are very susceptible to changes in environment,  and as such they have a tendency to loose some leaves when changed from outside to indoors.

Whenever a plant is brought in from outdoors it is recommended that you  thoroughly check the outside of the pot, the plants and the potting medium. Look for signs of hitchhikers, moss or mold on the pots and unwanted guests such as mealy bugs or spider mites on the foliage or earthworms, snails or ants in the potting mix. Repot the plant in fresh potting soil mix making sure to hose of the old soil from the root mass. If the plant is pot bound repot the plant in a pot that is one size larger.

Pots will not dry out as fast indoors as they did in the summer heat, and plants will grow more slowly indoors than they did under strong light conditions. Therefore, they don’t need as much water in the house as they did on the patio. The rubber plant (F. elastica) particularly dislikes over watering so make sure the soil is dries out in-between watering.

Place your plant in a location with diffused light and away from cold drafts.  The plant should be fertilized again during spring and summer with a diluted liquid fertilizer such as 20-20-20.

I hope you continue to enjoy this beautiful houseplant.