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Care Instructions For Rubber Plant

Ask The Expert: i was given a rubber plant at my fathers furneral and i do not have good luck with plants.i live in the country and have a high ph in my water as well as other minerals,should i get water from town or distilled water.and it was a large plant when i got it and its roots look weird to me i mean i can see them up at the top above the dirt ,is this normal?and i am not sure i get what is meant by root ball when replanting.anyway i really want to keep this plant but if it would be better off in town i could give it to my mother.please help lorrie
Ficus Elastica
Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:Well water is usually fine for houseplants. That is unless your water ph is over 7 or your mineral content is way out of line. If you can drink your well water, you should be ok to use it.

The rootball is the mass of soil and roots attached to the base of the plant. Most plants want their roots to be covered, yet they don’t like soil pile up against their trunks. However, it sounds like your plant needs more soil to cover the roots. You need about a 1/4″ of soil covering the roots. You can do this by simply adding a little soil to your container or you can completely re-pot the plant. Do not pile soil up against the trunk.

Since you are new to Rubber Plants (Ficus elastica), you might want to follow these Rubber Plant Care tips:

  1. Keep the plant moist but not soggy. Rubber plants love a humid environment, so mist the air area around them every few days. Be sure to use luke warm water when misting.
  2. Give them light.  Rubber plants like a lot of light just not all-day direct light.
  3. Be sure to feed them. A general purpose water soluble fertilizer will work.

For more in-depth information go to our Rubber Plant Care Instruction page.

One more tip: Don’t be surprised if it drops some leaves. Anytime you move Rubber plants from one location to another, they go through transplant shock. If you follow the rubber plant care tips, the plant will bounce back in couple of weeks.

What This Variegated Plant?

Ask the Expert: What type of plant is this and what is its name? I want to know how to care for this plant, but do not know what it is. Darren

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: I believe what you have is a Ficus elastica ‘Variegata’. The Genus Ficus has over 800 different species. Ficus in the elastica species are commonly known as India rubber fig, India rubber tree or rubber plant.

The Ficus elastica ‘Variegata’ is often confused with the Ficus benjaminia. They can be distinguish from one another by the thickness of the leaves. The elastica has thicker more upright leaves. Most types of ficus including this one can produce a sap that will cause mild stomach upset if ingested. The sap can also cause skin irritation. Despite these issue Ficus are one of the most commonly known Ficus benjamina ‘Variegata.

Rubber Plants (Ficus elastica) requires a very moist but well-drained environment, a good balance of light and shade, and a varying fertilizer regimen over the course of its life.

You may want to read more detailed care instructions for Ficus Elastica. The care instructions will be below the picture on our rubber plant basket page.

5 Ways Rubber Plants Help You Bounce To A Happy Life

So they don’t really bounce. Rubber plants are still pretty awesome. Even people who aren’t familiar with houseplants know what a ficus is. Well, rubber plants are among the most popular in the ficus genus. Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) are seen in households and offices all over the country. There’s more than one reason for it. Here are several reasons why the rubber plant is so popular with every type of person (*hint* they make great gifts too!):

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

For the person who has too much love to give, rubber plants require some loving. They need moderate attention because they require a moist but well drained environment, a balance of light and shade, and a steady fertilizer regimen over its life.

For the person who has a black thumb, rubber plants are good practice. They’re pretty resilient, even if they do require a little more attention than most houseplants. Ficus elastica can stand up to a moderate black thumb. If someone needs a houseplant to practice plant care on, try the Ficus elastica. It’s a beautiful houseplant and easy to love!

For the person who has a green thumb, it’s enough of a break to be easy but isn’t so “stand back and watch” that it’s boring. Rubber plant care is great for the houseplant lover who has been nurturing houseplants for years. Challenging but not draining, entertaining but not overwhelming.

For the cubicle dweller with a grudge, rubber plants slow the desire to permanently call it a day. Some days at the desk are just not worth enduring, or so it seems when the cubicle is lifeless. Rubber plants are convenient for the office and bring enough natural cheer to the room to inspire more productivity, creativity, and a positive demeanor.

For the sleepless new mom, rubber plants pose no fear of harming the baby. Rubber plants also last a while when properly cared for. This is something that takes only 3 minutes a few times per week. Easy to do when baby is sleeping! Plus, rubber plant baskets pose no threat when babies crawl into them. Use them for climbing support? Maybe.

These aren’t the only reasons why people love rubber plants but they sure are a great place to start!

Croton (Codiaeum) Versus Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica) for Southeast Window.

Ask the Expert: Croton vs. Rubber plant?

I want to purchase either a croton or varigated rubber plant for my southeast window to be placed about4-5 feet away. Which would do better for that location and which would be easier for me to care for?