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So it is important to monitor the soil moisture by feeling the potting mix. Young leaves may pucker and mature leaves sport brown blotches. Of course you’ll need to follow good cultural practices for watering as well. Just a couple drops on a wet sponge, or mix up some soapy water in a container. If the stem of a rubber plant is scratched or cut, a sticky, milky liquid will come out. It is one of my easiest least fussy plants. Over-fertilizing and pests can be caused by rubber plant leaf dropping. Bacterial infections would typically have a yellowish halo around the brown spot, and fungal infections would typically lack the halo. Like we mentioned before, you should let your plant’s soil dry out between waterings to avoid drowning your plant. Whatever you do, realize that in most cases, keeping your plant several feet or further away from most windows is not acceptable. Like many things in houseplant care, this can be due to a variety of things from pests, nutrient deficiencies, or inconsistent and/or improper care. Their milky sap was formerly used as a source of rubber, although it is no longer a commercial resource. I prefer to fertilize with every watering throughout the growing season. I have done quite a bit of traveling around the world and have seen rubber trees growing in the ground in many warm climates. If that checks out OK, think about your care. You can easily prune these plants to conform to your room height, but each pruning cut will exude a sticky white sap that is poisonous. This is most likely a watering issue. Move your plant right by a window. One may be a sudden decrease in light. Is the soil completely dry and perhaps it has stayed dry for too long? They too can eventually kill the Rubber Plant and infest your other indoor plants if the problem isn’t controlled. And like the rubber tree I try not to wet the leaves, just wipe them down when looking dusty or dirty. When you first bring a plant home, some plants may respond a little dramatically by shedding leaves. The sheath will eventually loosen and fall off as the new leaf gets bigger. Rubber tree plants (Ficus elastica) are named for their original use and not because they are pliable. Spider mites, if allowed to go out of control, can be a very serious problem and difficult to control. Move it to a warmer location. I’ve been asked the following questions from my followers on Instagram (my profile is @ohiotropics). Below you will find everything about the care of Ficus elastica. If your leaves are pretty dirty and you want to get a better cleaning, add a little dish soap to warm water. This is either due to inconsistent watering, or sun scorch. If you just have slight curling but the plant looks healthy otherwise, I wouldn’t worry. The rubber tree I will wipe down quite often. My plant enjoys morning sun and it is thriving. If your Ficus elastica ‘Ruby’ leaves are not as pink, you probably need to increase the light levels. I describe the hardening off process in a blog post that I’ve written. With pest management and pest prevention, keeping a close eye on your plants is key for success. Be sure to closely inspect your entire plant carefully, including the undersides of the leaves, stems and any hidden areas. It immediately is absorbed and drains very quickly. Rubber trees do not require much light, but flourish in bright, indirect light. These tiny white dots are called lithocysts. Overwatering plants so that the soil becomes waterlogged favors pathogens that grow in soil. And there are a lot of questions! Resume consistent watering, light levels, etc and your plant will thank you and new growth will look normal again. Plant care is about getting a combination of things right, and not just one aspect. I now consider them shade plants, even the variegated kind. But before I get to each specific problem, I urge you to take the time to read through the entire post in the order that I’ve written it. North windows would be acceptable, but the plant needs to be as close to the window without touching it. These plants are also sensitive to being moved and may drop their leaves if you move them from their familiar growing spot. Either the soil has been left too dry for too long (“underwatering”) or the soil has stayed too wet for too long (“overwatering”). Light is the most important factor and you can’t expect your rubber plant to thrive and grow well if it is shoved in a dark corner somewhere in your home. It is especially effective at removing formaldehyde from indoor air! It's hard to advise without seeing a photo, but as the stems age, they turn woody and brown so you may be ok. As far as the lower leaf turning yellow, did you allow your soil to go really dry for a while? She is also a former mortgage acquisition specialist for Freddie Mac in Atlanta, GA. Brown Spots on My Ficus Rubber Tree's Leaves, My Rubber Plant's Stems Are Turning Brown & Dying, Clemson Cooperative Extension: Rubber Plant, Missouri Botanical Garden: Ficus Elastica, University of Minnesota Extension Service: Rubber Trees, Weeping Figs, and Other Friendly Ficus, North Dakota State University Extension Service: Houseplants -- Proper Care and Management of Pest Problems. If you neglected your plant and it has gone too dry, you need to be more attentive to watering. Your plant needs to harden off first and slowly acclimate to more light. Southern Blight Caused by the fungus Sclerotium rolfsii, southern blight is an easily preventable moisture-related infection found in rubber trees during the summer months. Nutrient deficiencies are not as common, but if you are using a good, complete fertilizer (available on Amazon) like Dyna-Gro Grow, you should not have to worry about these issues. Do you have your plant in a pot without a drainage hole? If your child or pet likes to chew on plants, rubber tree is not a plant for your home. Light intensity drops dramatically with each foot that you move away from a window. This reduces to about 3 parts potting mix, 1 part perlite and 1 part bark mix. Ficus elastica is mildly toxic to cats, dogs and humans. Hi Ruth! Re-read the watering section earlier in this blog post and try to follow all the other cultural practices with light, fertilizing, etc. I have my own plant growing in front of a very large Eastern exposure window. The moisture meter told her she was ok, but after a few months, the soil was bone dry for a long time and the resulting leaves were wrinkled, folded and taco-like. First of all, it will give them a very unnatural look. There are no shortcuts for plant growth. This means your Ficus lyrata, or fiddle leaf fig, is related to your rubber plant.. It can cause contact dermatitis that irritates your skin and it can cause burning inside mouths and throats. It is as close to the window as possible without touching it. Here are the following steps:Step 1:First of all look whether both the plant leaves are in right shape that is they are not deformed, in case if it is then look for any bacterial or fungal infection.Step 2: Look whether there is any yellowing of the leaves. And you should be fertilizing regardless! In most cases when people message me on Instagram (@ohiotropics) that their rubber plant is not growing, I always ask for a photo showing the growing location of the plant. Or is it sopping wet and perhaps has stayed that way for a while? This latex sap could be collected and refined into actual rubber. You don’t need much. Although healthy rubber tree plants tend to be pest resistant, they … At the tip of each stem, you’ll notice that the growing tip has a covering called a sheath. Generally, Rubber plant problems due to humidity observe more in winter. Now the bigger branch is sprouting a new leaf but got me worried when it unfurled and the new leaf below has no sheath too! Once you understand your plants, care will become second nature! I’ve got a gorgeous burgundy one with two branches and it’s been shooting new leaves every 2 weeks. These infections can be caused by keeping plants too wet, especially in areas of low light and poor air circulation. Scale appears as small, round, brownish, hard shells that attach to the leaves and stems. I’ll describe all these problems at the end of the post. If you just moved your plant into brighter conditions, give it a little time. Keeping the soil too dry or too wet can cause the leaves to droop and curl. Spider mites are tiny arachnids that also feed on cell sap. Locations near air conditioners are not suitable for a rubber tree. I don't think I've ever seen new leaves with no sheaths so that's unusual! This is not what this plant needs! Immediately transplant your rubber plant into a pot with a drainage hole. This species is native to south Asia and is a type of fig. You need to strike a balance with watering. If you manage these pests early, your plant may suffer minimal damage, but unchecked feeding results in unattractive leaves that eventually drop from plants. If eaten by cats or dogs, it can cause gastrointestinal issues. Is it super dry? Remove each scale with your fingers, and then dab that area with rubbing alcohol. Rubber Tree Plant Care Sun. The Ficus elastica is one of over a thousand different varieties of Ficus plants. If your plant is in very poor light, it will stay wet for longer. Aphids, mealy bugs spider mites and scale insects are primary pests of rubber tree. All these kinds of stress on the plant can produce deformed leaves. Proper soil mix is absolutely critical for any Ficus. Gently wipe the leaves with the mixture to remove any dirty or heavy dust buildup. Keep in mind that smaller pots, especially terra cotta pots, will dry out much more quickly than larger pots. And if you compound this with keeping your plant in a dark location, the soil will stay wet for even longer. If your soil is staying too wet for too long, there could be a number of issues that cause this: Curling can also be caused my lower humidity. Or if you have a single stalked rubber plant, you will have to chop the top off right above one of the leaves. If properly cared for, few pests or diseases seriously threaten rubber trees; however, if weakened by overwatering or dark conditions they can be afflicted by several illnesses. Whatever your rubber plant problems or woes are, you will find it here. ress_js("//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US&adInstanceId=3727937f-fd2d-4a8e-aac6-737ec7e1cc2a"); Ohio Tropics (Raffaele Di Lallo) is a participant in the Amazon.com Services LLC program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Let me set something straight. Sometimes a couple times a week. My rubber plant thrives and love this mix! Rubber tree plants (Ficus elastica) are grown all over the world as houseplants. The best way to propagate rubber plants, and the one that shocks the cuttings less than any other method, is by using a process called air layering. She was using a moisture meter and hadn’t watered her plant in months. Check out my blog post on how to air layer rubber plants for a step by step method. Horticultural soaps or liquid insecticides that you apply as a soil drench may be effective in treating these pests when used according to label directions. Early detection and action is key. Eastern exposure windows should work well in most cases, or a little set back from a Western or Southern window. ), which are microscopic roundworms, infect rubber trees' leaves as they feed and cause the areas between leaf veins to turn yellow and die. Only then will you have a thriving houseplant. I have included general care information for all varieties of rubber plant (Ficus elastica) and if there is anything different about the care or problems of each variety, I have called it out. It hasn't grown at all since I got it last year. Do not allow water to sit at the bottom of the pot for extended periods. This is a no-no. Is it wet? Rubber trees may reach a height of 10 feet inside your home, which may be size-prohibitive unless you have vaulted ceilings. 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