Rubber plants are commonly grown as houseplants, and they're quite easy to care for. Featuring thick, leathery leaves in variegated colors including muted red, green and yellow, the rubber plant is grown for its attractive foliage, and is most often used as a large floor plant. The following article provides tips for caring for a rubber plant.
Rubber plants grow best in well-drained, commercial potting soil. When repotting your rubber plant from its original container, choose a planter that's at least two inches larger in diameter. Avoid planting your rubber plant in containers that don't have drainage holes, as the plant can quickly develop root rot if not provided with adequate drainage. Fertilize with a general purpose houseplant solution after planting.
Keep the soil of your rubber plant evenly moist, and allow it to dry out only slightly between waterings. Most rubber plants prefer bright sunlight, but some can be grown in part shade. They grow best in warm, high humidity environments, though they will adapt to the conditions of most homes. In order to provide extra humidity for your rubber plant, it's a good idea to place the planter on a large tray of pebbles and water. To maintain shiny, attractive leaves, you'll need to dust your rubber plant every couple of months. To dust the plant, use a damp cloth to wipe the leaves. You can also purchase products from your local nursery or home improvement store that will protect and increase the shininess of the leaves. If a leaf breaks off from the plant, you'll notice an unusual, milk-like substance ooze from the place the leaf was broken. Don't be alarmed because this is normal, but the substance should not be ingested, as it can be poisonous. For this reason, it's best to keep your rubber plant away from children and pets.