How to Care for a Rubber Plant

By Jean D , last updated May 3, 2011

Caring for a rubber plant is easy. In fact, the plant is so adaptable and easy to grow that it's become a favorite plant for homes and offices across the United States. The rubber plant produces large, glossy leathery leaves of deep green, red or yellow. Each variety has similar care needs, which are outlined below.

Rubber plants prefer tight spaces. They seem to like to feel their roots pressing against the side of the pots. Since the roots are so tight in the pot, there's very little soil available to hold water and nutrients. You may need to water your rubber plant as much as three times per week. Place your finger in the pot. If the material feels dry, add water. If the material feels wet, don't add more water. Repot your rubber plant only when roots begin to emerge from the drainage holes in your pot.

Keep your rubber plant in a bright spot, but avoid allowing direct sunlight shine on your plant. Although the plants will adjust to most home temperatures, they will truly thrive when daytime temperatures are in the 80s and nighttime temperatures are in the 60s. If your plant seems happy in its location, avoid moving it. Changing the amount of light the plant receives can cause the leaves to drop.

Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them free of dust. While you're wiping the leaves, check the plant for disease. Small insects and bugs can appear on the plants and should be sprayed with insecticide. If the plant seems to be growing tall and thin, trim the top of the plant with sharp garden shears. This will encourage the rubber plant to grow branches from the sides, rather than on the top.

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