How To Grow A Beautiful Rubber Tree Houseplant And Care For It

Find Out How To Add A Unique Plant To Your Nashville Home
3 rubber tree plants

Rubber trees are a fun and unique plant you can add to your Nashville home interior. They thrive indoors and don’t need a lot of water to grow.

Find out more about this great indoor plant below-

Rubber Is…Alive?

“Sorry, I just can’t help but think of Flubber here haha!”

“It’s not that funny, Jason,” Mary says with a smile. She told him her plans to buy a rubber tree houseplant to decorate their interior. “Maybe not, but it made me laugh. So, why a rubber tree?” he asks.

Closeup of rubber plant

Mary pulls out her phone. “Here, let me show you. Everything I read about it made it seem like a fun plant to have, minus the slight toxicity. As long as we don’t eat it or let it rest on our skin we’ll be fine. Same goes for any pets.”

Jason looks doubtful. “I don’t know, will it really be ok?” Mary rubs his back reassuringly. “It’s one of the most popular and common houseplants and they’re sold everywhere. It has to be ok, plus it does have some benefits! I’ll tell you all about them.”

Here is what Mary found out about rubber tree plants-

About Rubber Tree Plants

“Wait, rubber comes from plants?!”

Rubber tree plants, or ficus elastica, are native to India and Malaysia. Their milky sap has been used to make rubber. They can be grown inside or outside and grow quite quickly. In Tennessee, they thrive when they’re inside, have indirect light, and aren’t overwatered.

Rubber plant

“Wow, and they can grow upwards of 24 inches in a season! Seems like it’s either a medium-sized houseplant or a small indoor tree,” Jason points out.

If you keep them in smaller pots they won’t grow as big. Younger ones adapt better to living inside than mature plants.

Are Rubber Tree Plants Toxic Or Good For Homes?

“It says they’re both!”

Rubber tree plants can cause skin irritation if you let it rest on the skin for a while. It can cause stomach problems if eaten too. Don’t let your pets too close!

But, rubber tree plants can also clean airborne contaminants, bacteria, and mold spores. Like most plants, they also take carbon dioxide out of the air and replace it with oxygen.

“So it cleans the air, just wash your hands after you touch it. And no pets near it,” Jason summarizes.

Rubber fig tree in a pot

How To Propagate Rubber Trees

It may not work perfectly, but you can propagate rubber trees by cutting a piece off and sticking it in well-drained soil. Trim the leaves off. It has a better chance if you dip it in a rooting hormone first.

“Cool cool, but what about if it gets too tall?” Jason asks. “That’s next, actually!” Mary says, scrolling down.

Closeup of slightly blooming rubber tree plant

Pruning And Re-Potting

Rubber tree plants don’t need much pruning. Aside from dead leaves and shaping, pruning involves cutting the top off when it reaches your desired height. When you cut it, it will branch out.

“Spring and summer are the best times,” Mary reads. Jason nods as she scrolls down for more information.

Lighting And Watering

Rubber tree plants like a lot of light, but not direct light. Light shining through a curtain is an ideal example of the perfect kind of lighting. If the plant starts looking sad and dull it needs more light.

“That’s simple enough but the watering is all over the place!”

Rubber tree growing and planting info

Keep the plant moist during summer. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or mist them with a sprayer. If the air is very dry, keep misting. Besides that, rubber tree plants only need watering once or twice a month. Drooping leaves means more water. Yellow and brown leaves mean less water.

“Make sure to water with lukewarm water. This shocks the plant’s root system less,” Jason reads.

Where To Buy Rubber Tree Plants

You can buy rubber tree plants at most garden centers and nurseries. JVI Secret Gardens Center has rubber plants you can buy!

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“Great! Now, what do you think?” Mary asks. Jason smiles. “Let’s get one! I mean, it cleans the air and it seems like it would make our house look, I don’t know, greener.” Mary hugs him tightly. “While we’re here, let’s look at some more plants and info!”