The Rubber Tree Plant (Rubiaceae) is one of the most popular plants in Japan. It grows up to 6 feet tall and its leaves are used for many purposes such as making paper, rope, cloth, etc. The tree’s flowers bloom only once every 5 years during the spring season. During the summer months it produces small fruits which are eaten raw or cooked like other fruit trees. There are two species of rubber tree: Rubus idaeus and Rubus occidentalis. Both varieties have similar appearance but differ in their taste.
Rubber Tree Plant Potting – When Does Rubber Plant Need A New Pot?
When the temperature gets too hot, the leaves turn yellow and drop off. If the weather continues to get hotter, then eventually all of the leaves will fall off. At this point you’ll need to decide whether you want to wait until they grow back or start your own rubber tree from scratch.
If you’re going to start a new rubber tree from scratch, then you’ll need to prepare the soil. You could use composted garden soil or even buy some ready-made potting mix.
You might also consider using peat moss instead of regular dirt if you don’t mind adding extra work into your project.
You can either dig a hole in the ground or build a container out of wood and plastic to house your rubber tree. The hole should be a little bit wider than the size of your pot.
The deeper the hole, the further down you can place the pot.
Before placing the rubber tree in its new home, make sure you water it a day before and remove any dead or dying leaves. After placing it in the container, fill it up with soil until the container is almost full.
You’ll need to water it every day for the next week or so. The soil should be damp but not soaked.
It should also not be so dry that the top layer is completely dry.
During this time, the leaves will probably start to turn yellow and fall off again. This is normal and they’ll start to grow back during the next few weeks if everything goes right.
You can fertilize your rubber tree with bone meal or a special plant fertilizer during the first month. Follow the instructions on the package for proper dosages.
Rubber Tree Plant Care
Once you’ve grown your own rubber tree from a seed, you’ll need to learn how to maintain its growth. This plant is incredibly easy to take care of and doesn’t have many problems, but here are some guidelines that will help you keep your rubber tree healthy.
Rubber trees like warmth and sunlight, but not too much of either. They do best in temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Daytime temperatures over 90 degrees will likely harm your rubber tree so make sure you don’t put it somewhere that’s going to get that hot.
Sunlight should be filtered or blocked with curtains during the hottest hours of the day. If you place your rubber tree outside, then it might need extra protection such as from the afternoon sun.
Water your rubber tree when the topsoil seems dry during a quick test with your finger. Avoid waterlogged soil and let the topsoil dry out somewhat between watering.
Also avoid letting the soil become bone dry because this could kill your rubber tree. The best way to know when your tree needs a drink is to stick your finger in the dirt.
If it feels almost dry then you should give it water.
You might need to water it twice a day during hot weather or if the room that it’s in doesn’t get a lot of circulation.
You can use a general purpose houseplant fertilizer at half strength every couple of months. You can also use liquid plant food or fish emulsion, which are both great natural sources of nutrients.
If you’re using the two, make sure you don’t do both at the same time or you could dilute the effects of each. Follow the directions on the package for proper dosages.
Rubber trees don’t really need to be pruned but if you do decide to do it, you should prune only dead or dying branches and any side shoots. Regular trimming isn’t necessary.
A regular household knife will work fine to prune your rubber tree. If you want to get more professional results, you can invest in pruning shears or a pruning saw from a gardening store.
Repot your rubber tree every couple of years. Since this plant doesn’t grow very big, you can get away with repotting it into the same container.
If the root system is beginning to escape the container or the soil is starting to look a little weathered, then it’s time for a new one.
You might need to repot it more often if it is in a location where it is getting a lot of direct sunlight, since the soil will dry out faster.
The same rules apply when choosing the new pot: a terracotta color is best, with a good drainage hole and large enough for the roots.
Leave at least a few branches on the tree for support. The rubber tree doesn’t send out many roots along the trunk so it needs a little help to stay grounded.
After you’ve positioned your new pot and tamping the soil around the root system to prevent any gaps, give the whole thing a generous watering until water comes out of the bottom of the pot.
You might need to add a layer of mulch or pebbles on top of the soil for decoration and to keep the soil in place. Don’t put it so high that the soil will become waterlogged though.
If you’re adding a mulch, you can use some wood shavings or small pieces of broken pots. Make sure they are clean and free from pesticides.
Repotting needs to be done carefully since the rubber tree has brittle branches that can break easily if not handled properly. Make sure to hold the tree firmly but without crushing it.
Before you begin to move it, decide in what direction it needs to go. If it just needs to be repositioned a little, make small adjustments.
If it needs to go a long way, you might want to wrap it in a cloth first.
You can also tie the main stem down so that it holds its position while the soil is being tamped around the root ball. Be careful not to snap any branches off when you’re moving it though.
After repotting, your rubber tree will need time to recover. Water it a lot and keep an eye on it for a couple of weeks.
After this time period, your rubber tree should be back to its old self again, just as long as you continue to take good care of it.
Common Problems With Rubber Trees
Sometimes when you get a rubber tree you notice that it has a few yellow leaves when you first take it out of the package. Don’t worry, this is normal due to the stress of being moved from one place to another.
Most plants don’t like being moved so your rubber tree will probably lose a few leaves initially. Wait until the leaves fall off on their own and new growth begins before you start worrying about it.
This might take a few weeks or a month. Don’t water your rubber tree until you see new growth or it will just encourage disease.
If new leaves begin to grow and they are spotted or streaked with yellow, you will need to treat your plant for chlorosis (a lack of iron) even if the rest of the tree looks green.
You can either do this with liquid iron or add an evergreen .3-.5 mm leaf shred to your soil monthly until new growth begins and looks normal.
If your rubber tree is dropping leaves you will need to do a little detective work to see what the problem is.
Leaves can only be lost from the plant for three reasons: disease, climate, or abuse. Since you just got your rubber tree you can rule out abuse since you’ve been taking good care of it.
If you’ve already repotted it and added a new soil mix then you can rule out abuse as well. This leaves disease and the wrong climate as the possible culprits.
If the rest of your plants are healthy then it is probably due to the climate since they thrive in warm temperatures. If your other plants are also looking unhealthy, you will need to increase the heat on your house or add a grow light.
If your other plants are fine but your rubber tree is sickly then it could be due to a disease. Check the soil and the plant for any signs of mold, discoloration, or slime.
If you see anything suspicious, take a sample to your local garden center and ask for a recommendation on what fungicide will work best. If there is no sign of disease then you’ll need to take your rubber tree out of its pot and root it in compost instead.
This will cause a bit of transplant shock but it should help your tree get rid of the disease. If you have recently repotted your tree then the roots are probably still bound in plastic and this has prevented air from reaching them.
Do not add gravel, sand, or any other material with small spaces in with the roots or you will have the same problem again when you repot again.
By far the best way to pot your rubber tree is in a well-draining soil mix and to keep it warm and humid while keeping the leaves dry. This can be difficult to do during the winter months but if you can manage it then your rubber tree should thrive.
No matter what you do, if your rubber tree becomes infested with mealybugs you will need to treat it immediately or you will lose the plant.
There is no cure for mealybugs and if they are numerous enough then you may need to discard the tree as soon as you discover them. To combat these little pests, apply horticultural oil when the plants are dry so that the mealybugs will be trapped in the soil by the horticultural oil.
Any mealybugs that remain alive will readily drown when you water your rubber tree again. They only reproduce by parthenogenesis so any mealybugs that you miss this time will not be able to sustain an infestation of their own.
They also require a break in the weather to develop so even if the mealybugs you miss now are able to lay eggs, any offspring they may produce will not be able to survive the cold temperatures of winter.
If you take good care of your rubber tree it will reward you with a beautiful landscape tree that can add interest and texture to any room.
It is an easy plant to grow and maintain and it is not picky about its potting soil or climate. Just keep an eye on the tree to make sure it is not becoming infested with mealybugs and you should have no problems at all.
Your rubber tree is a great beginner’s plant for those that want to learn how to take care of and grow other plants. It can become a demanding plant that has specific needs in soil and climate but with a little effort on your part it can thrive under most conditions.
The rubber tree also makes a lovely house gift and you can find one almost anywhere in the world since they are so easily cultivated.
The rubber tree is also known by a variety of names including devil tree, caucho tree, Ficus elastica, and India rubber plant. In addition to being a great beginner plant it is also a great beginner tree for those that want to learn how to take care of and grow other plants.
It is an easy plant to grow and maintain and it isn’t picky about its potting soil or climate. Just keep an eye on the tree to make sure it isn’t becoming infested with mealybugs and you should have no problems at all.
Apr 13, 2017. There are so many different varieties and types of fig trees that you can find for sale.
Ficus carica is the one most people think of when they hear the word “fig” but there are many other types as well. They make lovely houseplants and can grow quite large if given enough room and when properly taken care of.
Preparing Land for your New Ficus Bonsai. Find a spot for your bonsai that has bright, filtered light and allows the soil to dry out between waterings.
Many of these trees thrive in areas with the humidity of the deep south or the arid deserts.
Ficus is a good beginner bonsai tree, because it’s hardy and can thrive in many environments. The ficus bonsai is a good tree for indoors because it’s sturdy and doesn’t lose its leaves, so you can enjoy it year-round.
Ficus trees are especially popular, as they come in many different shapes and sizes and can be found in numerous colors such as green, brown and purple.
Ficus bonsai trees are native to southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent but have been cultivated elsewhere for multiple purposes. The fig is a sweet, edible fruit that can be found in many grocery stores.
The good thing about Ficus bonsai trees is that they’re very sturdy plants that can grow quite large, making for a more impressive looking Bonsai. They’re one of the longer-living Bonsai trees.
You Might Also Like. Bonsai Tree Care.
When you own a bonsai tree, you have accepted a responsibility to keep it alive and healthy.
These trees never need watering and they need very little fertilizer. The soil they grow in is very nutrient poor, so letting the soil dry out completely before watering is sufficient.
However, you should keep the area around your tree free of stagnant water or muddy areas because ficus trees do not like wet roots.
The banyan tree is a very large deciduous tree that can grow to enormous proportions both vertically and horizontally.
Eventually, the banyan tree’s branches will fuse with the ground and sprout their own trunks, which in turn fuse to other branches.
This growing process often leads to very complex systems of roots and trunks that can span many acres and create a habitat for many animals and plants.
The ficus tree is a popular indoor plant because it thrives in indoor conditions without much maintenance required on the part of the owner.
Houseplant experts often recommend the ficus as a first-time buyer because it is so easy to grow and maintain. The ficus is one of the longest living bonsai trees.
The ficus is a very popular tree with both indoor and outdoor gardeners, thanks to its tolerance for different conditions and its ability to thrive under varying circumstances. Ficus trees are also popular for bonsai cultivation.
The Ficus bonsai is a popular choice as a beginner’s tree because it is very tolerant of mistakes and neglect from the owner.
These trees are also often known as Indian laurel figs, and they are native to both southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. They grow wild in tropical and subtropical climates.
In addition to being easy to grow, the ficus is also easy to propagate, making it a very common household plant. Ficus trees are popular for many other reasons.
The ficus bonsai is a good beginner’s tree because it is a very sturdy plant that can thrive under less-than-ideal circumstances.
Like other plants, the ficus grows best in well-watered soil and with good lighting, but these are easy things to provide. Ficus trees are popular as both indoor and outdoor plants.
The ficus likes humidity and soil that is rich in nutrients. It can grow well in a wide range of conditions but prefers consistent temperatures and humidity.
The ficus will tolerate less-than-ideal growing conditions such as dry soil, but it does not like sudden changes in environment. Allowing the plant’s environment to change slowly will keep it healthy.
The ficus bonsai tree is one of the most popular plants for bonsai cultivation. These trees are easy to grow under container conditions as long as you keep their soil consistently moist and give them enough light.
Ficus trees are great for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time taking care of their plants because they grow and thrive even in less-than-ideal conditions.
Ficus trees are common in yards and gardens all over the world. They grow wild in tropical and subtropical regions, and their popularity is well-deserved.
The ficus has a rich history and is mentioned in many ancient texts as well as in modern movies. Thanks to its small stature and ease of growth, the bonsai ficus is popular for people just starting out in the world of gardening.
Ficus bonsai trees are one of the easiest plants to grow in cultivation. These trees are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of southern Asia.
The ficus tree is a great choice for a beginner because it can tolerate less-than-ideal conditions better than other bonsai trees and still thrive. Ficus trees can grow both indoors and outdoors, so they are versatile as houseplants or garden specimens.
The ficus makes a great gift, especially for people who are new to gardening. With proper care, these trees can thrive for many years, adding life and beauty to any home or garden.
Ficus trees grow best in shaded or lightly-lit areas, although they can survive in direct sunlight for limited periods of time. These trees are native to the tropical and subtropical climate zones of southern Asia, so they will not tolerate extreme cold very well.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Purification capability of potted plants for removing atmospheric formaldehyde by T Oyabu, T Onodera, A Sawada, K Takenaka – Electrochemistry, 2003 – jstage.jst.go.jp
Plant pot cover by FG Baldwin – US Patent 2,440,569, 1948 – Google Patents
Removal of benzene by the indoor plant/substrate microcosm and implications for air quality by RL Orwell, RL Wood, J Tarran, F Torpy… – Water, air, and soil …, 2004 – Springer
Zinc toxicity from tire rubber in soilless potting media by KA Handreck – Communications in soil science and plant analysis, 1996 – Taylor & Francis