Rubber Plants: A Beginner's Guide to Growing and Maintaining Them

Rubber plants are native to India and Southeast Asia, growing in checkered sunlight under taller trees. They are also referred to as Ficus elastica. They bring charm to any space. 

Rubber plants also work well as indoor houseplants, though growth will be hampered if kept in small pots. They are perfect for enhancing the décor of any living room. Allow your plant to acclimate gradually to new locations, as pushing it too fast can drop its leaves.

Types of Rubber Plant

- Ficus elastica - Ficus elastica 'Burgundy' - Ficus elastica 'Ruby' - Ficus elastica 'Tineke' - Ficus elastica 'Decora' - Ficus elastica 'Abidjan' - Ficus lyrata

Here are some of the most common types:

How to Grow Rubber plants from Cuttings

Choose a Healthy Stem: Select a branch from the rubber plant that is at least 4-6 inches long and has a few leaves.

Cut the stem: Use a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut just below a node (the spot where a leaf attaches to the stem).

Prepare the cutting: Remove the lower leaves from the stem, leaving just a few at the top. This will help the cutting focus its energy on rooting instead of supporting leaves.

Plant the cutting: Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder (optional), then plant it in a pot filled with well-draining soil. Water the soil lightly, and cover the pot with a plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a humid environment.

Provide the right environment: Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Monitor growth: In about 2-3 weeks, the cutting should start to grow new leaves, which means it has rooted successfully. Now, you can remove the plastic covering and treat it like a regular rubber plant.

Caring for rubber plants