how to Properly water Your Rubber Plant for a Healthy Plant

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The secret to a happy and healthy rubber plant is learning how to properly water your rubber plant. Watering a rubber plant is essential to its health and longevity, yet it can be confusing initially. 

The best way to water your rubber plant is to wait until the soil is a little dry before adding more water. This usually means every 7-10 days during the summer and every 10-14 days during cooler months. Before you add more water, check the moisture of the soil first!

In this article, we'll cover the basics of watering a rubber plant, including how often to water your plant, what to look for when checking the soil moisture level, and the differences between summertime and cool season watering needs.

Rubber Plant Care At a Glance

The rubber plant, otherwise known as Ficus elastica, is a classic houseplant that adds a hint of the tropics to any indoor environment.

Depending on the variety, it can have glossy green leaves Ficus elastica ‘Robusta', burgundy leaves Ficus elastica ‘Abidjan' or variegated like the Ficus elastica ‘Tineke' and tricoloured like the  Ficus elastica ‘Ruby' (The Tineke and Ruby are definitely next of my wishlist!)

The rubber plant is easy to care for, requiring only moderate to bright indirect light and weekly watering.

Although the rubber plant can grow very quickly, you don't have to worry about it becoming too big for its space; it can be pruned regularly and can reach up to 10ft outdoors!

how to Properly water Your Rubber Plant for a Happy, Healthy Plant

Care Requirements for a Rubber Plant

Botanical Name: Ficus elastica
Native:Malaysia, Himalayas and Java
Common Names:Rubber Tree, Rubber Fig
Water:Preferably distilled, filtered or rainwater
Soil: well-draining soil – Like this Ficus mix from Soil Ninja
Temperature:18-30°C (68-86°F)
Fertilizer:Yes, during the growing months
Toxic to Pets and Humans:Yes, due to the milky sap that it produces when cut

how to Properly water Your Rubber Plant:

Taking care of a rubber plant is an integral part of keeping it healthy and happy. Knowing how often to water your rubber plant will help ensure it has the right amount of moisture and can prevent overwatering.

– Check the Soil Before Watering

Checking the soil before you water your rubber plant is a must to ensure it's getting the right amount of moisture.

To check if your rubber plant needs water, stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle and lightly move it around to assess the moisture level.

The soil should feel dry. If it does feel damp or wet, wait until the soil has dried out before watering again and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

– Potting Container

There's one key factor to keep in mind when it comes to the container you have a Rubber plant in: drainage.

Rubber plants like to have dryer soil, but potting them in a container without drainage holes can lead to the soil staying moist for too long and causing overwatering issues, so you will need to cut back on how often you water them.

– How Often Should You Water Your Rubber Plant?

When it comes to watering your rubber plant, consistency is vital.

Depending on the type of rubber plant you have, how much light it gets, and the room temperature, you should water your rubber plant every few days to once a week.

As I mentioned above, it's best to check the soil each time before watering your rubber plant so that it can be watered only when it needs moisture.

– Making Sure Not to Overwater

Practising smart watering with rubber plants is important, as overwatering can be a major issue!

Each session starts with me checking the soil of my beloved rubber plant to make sure he's ready for some TLC.

When it is, I give him a generous soak – two or three times over! That way, I know his soil has had enough time to absorb all the water and then drain what it doesn't need before settling back into its spot until next time.

Establishing a routine is key too – try and stick to regular waterings so that you know when they need some H2O; just remember, don't go overboard on quenching their thirst or else root rot could set in.

Summer vs Winter Watering Schedules

The needs of your rubber plant will vary depending on the season.

During summer, when temperatures are up, and moisture levels decrease due to increased evaporation, give it a little extra love – water more often than usual.

On the other hand, in winter, you should adjust that watering schedule; less is usually better with cooler temperatures, as there isn't much growth or evaporation going on then!

How to Properly Water Your Rubber Plant

How to Tell if Your Rubber Plant Needs More Water

It can be tricky to know when your rubber plant needs more or less water.

To get an even better idea of how much water your rubber plant needs, check out the leaves and stems for signs of wilting, turning yellow or drying out.

If either of these is visible, then giving your rubber plant a bit more water may be necessary.

Is Misting Necessary for Rubber Plants?

Depending on the humidity of the room your rubber plant is living in, you may need to supplement with a bit of extra humidity.

Mine is living in a room that is usually about 50+ humidity due to the number of plants I have grouped together. I don't add any extra moisture to the air, and it is growing quickly.

If it's less than 40% humidity, you can spray the plant with water to boost the moisture around the plant temporarily and help to stop it from getting brown tips or invest in a humidifier to significantly increase the air moisture.


Why is my rubber plant dropping its leaves?

Dropping rubber plant leaves could be the result of a variety of things – from underwatering to temperature fluctuations.

To identify what's causing your struggling ficus, take stock of its environment: how much light and water does it get?

Are there any signs that pests might have taken up residence, or is it being over-fed with too much fertilizer?

Why is my rubber plant leaves curling?

Is your rubber plant leaves curling? Don't worry; you're certainly not alone!

Many rubber plants experience problems with curling leaves as a result of under or over-watering, being too cold, low humidity levels, not enough fertilizer or pesky pests.

To identify the exact cause of your rubber plant's leaf curling, inspect its environment and care routine.

You can treat issues like too much or too little water by adjusting your watering routine.

If you suspect it's a humidity issue, then you can increase the levels around the rubber plant by grouping other plants around it or getting a humidifier.

Above all, keep an eye on your rubber plant's health and strive to maintain consistent conditions – this will go a long way in keeping its leaves from curling

Why is my rubber plant getting brown leaves?

There may be times when you see your rubber plant's leaves turning brown! This can seem alarming, but it's actually a sign that your plant is trying to communicate with you.

More often than not, browning leaves on rubber plants are caused by one of four things: natural ageing, sunburn, underwatering, or water impurities.

As always with plants, the most important thing is to keep up with regular maintenance.

Make sure you're checking your soil before every watering and rotating around every once in a while so that all sides get an equal amount of sun!

Do rubber plants like to be bottom watered?

One question I often get asked is whether or not they like being bottom watered.

The answer is a resounding yes!

Bottom watering involves filling the container with water and letting it be absorbed up through the soil.

This helps ensure that all of the roots of your rubber plant get enough water without becoming overly saturated, making it an ideal method for keeping them happy and healthy.

Start by filling a dish or tray with a few inches of room temperature water and place your plant into it for no more than thirty minutes.

Afterwards, let it drain entirely in order for your rubber plant to get its fill without any issues arising from overwatering!

And finally…

It is vital to keep up with regular maintenance for your rubber plant and ensure it gets the right amount of water, light and humidity.

By following our advice on how to properly water your rubber plant, you can be sure that you are providing the best care possible so that it will thrive in its environment!

With a little effort and consistency, you'll have a beautiful rubber plant that will last for years to come.

Remember: if ever unsure about how much or how often to water your rubber plant, consider bottom watering – this way, all of its roots get enough moisture without becoming saturated!

Please see all the houseplant supplies I love and use.

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