Ficus elastica

Richness of shades of green


Ficus elastica
Latin name:
Ficus elastica.
tropical Asia.
Alternative name:
India-rubber Tree.

It is a tree with large oval leathery leaves, very unpretentious. The most common varieties are 'Decora' and 'Robusta'; the original species is rarely grown indoors. The color of the leaves varies from light green to dark green, and in some varieties and varieties there is a white and yellow pattern. The most famous variety of 'Decora' has large dark green glossy leathery oval leaves, which in adult plants are even 30 cm in length. The central vein is red, in young plants it is prominent, sometimes enclosed in a reddish-bronze shell, which as the leaves develop, it peels off. Milky juice contained in the shoots and leaves of Ficus elastica, if it gets on the skin, can cause redness of the skin or other allergic reaction. The most decorative variegated variety 'Tineke' with a cream pattern on the leaves.


Ficus elastica is usually grown in a large pot, all year round without exposing it from the room. However, during the summer months, it can be placed outdoors in a highly lit area, even in direct sunlight. In the fall, the plant should be brought back to the house. In areas with very mild climates, such as in the central regions of southern Italy and on the Ligurian coast, Ficus elastica can be planted in the garden or kept outdoors in a tub all year round. If the temperature decreases below 5 °C, mulch the soil and insulate the trunk. In the summer, the plant it should be fed once every 1-2 weeks with a solution of complex fertilizer at the rate of 20 g per bucket of water. You can also use granular fertilizer such as nitrogenium, spreading it over the surface of the soil (1 teaspoon per pot with a diameter of 16-18 cm).


It consists in removing dry and damaged leaves. To get rid of dust, the leaves are often wiped with a damp cloth. As a rule, the shoots of Ficus elastica are not pruned, however, if the plant grows too high, it is shortened at the end of winter.


In the summer months, Ficus elastica is watered abundantly once a day and in no case at least once every two days; in winter, watering is carried out once a week or every 15-20 days (depending on the temperature maintained). In summer, frequent spraying with water is carried out (preferably in the morning) to maintain high humidity.


Transplanting into a larger container is carried out once every 2-3 years in April-May using a pot 3-4 sizes larger than the previous one. After extracting the plant, remove some of the old earth and plant the plant in a new soil consisting of peat, deciduous humus and fertile land (1:1:1).


The most common method is vegetative, cuttings. Cuttings are cut in the period from the end of April to June: from the top - 10-15 cm long, from the stem - a plot with 2-3 leaves (cuttings from the side stems take root for 1-2 months or more). To facilitate rooting, the lower leaves are usually removed. The remaining leaves should not be rolled up too much into a tube, intercepting them with an elastic band. Thus, transpiration will decrease and their rapid dehydration will be prevented. Cuttings are planted in a pot or box with a soil consisting of peat and sand, taken in equal parts, and put in the room at a temperature of 22-24 °C, sometimes the box is covered with a plastic film to create high humidity. After rooting (1-2 months), they are transplanted one at a time into 10-cm pots, and later - into larger pots (14-16 cm). Another method of propagation, specially used on plants that are very bare at the base, is air layering.

At the end of winter, an incision is made on a lignified or semi-lignified shoot with a sharp knife, this place is wrapped with wet moss, and cellophane is placed on top. Before rooting, ensure that the moss is constantly moistened. After the roots appear, the shoot is cut off and transplanted into a pot.


Ficus elastica is kept in conditions of maximum illumination. If the plant is placed in a poorly lit place, then weak shoots develop, and the leaves become thinner and pale.


The optimal temperature for this type of ficus, its varieties and varieties is 15 °C in winter and 24-26 °C in summer, a well-developed open-ground plant can tolerate much lower temperatures (up to 5 °C).

Diseases and pests

The most common pests are mealybug and fig wax false shield, which nest under the leaves and on the stems, sucking out the sap and causing general weakening of the plant, as well as discoloration of the leaves and the appearance of spots on them. They are removed with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, or treated with one of the anti-coccidal drugs. Among fungal diseases, with high humidity, gray rot may occur on shoots and young leaves (the causative agent is a fungus of the genus Botrytis). The disease can be prevented by spraying the plant with a fungicidal preparation. Processing it is carried out in the morning, so that the leaves dry out by night; the shell on young shoots is removed. The appearance of yellow, and then necrotic spots on the leaves is caused by various fungi, their appearance is prevented by frequent spraying of leaves; diseased plants are treated with one of the fungicides. Regular changes in temperature and light can trigger leaf loss, especially when the plant is exposed to the open air or brought into the house in the fall. The leaves will not fall off if the plant is placed in partial shade in the garden, and indoors - in the most illuminated place.


For successful cultivation of rubber ficus varieties, plants with healthy glossy foliage are selected, and the absence of worms is checked on the stems and underside of the leaves.

Care summary

Cultivation simple
Watering plentiful in summer, moderate in winter
Transplanting once every 2-3 years in spring
Appearance maintenance wipe the leaves with a cloth
Location heavily lit
Temperature 15-26 °C
Flowering time rare
Height 2-3 m


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