Q. How do I care for a rubber tree plant?
The rubber tree plant, botanically known as Ficus elastica, is one of the most popular indoor houseplants on the market. Native to northeast India, it is in the mulberry and fig family (Moraceae). Ficus enjoys warm temperatures of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit and should be placed in an area that receives medium light, although it can also tolerate full sun indoors. These plants are very particular about their watering needs and should not be overwatered. Allowing the top half of the soil to dry out between each watering is usually the best way to keep the plant happy. To determine if the plant needs to be watered, you can stick your finger into the potting soil several inches down. If the soil feels dry you know it is time to water again. Ficus can tolerate lower humidity levels but generally prefer more humid conditions. In the summer months misting the leaves occasionally can be helpful to increase the humidity levels around the plant. An ideal ficus environment recreates the temperature and humidity requirements in which the plant thrives in the wild.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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