Houseplants forum: Ficus Elastica pot preference?

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Name: Laura Undem
Washington (Zone 7a)
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ednaricketts
Feb 27, 2015 9:32 PM CST
I have a couple Ficus elastica 'Burgundy,' and just brought home a small Ficus elastica 'Tineke,' which needs to be repotted. All my plants are rather young. I am wondering, in everyone's experience, whether these guys prefer a lot of space to grow, or do they like to be kept compact, and a bit bound by a smaller pot?

I have had a few plants go on the decline after a transition to too large a pot, and am just so in love with these, I want to give them what they want. Any help would be very appreciated!! Thank you!
My hands are either covered in soil, or covered in flour. Whether it's plants or yeasted bread, I will grow something beautiful from the simplest of things.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Feb 28, 2015 8:03 AM CST
as a gen rule you want to do one to 2 inches larger each time you pot on. any more then that could stress the plant. example i have a coffee tree that was growing like crazy, well i repotted in it much too big a pot and now its hardly growing at all, as far as i can tell
Name: Laura Undem
Washington (Zone 7a)
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ednaricketts
Feb 28, 2015 1:50 PM CST
Thank you. Yes I have noticed that same effect on some of my plants, especially those with bulbs which rotted, I assume from too much soil which held on to too much moisture. I have also noticed that a few plants, such as my Maranta leuconeura, appear to enjoy a little less room, and therefore grow more fully and flower.
My hands are either covered in soil, or covered in flour. Whether it's plants or yeasted bread, I will grow something beautiful from the simplest of things.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 28, 2015 4:36 PM CST
Ficus elastica grow to be very tall and broad trees and the fastest growth will occur during the warmer months. When plants become root bound they tend to have stunted growth, wilt occurs very quickly and the leaves will turn yellow and drop. Tree roots naturally grow in an outward direction as they seek moisture and nutrients from the soil. With potted trees the roots will eventually fill the entire pot and there won't be much soil/compost left to take up the water and nutrients provided so the plant will succumb and die if not moved to a larger container. Depending on how quickly your plants grow you will have to move them up to larger size containers or you can keep them at a more optimum size by root pruning and replanting them in the same pots.
Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica 'Burgundy')
Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica 'Tineke')

Prayer Plant (Maranta leuconeura) are slower growing, clumping plants of smaller stature, only growing to @ 12 inches tall and wide so they would do fine in smaller containers.
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Name: Laura Undem
Washington (Zone 7a)
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ednaricketts
Feb 28, 2015 7:46 PM CST
Thank you! I like to know how to treat my babies right!!
My hands are either covered in soil, or covered in flour. Whether it's plants or yeasted bread, I will grow something beautiful from the simplest of things.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Mar 1, 2015 8:08 AM CST
You are very welcome. Love your avatar photo, what a beautiful canine!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Laura Undem
Washington (Zone 7a)
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ednaricketts
Mar 1, 2015 8:02 PM CST
Thank you!!
My hands are either covered in soil, or covered in flour. Whether it's plants or yeasted bread, I will grow something beautiful from the simplest of things.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Mar 7, 2015 2:57 PM CST
What they said. I agree

Another reason not to over pot is that it is too easy to overwater a plant that is in too large a pot and it can then easily get root rot. Some plants (like many ficus) grow quickly when in active growth, so you can maybe bump up the pot size a little, but if you're unsure, it's best not to over do it.

Since you asked about pot preference, another thing to keep in mind, especially with larger plants that develop aggressive root systems, use wide-mouthed pots that have openings as wide as or wider than the pot itself. Reson being is that if you let it go too long before repotting (as we all have a tendency to do - or at least I do!) then it can be a real bear to get those plants out of urn-shaped pots filled & clogged with roots. It can be detrimental to both the plant and to your back! Ask me how I know... Sticking tongue out
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Mar 9, 2015 8:01 AM CST
With my rubber trees (I have grown many dozen of them over several decades), I know when it/they need re-potting when their roots begin to grow out of the drainage holes. I don't really worry about over-potting them tough, I always use extremely well-draining potting mix. Carter, you are absolutely right. Always use pots that don't have a smaller diameter in the upper 1/3 than it does in the lower 2/3. Like you, I found out the hard way. Sighing! Rubber trees will actually grow quite well being root-bound (not that I ascribe to doing that Whistling ) but you'll have to water quite frequently. Being mostly roots, that remaining potting mix really does dry out very quickly. That alone is a good reason to re-pot. I re-pot mine twice a year. By the way, all of my rubber trees are rooted cuttings.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 18, 2015 8:31 AM CST
How are your plants doing, Laura?
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