Rubber plant question - Knowledgebase Question

Nashua, NH (Zone 5A)
Question by rupak_khuran
July 14, 2005
I have a burgundy rubber plant. After I brought it home and kept it at a place where there isnot much light, I have noticed the older leaves are falling off. However the new ones coming too. I am just worried if all leaves will fall off eventually? Is it a good idea to keep it outside in the sun for a day or two in the week and then bring them inside so as to let it hve its share of the sun. ?


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Answer from NGA
July 14, 2005

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Being moved is stressful on plants. Your plant (Ficus elastica) may be going through an adjustment period since you brought it home while it adapts to its new location. It is better to settle it in one spot and allow it time to become accustomed to the growing conditions there, rather than move it about. You may need to review the general care and conditions for this plant so you can select th best spot for it. A rubber plant will sometimes manage to survive in low light but will do much better in a very bright location with either very bright indirect light or a few hours of direct sun also in a bright room. Sometimes, as the plant grows it will lose lower leaves naturally but it should not be losing new foliage. This might be related to the watering it receives. The soil should be kept damp like a wrung out sponge, never bone dry and never sopping wet or saturated. Water thoroughly and then empty any excess out of the drainage saucer. Wait until the surface is dry before you water again. In the winter when it slows its growth you may need to water a bit less. During the growing season you should also fertilize regularly with a water soluble fertilizer formulated for foliage plants, read and follow the label instructions. If you want your plant to grow quickly and it is in very bright light, use the higher rate. To slow its growth, use the lower rate. Good luck wiht your plant!

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