House plant - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by kinsey691020
November 16, 2009
I brought a Burgundy Rubber Plant the leaves are falling off of the stem is this normanl? My plant also has eight legged bugs crawling in it. What can I do to get rid of them?

Answer from NGA
November 16, 2009


Rubber plants are sensitive to being moved and yours may be going through some stress if you've only just brought it into your house. 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.

Arachnids have eight legs, insects have six legs. If the insect pests are tiny with 8 legs, they are probably spidermites. These pests love hot, dusty places and you can usually discourage them by giving your plant a shower with tepid water. If this doesn't work, you can control them with insecticidal soaps or a houseplant insect spray containing bifenthrin.

Good luck with your plant!

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