Rubber Tree Plant - Knowledgebase Question

Leesburg, Vi
Question by DeniseT937
January 20, 2010
How do I keep the leaves from falling off my rubber plant. I water the plant moderately once a week. Roots are growing out of the bottom of the container and the top of the plant. Plant is still in original container. I purhcased the plant approximately two to three months ago.

Answer from NGA
January 20, 2010


Something as simple as moving your plant from one area to another can cause leaf drop, as can cold drafts or warm air from a heating system. Ficus elastica does best in a well-drained soil. Avoid over-watering, but don?t let it dry out either. It is a good idea to observe the plant and its soil to determine when you should water. Symptoms of over-watering and under-watering are similar, such as leaf yellowing and leaves falling off. You should be able to tell which one is the issue if you consider how often you have been watering. Watering once a week is a good place to start, but adjust your schedule depending on how quickly the soil dries out. You should also water slightly less often in the cooler months when the plant slows down its growth. It sounds as though your rubber tree is ready to be repotted. If it is rootbound, the plant won't be able to get the moisture and nutrients it requires. I would repot it now in a slightly larger container. Choose one with lots of drainage holes and fill it with fresh new potting soil. Make a hole in the center and replant your ficus, then gently tamp the soil down all around the roots. Water well after replanting. Hope your plant recovers soon.

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