Houseplants forum: Help! the leaves on my rubber tree are turning brown

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beeharmon
Sep 6, 2017 9:54 PM CST
I purchased this large, lovely variegated rubber tree about two and half weeks ago and I noticed this week some of the leaves are turning brown at the edges. I am in LA and we did just have an crazy heat wave (100+ for a couple days in the row) and we don't have AC. I have moved it closer to the window thinking it was not get enough light. I am a little unclear about the amount of water it needs, as the browning starting right after I thoroughly soaked it (and maybe let the extra water sit a bit too long as I thought with the heat it would evaporate quickly). I also spritzed the leaves with water because I read that was good...

Please help. I am new to such big house plants, as my longtime NYC apartment didn't have light for anything more than African violets.

Thanks!!


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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Sep 7, 2017 9:17 AM CST
I cant see what type of pot its it, but if its not draining well, you might be correct, you may have over watered it. Check your roots to see how wet they are, be careful taking the plant out of the soil, dont rip the roots Welcome!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Sep 8, 2017 10:02 AM CST
The brown leaf edges are a generic symptom without one specific cause. It could be heat damage, but more likely it is improper watering. As Christine has pointed out, without knowing how yours is potted, it is hard to give specific watering instructions. If it is properly potted and close to a sunny window, then it would need a thorough watering as soon as the surface of the soil is dry. If it is in a large pot or away from the window, then allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Try to protect it from temps above 85 degrees and hot sun shining directly on the leaves.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

nmasieveritt
Dec 3, 2017 12:40 AM CST
My variegated rubber has the same problem. It came with some spots on it, I had it in a western window. After moving it to an eastern window, the spots grew and leaves are now becoming crisp. Do I remove the leaves or wait for the to drop. Or do I prune the tree altogether, cutting from below the bad leaves? Will it continue to grow? How do I safely prune, if that's the thing to do? As you can see, it is the uppermost leaves? Thank you for your help.
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Sighing!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 3, 2017 10:39 AM CST
It is hard to give a variegated Rubber Plant too much indoor light, so I don't think that is the cause of the leaf edge burning. Possible causes are improper watering, using hard water, over fertilizing and the leaves coming in contact with hot surfaces.

When you water, add enough so that a small amount trickles through the drain holes. Then water again as soon as the top half-inch of soil feels dry. If your tap water is hard, use filtered or distilled. If you have been fertilizing, stop.

It is possible the damage you are seeing now was caused by improper care prior to your getting it. It can take a while for symptoms to appears. So don't over-react.

If new leaves that come in are healthy, you know you are on the right track. The damaged leaves can be removed entirely or just trimmed to remove the brown edges. Pruning and trimming will have no effect on the overall health of the plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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