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Care of the plant Ficus elastica or Rubber plant.

Care of the plant Ficus elastica or Rubber plant

The genus Ficus, family Moraceae, includes 900 species of trees, shrubs and climbing plants native to the Mediterranean region and tropical regions around the world. Some species are: Ficus elastica, Ficus benjamina, Ficus salicaria, Ficus rubiginosa, Ficus pumila, Ficus lyrata, Ficus ingens, Ficus deltoidea, Ficus carica, Ficus binnendijkii, Ficus radicans, Ficus retusa, Ficus cyathistipula.

Common names: Rubber plant, Rubber fig, Rubber bush, Indian rubber tree, Rubber tree, Snake tree or Indian rubber bush. This species is native to India and Indonesia.

They are large evergreen trees with a wide crown that reach 30 meters in height. The large leathery leaves are oblong and glossy dark green; there are varieties of variegated leaves. They do not normally bloom.

They are commonly used as indoor, greenhouse and patio and terrace plants. In tropical and subtropical climates they are used as shade trees.

The Ficus elastica needs a very illuminated or full sun exposure in the case of variegated varieties. Only the adult trees withstand the occasional frost.

The soil should be light and very well drained; use a mixture of leaf mulch, coarse sand and peat. The transplant is done in spring if the roots appear below the pot.

Water regularly so that the substrate never dries completely but without flooding. Starting in autumn, reduce watering and water little in winter. In summer periodically spray the leaves with lime-free water; wipe the dust off the leaves with a damp sponge.

Fertilize every 2 weeks in spring and summer with mineral fertilizer for indoor plants and with a little compost in autumn.

They do not need pruning.

They can be attacked by mealybugs but their main enemy is overwatering, which turns the leaves yellow.

They are propagated by cuttings that have at least 2 leaves but it is not a simple process. If the plant loses the lower leaves it can be propagated by air layering.

Images of the plant Ficus elastica or Rubber plant

Ficus elastica
Ficus elastica
Ficus elastica
Ficus elastica
Ficus elastica
 

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