Ficus elastica Melany (Rubber Plant) is a most loved indoor houseplant. It has deep, glossy green leaves that are greenish burgundy in color. Rubber Plant filters airborne toxins from the atmosphere, therefore it is a great plant for improving the environment in both homes and offices. It is considered to be poisonous. keep it away from children and pets.
Scientific Name: Ficus elastica Melany
Common Name: Rubber Plant
How to grow and maintain Ficus elastica Melany (Rubber plant):
It thrives best in medium to bright indirect sunlight.
It grows well in a well-draining and well-aerated potting soil. Use one part peat, one part pine bark and one part coarse sand (or perlite) is a good mix.
Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top, but never allow the soils to totally dry out. Always keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Normal room humidity of 40-50% is ideal. Indoor air can plummet in winter, so it’s a good idea to increase the humidity for your houseplants.
It prefers average room temperatures of 60°F – 75°F / 15°C – 24°C. Avoid lower than 55°F (12°C), sudden temperature drops and cold drafts.
Fertilize once a month spring through summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Once the rubber plant has grown to the height you want it to grow up to, you can cut the top off. You may also want to prune back any unwanted branches to give the plant a fuller shape. It’s best to prune in spring or summer but any other time will be fine.
It can be easily propagated by stem tip cuttings. Take stem cuttings in spring. To keep its sticky, white sap from forming a cap on the base of the cutting, place the tip in water for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and dip only the cut surface in rooting hormone. Then insert it into the moist potting mix to root.
Pests and Diseases:
Rubber plants are susceptible to the mealy bug, scale, spider mites. To get rid of these pests, you can spray a rubber plant monthly with an insecticidal soap or green solution.