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Growing a Rubber Tree (Houseplant)

Category House Plants
A rubber plant adds a touch of the tropical to your home decor. This is a guide about growing a rubber tree (houseplant).
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2 found this helpful
April 7, 2010

I have always loved rubber tree plants. I bought over the years I can't even count how many, and it never failed, they all died. They would start dropping leaves like mad till they were nothing but a spindly stick. I researched and did everything to the letter according to every set of directions I could find. Nothing worked. I tried putting it in every spot I could find in the house, watering more, watering less, feeding more/less, everything. Still they all died.
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About 4 years ago, I decided to try again and bought a small one about maybe 18 inches tall. It had lots of beautiful leaves and even a bunch of leaf buds on it. I got it home and sure enough, within a week, the leaves were dropping like flies.

I mentioned it to my niece and she told me to start putting it outside in the spring after the last frost, and leaving it out there till just before the first frost in the fall. I did that and now that same plant is almost 5 feet tall and full and beautiful!

It was amazing! I didn't do anything else different to it. For that matter I even forget to water it out there a lot of times! But it is so pretty now, and stays pretty through the winter when I bring it in.

Source: Thank you, Robin!

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

Comment Was this helpful? 2
April 9, 20100 found this helpful

This is a great tip. I have a rubber plant that doesn't do well either and I am going to put it outside right now. Thanks so much. Oh, and your plant is beautiful.

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Questions

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0 found this helpful
June 5, 2008

I have searched the internet and called my mother who is an expert in house plants and can not find the name of this plant. Please could you help me. I thought it was a rubber plant, but my mother-in-law says it is not. Thank you in advance for your help!

Lori from Harrison, South Dakota

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June 9, 20080 found this helpful

It IS a rubber tree plant according to my knowledge... I had a few of them and that is what i bought from the nursery.

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June 9, 20080 found this helpful

If it has lots of branches coming out all over with three or four leaves on each branch, like it looks in the pic (hard to tell), it looks like an umbrella plant. The person above me is correct. I asked the same question to my fl plant group earlier this week. lol.

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

It looks like a laurel bush, which grow like crazy in my garden. Or it could be a rubber plant.

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

You will have to tell your MIL that yes, it is a rubber tree. Google "rubber tree photos" to check it out.

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

It looks like a very young rubber tree. It needs some support stakes and some fertilizer.

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June 10, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you all so much. Yes, I do believe it is a rubber plant. My mother had them when I was younger. I don't have much of a green thumb, but I am trying.

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

That is a rubber plant. I found them very sensitive to grow after I lost a couple of them I finally gave up. Don't water very much!

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June 12, 20080 found this helpful

The photo is of a Rubber Plant - Ficus elastica

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June 14, 20080 found this helpful

It could also be a orange tree. When I was very small, I planted seeds from an orange that I was eating in one of my mother's house plants, and one of the trees lived for almost 20 years (until my Dad accidently left it outside and it got frostbiten). It looked exactly like this. It never flowered. Upon a bit of research, we were told that there had to be both a male and a female tree in order for them to produce fruit.

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June 15, 20080 found this helpful

Looks like an umbrella tree to me as well. My mom got one as a present over a decade ago, and the stupid thing won't die. She kept this plant in a windowless office for 3 years on a book shelf, no it's over 7 feet tall. She never fertilizes it, often forgets to water it, and it's attacked by cats constantly. It got so big this year she can't get it out her door to the patio.

You'll see that rubber plant leaves turn up a bit, while umbrella trees fan out and droop slightly. The umbrella tree's trunk will get more tree like, having bark and being very light tan.

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0 found this helpful
October 7, 2013

When can I cut back a rubber tree plant?

By Peggy from Brighton, IL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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