types of rubber plants with pictures

How to Choose the Best Type of Rubber Plant for Your Home (with Pictures)

– Rubber plants are popular houseplants that can purify the air, add beauty and color to any room, and are easy to care for.
– There are eight common types of rubber plants: Robusta, Tricolor, Tineke, Burgundy, Ruby, Decora, Doescheri, and Yellow Gem. Each type has its own characteristics, such as leaf color, size, shape, and pattern.
– Rubber plants can be propagated by cuttings or air layering and pruned to maintain their shape and health.
– Rubber plants can be affected by common pests and diseases, such as mealybugs, scale, spider mites, leaf spot, root rot, etc. They can be prevented and treated by natural and organic remedies, such as neem oil, soap spray, cinnamon, etc.
A photo of a rubber plant on a white background, showing its glossy and waxy leaves

Are you looking for a houseplant that can make your home more lively and fresh? Do you want a plant that can grow in low light and dry conditions and does not require much attention? If you answered yes to these questions, then you might want to consider getting a rubber plant.

Rubber plants are tropical evergreen trees that belong to the genus Ficus and the family Moraceae. They have thick, glossy, and waxy leaves that can be green, burgundy, or variegated. They can grow up to 13 feet tall indoors and can be pruned to keep them compact and bushy. They are also known for their ability to purify the air and remove harmful toxins, such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene.

In this article, we will show you how to choose the best type of rubber plant for your home and how to care for it. We will also provide you with pictures of the different types of rubber plants and their characteristics. By the end of this article, you will be able to identify and grow your own rubber plant with ease and confidence.

The Benefits of Growing Rubber Plants Indoors

types of rubber plants with pictures

Rubber plants are not only beautiful and ornamental, but also beneficial and practical. Here are some of the benefits of growing rubber plants indoors:

  • They can purify the air and remove harmful toxins. Rubber plants are among the best air-purifying plants, according to a study by NASA. They can absorb and break down volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene, that are emitted by paints, furniture, carpets, and other household items. These VOCs can cause headaches, nausea, irritation, and allergies. By having rubber plants in your home, you can improve the quality of the air and your health.
  • They can add beauty and color to any room. Rubber plants have glossy, waxy, and variegated leaves that can brighten up any space. They come in different colors, such as green, burgundy, pink, yellow, white, and cream. They also have different shapes and patterns, such as round, oval, pointed, curved, splotchy, and watercolor. They can create a tropical and exotic vibe in your home and complement any style and decor.
  • They are easy to care for and can tolerate low light and dry conditions. Rubber plants are not fussy and demanding. They can grow well in bright, indirect light, but can also adapt to low light conditions. They do not need much water and can survive in dry soil. They only need to be watered once a week or when the top inch of the soil feels dry. They also do not need much fertilizer and can be fed once a month during the growing season. They are resistant to most pests and diseases and can be treated with natural and organic remedies.

To grow rubber plants indoors, you need to choose the right pot, soil, fertilizer, and water. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Choose a pot that has drainage holes and a saucer. Rubber plants need a well-drained pot to prevent root rot and fungal infections. You can use a ceramic, clay, plastic, or metal pot that has holes at the bottom and a saucer to catch the excess water. The pot should be large enough to accommodate the root system and the growth of the plant. You can repot your rubber plant every two to three years or when it becomes root-bound.
  • Choose a soil that is well-drained, loamy, and slightly acidic. Rubber plants prefer a soil that is rich in organic matter, such as peat, bark, or compost, and has good drainage and aeration. You can use a commercial potting mix that is designed for houseplants or make your own by mixing one part peat, one part perlite, and one part bark. The soil should have a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. You can test the pH level of your soil with a kit or a meter and adjust it with lime or sulfur if needed.
  • Choose a fertilizer that is balanced and slow-release. Rubber plants do not need much fertilizer and can be fed once a month during the spring and summer. You can use a balanced fertilizer that has equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. You can also use an organic fertilizer, such as fish emulsion, seaweed extract, or compost tea. You can apply the fertilizer according to the label instructions and dilute it with water to avoid burning the roots. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer that can be mixed with the soil and release nutrients gradually over time. You should stop fertilizing your rubber plant in the fall and winter, when it is dormant and does not grow much.
  • Choose a water that is room temperature and filtered. Rubber plants do not like cold or hard water, which can damage their leaves and roots. You should use water that is at room temperature and filtered or distilled to remove any chlorine, fluoride, or minerals that can cause salt buildup and leaf tip burn. You should water your rubber plant once a week or when the top inch of the soil feels dry. You should water thoroughly until the water drains out of the holes and discard the excess water from the saucer. You should avoid overwatering or underwatering your rubber plant, as both can cause wilting, yellowing, and dropping of leaves.

The Different Types of Rubber Plants and How They Look Like

types of rubber plants with pictures

Rubber plants are not all the same. There are eight common types of rubber plants that you can find in nurseries and garden centers. Each type has its own characteristics, such as leaf color, size, shape, and pattern. Here are the different types of rubber plants and how they look like:

TypeDescription
RobustaThis type has dark green, glossy leaves that can grow up to 12 inches long. It can reach up to 8 feet tall indoors and prefers bright, indirect light.
TricolorThis type has variegated leaves with pink, cream, and green colors. The new leaves are red until they mature. It can grow up to 6 feet tall indoors and needs bright, indirect light to maintain its color.
TinekeThis type has green and white leaves with yellow edges. It can grow up to 13 feet tall indoors and likes bright, indirect light.
BurgundyThis type has dark burgundy or black leaves that are thick and waxy. It can grow up to 6 feet tall indoors and tolerates low light conditions.
RubyThis type has multicolored leaves with pastel pink, yellow, green, and white. It can grow up to 13 feet tall indoors and requires bright, indirect light to keep its color.
DecoraThis type has very dark green leaves that are larger than other types. It can grow up to 6 feet tall indoors and likes bright, indirect light.
DoescheriThis type has splotchy leaves with gray, cream, and green colors. The stems and midribs are pink. It can grow up to 13 feet tall indoors and needs bright, indirect light.
Yellow GemThis type has bright yellow leaves with green edges. It can grow up to 10 feet tall indoors and prefers bright, indirect light.

As you can see, there are many types of rubber plants that you can choose from. They are all beautiful and have different characteristics. You can choose the one that suits your taste and space. Here are some tips on how to choose the best type of rubber plant for your home:

  • Consider the size and shape of your room and the available space for your plant. Some types of rubber plants can grow very tall and wide, while others can be kept compact and bushy. You should choose a type that fits your room and does not overcrowd it. You should also consider the height and width of your pot and the distance from the floor, ceiling, and walls.
  • Consider the light and temperature of your room and the preferences of your plant. Some types of rubber plants need bright, indirect light to thrive and maintain their color, while others can adapt to low light conditions. You should choose a type that matches the light and temperature of your room and the preferences of your plant. You should also check the temperature and humidity levels of your room and adjust them if needed. Rubber plants prefer warm and humid conditions, but can tolerate cool and dry ones. You should avoid placing your plant near drafts, heaters, or air conditioners that can cause sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
  • Consider the color and style of your room and the appearance of your plant. Some types of rubber plants have vibrant and colorful leaves that can create a contrast and a focal point in your room, while others have dark and elegant leaves that can blend in and create a harmony. You should choose a type that matches or complements the color and style of your room and your personal taste. You should also consider the shape and pattern of the leaves and how they can affect the mood and atmosphere of your room.

Here are some examples of how to choose the best type of rubber plant for your home based on these factors:

  • If you have a small and dark room, you might want to choose a type that is compact and bright, such as Tricolor, Tineke, or Yellow Gem. These types can add some light and color to your room and make it look more spacious and cheerful.
  • If you have a large and bright room, you might want to choose a type that is tall and dark, such as Robusta, Burgundy, or Decora. These types can create a dramatic and elegant effect in your room and make it look more cozy and sophisticated.
  • If you have a modern and minimalist room, you might want to choose a type that is simple and sleek, such as Robusta, Burgundy, or Ruby. These types can create a clean and stylish look in your room and make it look more chic and contemporary.
  • If you have a rustic and cozy room, you might want to choose a type that is textured and splotchy, such as Doescheri, Tineke, or Tricolor. These types can create a warm and inviting look in your room and make it look more homely and charming.

How to Propagate and Prune Rubber Plants

A photo of a person holding a pair of shears and a rubber plant stem, showing how to cut and propagate rubber plants

Rubber plants are not only easy to grow, but also easy to propagate and prune. You can propagate rubber plants by cuttings or air layering and create new plants from your existing ones. You can also prune rubber plants to maintain their shape and health and prevent them from becoming leggy or droopy. Here are some tips on how to propagate and prune rubber plants:

How to Propagate Rubber Plants by Cuttings

Propagating rubber plants by cuttings is a simple and fast method that can produce new plants in a few weeks. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose a healthy and mature rubber plant that has at least one node on each stem. A node is a swollen part of the stem where the leaf attaches and where the roots will grow from.
  • Cut a 4 to 6 inch stem from the parent plant using a sharp and sterile pair of shears. Make sure to cut just below a node and at a 45 degree angle. You can also cut off the tip of the stem if it has a leaf bud.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the cutting and leave only one or two leaves at the top. This will reduce water loss and encourage root growth.
  • Dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone, such as powder, gel, or liquid. This will stimulate and speed up the root formation and prevent infection.
  • Insert the cutting into a small pot filled with a moist and well-drained soilless medium, such as perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss. Make sure to bury the node and leave the leaf exposed. You can also use a glass of water instead of a pot, but make sure to change the water every few days and add some liquid fertilizer.
  • Place the pot or the glass in a warm and bright location, but away from direct sunlight. You can also cover the pot or the glass with a plastic bag or a dome to create a humid and greenhouse-like environment. This will prevent the cutting from drying out and wilting.
  • Water the cutting regularly and keep the soil or the water moist, but not soggy. You can also mist the cutting with a spray bottle to increase the humidity and prevent the leaf from curling.
  • Check the cutting for roots after two to four weeks. You can gently tug the cutting and see if it resists or pull it out and see if there are any roots. If there are no roots, put the cutting back and wait for another week or two. If there are roots, you can transplant the cutting into a larger pot with a well-drained, loamy, and slightly acidic soil. You can also remove the plastic bag or the dome and expose the cutting to more light and air.

How to Propagate Rubber Plants by Air Layering

Propagating rubber plants by air layering is a more advanced and complex method that can produce larger and more established plants in a few months. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Choose a healthy and mature rubber plant that has a thick and woody stem. You can use any part of the stem, but the middle or the top are usually the best.
  • Make a small and shallow cut around the stem about one-third of the way down from the tip. The cut should be about one inch long and one inch deep. You can use a sharp and sterile knife or a pair of shears. This will expose the cambium layer, which is the green part of the stem where the roots will grow from.
  • Peel off the bark from the cut and remove any sap or latex that oozes out. You can use a cotton swab or a tissue to wipe off the sap or latex. This will prevent the wound from healing and closing up.
  • Apply some rooting hormone, such as powder, gel, or liquid, to the cut and the exposed cambium layer. This will stimulate and speed up the root formation and prevent infection.
  • Wrap some moist and well-drained soilless medium, such as sphagnum moss, peat moss, or coco coir, around the cut and the stem. The medium should be about two to three inches thick and cover the entire cut and the cambium layer. You can also add some perlite or vermiculite to the medium to improve the drainage and aeration.
  • Wrap some plastic wrap or a plastic bag around the medium and the stem and secure it with some string or tape. This will create a humid and greenhouse-like environment and prevent the medium from drying out and falling off. You can also poke some holes in the plastic wrap or the plastic bag to allow some air circulation.
  • Place the plant in a warm and bright location, but away from direct sunlight. You can also mist the medium with a spray bottle to keep it moist and humid.
  • Check the medium for roots after two to four months. You can peel off the plastic wrap or the plastic bag and see if there are any roots. If there are no roots, put the plastic wrap or the plastic bag back and wait for another month or two. If there are roots, you can cut off the stem below the medium and the roots and remove the plastic wrap or the plastic bag.
  • Plant the new plant into a large pot with a well-drained, loamy, and slightly acidic soil. You can also remove some of the medium from the roots and the stem, but not all of it. You can also prune the new plant to shape it and encourage branching.

How to Prune Rubber Plants

Pruning rubber plants is not necessary, but it can help them maintain their shape and health and prevent them from becoming leggy or droopy. You can prune rubber plants anytime, but the best time is in the spring or the summer, when they are actively growing. Here are some tips on how to prune rubber plants:

  • Choose a sharp and sterile pair of shears or scissors. You can sterilize them by wiping them with alcohol or boiling them in water. This will prevent the transmission of any pests or diseases and ensure a clean and smooth cut.
  • Cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves and stems from the plant. You can also cut off any yellow, brown, or black leaves and stems that are signs of overwatering, underwatering, or nutrient deficiency. You should cut at a 45 degree angle and just above a node or a leaf. You should also remove any sap or latex that oozes out from the cut with a cotton swab or a tissue. This will prevent the wound from healing and closing up and allow new growth to emerge.
  • Cut off any unwanted or excessive growth from the plant. You can also cut off any long or leggy stems that are out of proportion or shape. You can also cut off the tip of the stem if you want to limit the height of the plant or encourage branching. You should cut at a 45 degree angle and just above a node or a leaf. You should also remove any sap or latex that oozes out from the cut with a cotton swab or a tissue. This will prevent the wound from healing and closing up and allow new growth to emerge.
  • Cut off any flowers or fruits from the plant. Rubber plants rarely flower or fruit indoors, but if they do, you should cut them off as soon as they appear. This will prevent the plant from wasting energy and resources on producing flowers or fruits and focus on producing leaves and stems. You should cut at a 45 degree angle and just below the flower or the fruit. You should also remove any sap or latex that oozes out from the cut with a cotton swab or a tissue. This will prevent the wound from healing and closing up and allow new growth to emerge.

How to Prevent and Treat Common Pests and Diseases of Rubber Plants

A photo of a rubber plant leaf with spots and holes, showing the signs of pests and diseases

Rubber plants are resistant to most pests and diseases, but they can still be affected by some common ones, such as mealybugs, scale, spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, thrips, whiteflies, leaf spot, root rot, powdery mildew, anthracnose, etc. These pests and diseases can damage the leaves and stems of rubber plants and cause them to wilt, yellow, drop, or die. Here are some tips on how to prevent and treat common pests and diseases of rubber plants:

How to Prevent Common Pests and Diseases of Rubber Plants

The best way to prevent common pests and diseases of rubber plants is to provide them with the proper care and environment. Here are some preventive measures that you can take:

  • Inspect your rubber plant regularly and isolate any infected plants. You should check your rubber plant for any signs of pests or diseases, such as holes, spots, webs, sticky substances, or insects on the leaves and stems. You should also inspect the soil and the pot for any fungus, mold, or larvae. If you find any infected plants, you should isolate them from the rest of your plants and treat them as soon as possible. You should also disinfect your tools and pots before using them on other plants.
  • Provide your rubber plant with the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer. You should place your rubber plant in a bright, indirect light, but avoid direct sunlight that can scorch the leaves. You should water your rubber plant once a week or when the top inch of the soil feels dry, but avoid overwatering or underwatering that can cause root rot or leaf tip burn. You should fertilize your rubber plant once a month during the spring and summer, but avoid overfertilizing or underfertilizing that can cause nutrient deficiency or toxicity.
  • Provide your rubber plant with good drainage, aeration, and humidity. You should use a well-drained, loamy, and slightly acidic soil for your rubber plant and a pot that has drainage holes and a saucer. You should also add some perlite or vermiculite to the soil to improve the drainage and aeration. You should mist your rubber plant with a spray bottle or use a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase the humidity, but avoid wetting the leaves or the soil that can cause fungal infections.
  • Prune your rubber plant to remove any dead, diseased, or damaged parts. You should use a sharp and sterile pair of shears or scissors to cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves and stems from your rubber plant. You should also remove any yellow, brown, or black leaves and stems that are signs of overwatering, underwatering, or nutrient deficiency. You should also remove any flowers or fruits that can drain the energy and resources of your rubber plant. You should cut at a 45 degree angle and just above a node or a leaf and remove any sap or latex that oozes out from the cut.

How to Treat Common Pests and Diseases of Rubber Plants

If your rubber plant is already infected by common pests or diseases, you can still treat them with natural and organic remedies. Here are some treatments that you can use:

  • For mealybugs, scale, spider mites, aphids, thrips, and whiteflies, use neem oil, soap spray, or rubbing alcohol. These are common sucking insects that feed on the sap of rubber plants and cause them to wilt, yellow, drop, or curl. You can use neem oil, which is a natural insecticide and fungicide that can kill and repel these pests. You can also use soap spray, which is a mixture of water and dish soap that can suffocate and wash away these pests. You can also use rubbing alcohol, which is a solvent that can dissolve and dehydrate these pests. You can apply any of these remedies by spraying or wiping them on the affected parts of your rubber plant. You should repeat the treatment every few days until the pests are gone.
  • For fungus gnats, use hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, or sticky traps. These are small flying insects that lay eggs in the soil and feed on the roots of rubber plants. They can cause root rot and fungal infections. You can use hydrogen peroxide, which is a disinfectant and an oxygenator that can kill and prevent these pests. You can also use cinnamon, which is a spice and a fungicide that can repel and inhibit these pests. You can also use sticky traps, which are yellow or blue cards coated with glue that can attract and trap these pests. You can apply any of these remedies by watering or sprinkling them on the soil or placing them near your rubber plant. You should repeat the treatment every few weeks until the pests are gone.
  • For leaf spot, root rot, powdery mildew, and anthracnose, use baking soda, vinegar, or milk. These are common fungal diseases that cause spots, patches, or lesions on the leaves and stems of rubber plants. They can also cause wilting, yellowing, dropping, or dying of rubber plants. You can use baking soda, which is a base and a fungicide that can neutralize and prevent these diseases. You can also use vinegar, which is an acid and a disinfectant that can kill and prevent these diseases. You can also use milk, which is a dairy product and a bactericide that can suppress and prevent these diseases. You can apply any of these remedies by spraying or wiping them on the affected parts of your rubber plant. You should repeat the treatment every few days until the diseases are gone.

Conclusion

A photo of a rubber plant in a pot

Rubber plants are wonderful houseplants that can purify the air, add beauty and color to any room, and are easy to care for. They come in different types, such as Robusta, Tricolor, Tineke, Burgundy, Ruby, Decora, Doescheri, and Yellow Gem, each with its own characteristics and preferences. You can choose the best type of rubber plant for your home based on the size, shape, light, temperature, color, and style of your room. You can also propagate and prune rubber plants to create new plants and maintain their shape and health. You can also prevent and treat common pests and diseases of rubber plants with natural and organic remedies, such as neem oil, soap spray, hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, baking soda, vinegar, or milk.

We hope this article was helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions, feedback, or experience with rubber plants, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you and learn from you. Thank you for your time and attention and happy gardening!

About The Author

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Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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