Rubber Tree Care

Rubber Tree Care
There are various ways of planting a rubber tree, which is steadily gaining popularity as an ornamental plant. Read on to know more...
Gardenerdy Staff
Even though a rubber tree is usually planted outdoors, it can also be planted indoors, in a pot, to spice up the interior decor of your house. It is a large plant with thick, shiny leaves. The color of the leaves ranges from deep green to brownish green, and they are oblong-shaped, with pointed tips. If you are thinking of planting it indoors, you need to make sure that you plant it in containers large enough to hold it. The soil should be a mixture of garden soil and sand. There are a few instructions which you need to follow to ensure so that the plant lives for a long time to come.
The most important thing that every living organism needs is an adequate amount of water. You need to provide enough water, or else the plant will die. Like most plants, normal tap water is good enough for watering, but you also need to make sure that you don't pour more water than the plant needs. This can be ensured by checking the soil conditions after regular intervals. If the top soil becomes dry, you need to water the plant. While watering, make sure that you don't soak the plant completely; only the top soil should be moist. Too much water results in conditions this plant is not used to, and may destroy the root system. Keep the soil moist, especially during summers and springs, while in winters, there's nothing to worry about even if the top soil becomes moderately dry.
The second most important requirement of any tree is adequate amount of sunlight, especially if you keep it indoor. You need to make sure that a combination of sunlight and shade is provided. Rubber trees love bright areas, but not direct sunlight. Whenever it grows new leaves, it should be moved to shaded areas, or else the sunlight may harm the leaves. These trees don't like areas where there is too much of wind, so you need to take care of that too. This probably won't be a problem if you are planting in indoors.
Unlike other houseplants, rubber trees need to be fertilized at regular intervals. Ideally, it should be fertilized after every 2 weeks. There are fertilizer solutions available in the market, which are specifically prepared for rubber plants, so you should ideally go for those. These solutions contain essential nutrients required for the healthy growth of the plant. If the plant is managing just fine, and is showing no condition related to nutrient deficiency, fertilizing once a month or once every three weeks may would work as well.
If planted indoors, rubber trees can grow to heights of more than 6 feet―even 10 feet. So, it's essential to prune them at regular intervals. Alternatively, you can also support it with a stake. Pruning should be done only during springs, so that it has enough time to regrow. It helps control the height, thereby giving it a bushy appearance.
Before you start pruning, it's important that you take a good look at it. It's only about a third of the tree that needs to be cut, so you need to take care not to keep chopping unnecessarily. It's recommended that you wear gloves while pruning, as the stem is filled with sticky, milky sap, which will come out during pruning.
Make sure you don't cut too many leaves, and that you cut above the nodes when you do. Nodes are the places where the leaves are attached to the stem, and cutting above them ensures that the leaf will regrow.
So these were some of the important instructions which you should follow, so that your plant continues to live a healthy life. If you find any signs of disease, get in touch with a plant specialist as soon as you detect it.
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