The Ficus Elastica, or India rubber tree, was popular for quite some time. Today, the more compact Ficus Robusta has become a favourite because it is far more tolerant of low humidity environments and they are easier to grow. The most common mistake when caring for this potted plant is overwatering. So, if you order one for yourself or receive one as a gift, keep these care tips in mind.
Your Ficus Robusta will thrive in areas that receive morning sunlight as well as bright, indirect light during the rest of the day. If you do not have a spot that receives morning sun, you should at least choose a room that receives plenty of indirect sunlight during the day.
Soil and repotting
The Ficus Robusta prefers well-draining soil. As the plant grows, it will need to be repotted. This should only be done late in the winter or early spring while the plant is enjoying a more dormant phase.
As briefly mentioned above, overwatering is a common problem. So, when watering, make sure that the soil is watered evenly and you see the excess water flow into the saucer beneath the pot. Wait a few minutes before emptying the saucer out. You don’t want the pot resting in water. Do not water again until the soil has partially dried out.
You can help encourage healthy growth by providing your Ficus Robusta with a balanced fertilizer. You can do this every two months if it receives some direct sunlight or every four months if it is only enjoying indirect light. You should not allow the fertilizer to come into contact with the leaves.
Dust tends to gather on the leaves of all plants. Use a clean, damp cloth to gently wipe the leaves with water from time to time.
You should prune the plant in the spring to maintain the size you prefer. Always use clean, sharp pruning sheers. You should also wear gloves when working with your Ficus Robusta because the sap can cause skin irritations.
It’s is also important to note that you should keep pets and small children away from your Ficus Robusta. Ingestion of this plant can cause stomach problems. If you are planning on sending this plant as a gift, it is very important that you consider the recipient carefully as well as whether or not they have small children or pets.