From The Plant Encyclopedia
Rubber Plant, Rubber Tree, Rubber Fig
|Upload an image|
|Ficus elastica, commonly known as The Rubber Tree or The Rubber Plant.|
|Category||Tree, Shrub, Vegetable, Indoor Plants|
|Varieties in this species|
|Add a variety||
|Please enter the plant name in this format: 'Latin name - Common Name'|
1 - 20
- Cultivation: Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun, Dappled, Part-Shade
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 6, 7, 8
- Moisture: Bog, Wet, Medium
- Form: Tree, Shrub
- Habit: Evergreen
- Flower: Small
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Succulent, Green
- Uses: Edible, Medicinal, Ornamental, Craft, Industrial, Houseplant
Ficus elastica, also called the rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber plant, or Indian rubber bush is a species of Plant in the fig genus, native to northeast India and southern Indonesia. The Rubber Plant is one of the most popular houseplants world-wide.
As with other members of the genus Ficus, the Flowers require a particular species of Fig wasp to pollinate it in a co-evolved relationship. Because of this relationship, the rubber plant does not produce highly colourful or fragrant flowers to attract other pollinators. The Fruit is a small yellow-green oval fig long, barely edible; it will only contain viable Seed where the relevant fig wasp species is present.
In parts of India, people guide the roots of the tree over chasms to eventually form living bridges.
Cultivation and uses
In cultivation, it prefers bright sunlight but not hot temperatures. It has a high tolerance for drought, but prefers humidity and thrives in wet, tropical conditions. When grown as an ornamental plant hybrids derived from Ficus elastica Robusta with broader, stiffer and more upright leaves are commonly used instead of the wild form. Many such forms exist, often with variegated leaves.
Most cultivated plants are produced by Asexual propagation. This can be done by planting cuttings or air Layering. The latter method requires the propagator to cut a slit in the plant's stem. The wound, which oozes with the plant's latex sap, is packed with rooting hormone and wrapped tightly with moist Sphagnum moss. The whole structure is wrapped in plastic and left for a few months. When it is unwrapped, new roots have developed from the plant's auxiliary buds. The stem is severed and the new plant is potted on its own.
It can yield a milky white Latex also known as Sap, which has been used in some cases to make Rubber, but it should not be confused with the Pará rubber tree, the main commercial source of latex for rubber making. This sap is also an irritant to the eyes and skin and can be fatal if taken internally.
Ficus elastica stem.JPG
Stem of Ficus elastica
Ficus elastica leaves and stem.JPG
Leaves and stem
Ficus elastica Ficus lutea.JPG
Ficus elastica leaf on the left compared to Ficus lutea on the right