How to grow and care for a rubber plant

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How to grow and care for a rubber plant

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The rubber plant, or Ficus elastica, is one of the most popular indoor plant varieties, boasting large, green and burgundy leaves. And the good news – it’s also really easy to grow and care for! Here’s how to make yours thrive.

Tools and materials

Cloth

Eco oil spray

Gardening gloves

Rubber plant

Spray bottle

Watering can

1. Select a healthy rubber plant

Rubber plants are a hardy and resilient indoor plant that look great in any home. They also have the added benefit of removing potentially harmful toxins from the air – win/win! When selecting one, make sure the leaves look plump and green and the plant has some new shoots ready to come through.

2. Choose the correct position

Rubber plants prefer bright, indirect light that isn’t too hot. Direct sunlight can result in scorched leaves – no one likes burnt rubber!

Rubber plant in the corner of a living room, receiving filtered bright light

3. Give it plenty of water

During the summer months when the air is dry, water enough so that the soil remains moist. During the winter months, you should only need to water about once or twice a month. If the leaves get droopy it may mean that you are not watering enough. If they go yellow or brown it could mean you’re watering TOO much – keep an eye on things.

Wiping the rubber plant leaves with a microfibre cloth

4. Clean your leaves

Cleaning your leaves isn’t just to make the plant nice and shiny – it also serves a purpose. It helps the plant breathe and remove toxins from the air.

5. Give it a prune

You will need to prune your rubber plant to promote growth and control the size – these guys can grow quickly, so be mindful of this when choosing your position.

6. Keep an eye out for bugs

If you find any pests or bugs on your plant, take a photo with your phone and take it down to your nearest Bunnings – show a team member and they will help you find a product to treat the issue. Our plant had mealy bugs, so we used an Ecopest oil spray to kill the pests. This product is great, as it’s been specially formulated to remove insects and bugs from indoor plants. It works a treat – just isolate your infected plant for a while until the problem’s been eliminated.

Bunnings team member holding a bottle of ecopest oil

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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