Water him whenever the top two inches of soil are dry. He needs a lot less water in winter than in summer.
He loves bright light but not direct sun. Put him in a light room, but not right next to the window.
His leaves absorb a lot of moisture. Spraying him with a mister every few days will encourage healthy growth.
If you notice dust building up on those lovely leaves, gently wipe it off. It will keep his pores clean and let his leaves breathe freely.
Variegated rubber plant; Rubber bush; Rubber tree; Indian rubber plant
Evergreen tree, indoor
Plant height (including pot)
Toxic if ingested
Nursery pot size
About rubber plants
The rubber plant is most typically found in southern parts of Asia, where it can grow as tall as 60 metres. It gets its name from the white latex coursing through its veins, which was once used to make rubber. Way back in 1400BC, the Mesoamerican people would mix latex from the rubber plant with juice from a Morning glory plant to make bouncy balls, which they used in a game called ollamaliztil. In English the game is known as pok-a-tok. Sadly, the rules are lost to history.
The rubber plant is not often used for its latex these days. It’s much more popular as a houseplant, loved for its thick, rubbery leaves. Those big leaves like a lot of light. Direct sun can be too harsh, but lots of indirect light will make this ex-sports star very happy. It will also appreciate a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.
If you’d prefer this plant with dark green leaves, check out Rob’s brother Robin.
Did you know?
In parts of India, the rubber tree’s incredibly strong roots have been trained to form ‘living bridges’ over small rivers.