ficus elastica – rubber fig

the rubber fig (ficus elastica) is a houseplant which was very popular in the 1950’s. its leaves can get more than 30 cm/12 inchs long, but there are cultivars with smaller or variegated leaves available. it is native to india and indonesia. other common names: rubber plant or indian rubber bush.


the rubber fig can be placed from bright to light shaded but does best on a bright location with some morning and/or evening sun. for building up their colored leaves the variegated cultivars shouldn’t be placed to dark.

a good regular potting mix can be used. keep it moist but not wet and avoid overwatering. drying at the soils surface will be tolerated but it shouldn’t dry completely.

a half diluted water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly (spring/summer) and avery six to eight weeks (fall/winter). if placed a bit cooler in winter it needs less watering and must not be fed.

the rubber fig likes room temperature throughout the year with a winter minimum of 15 °/59 °f.

spraying it over with water increases humidity and keeps its leaves dust free.

ficus elastica rubber fig


the rubber fig can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.