The rubber plant, Ficus elastica, is named after the rubbery white latex that runs through its stems and branches, and which was once used to make rubber. It has wide, glossy leaves. In its native south Asian habitat it can reach heights of 60m, but it's more likely to reach just 2m in an indoor setting.
Grown as a house plant, it will make an attractive focal point.
How to grow rubber plant
Grow your rubber plant in bright but indirect light and water only when the top two inches of the compost have dried out. In drier rooms, mist regularly to increase humidity around the plant, and dust or wipe the leaves to ensure they can photosynthesise properly. In spring and summer, it will benefit from a monthly liquid feed.
Rubber plants do best in rooms with medium light levels, so not too close to a window or too far from it, and with a good level of humidity. A bathroom or kitchen makes a fine humid spot for it, but if you grow yours in a living room or bedroom, make sure you mist the leaves regularly or stand the pot on a tray of moist pebbles, to increase humidity.
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