Ficus elastica, Rubber Tree

Ficus elastica

Rubber Tree
Family: Moraceae
Origin: India and Malaysia
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapBig tree taller than 20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterRegular waterOrnamental foliageSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Ficus elastica (Rubber Tree), originally native to India and Malaysia, is an ornamental plant that can reach heights of over 20 feet in its natural growing environment. It is grown as a popular houseplant due to its attractive foliage and ability to thrive in semi-shade, regular watering, and moderate water. The plant is also tolerant of seaside and salt but is frost intolerant.

Ficus elastica is a suitable choice for those in USDA Zones 9-11. It can be grown in a point in colder regions. To successfully grow a Rubber Tree in a pot, it is crucial to provide enough light without overexposing it, use well-draining soil with enough organic matter to retain moisture, and regularly water the plant. Pruning is also necessary to maintain its shape, and it's essential to watch out for pests and diseases like aphids, scale, and root rot.

Ficus elastica leaves, stems, and wood can "bleed" white sticky sap when damaged, which can be used to make rubber. However, some people may be allergic to the sap when applied to the skin.

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