How do I care for my Rubber plant?

Ficus Abidjan Rubber plant

Ficus Abidjan is a type of Rubber plant. It's our Luxury NOT pet friendly plant of the month for July 2019. Here's the low-down on this burgundy beauty.

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Native habitat
Originally native to South/southeast Asia, the ficus can now be found naturalised in many places around the world, from Sri Lanka to Florida.

Light and position in the home
This plant likes bright but indirect light, it can cope however with lower light levels.

Flowers and foliage
The ficus is capable of producing flowers, but is unlikely to do so as a houseplant, as there is just one type of insect that pollinates them in the wild! It is the gorgeous, large, shiny leaves that make this plant stand out. There are lots of varieties of Rubber plant. The one we've selected for you this month is a red-leaved cultivar known as Ficus Abidjan.

Watering
Not too much, not too little with this plant. Water when top of the soil starts to become dry. Leaves can turn yellow if overwatered. During winter, allow the soil to dry out before watering.

Wipe leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to remove dust from the broad, smooth surface.

Temperature
If the temperature is ok for you it should be fine for you ficus! In-between 16-24 celcius is ideal, and try to avoid cold draughts.

BE AWARE
The sap inside the leaves is what gives this plant it's common name the rubber plant. However be careful when handling this plant, as the sap is toxic to pets AND an irritant to humans.

Why I chose this plant
One of the my earliest memories of houseplants is of a Rubber plant that my mum had in the house I grew up in. I remember drawing it in pencil for my art homework one week. I still remember my attempt at shading the patterns on the leaves and appreciating for the first time that no two leaves were even remotely similar, even though they all came from the same plant. Art was my favourite subject, and I usually spent hours on the assignments, but this time I realised that nobody would ever know (or care) whether my picture was accurate; just that it conveyed what I perceived. There were so many imperfections in the leaves, nobody would ever stop to work out how accurately I had copied the designs, so I just made them up!

I got an A- for my efforts! Needless to say, Rubber plants hold a special place in my heart.

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The Rubber plant is our gorgeous Luxury Indoor plant of the month for July 2019. If you like the sound of it, you can check out our Indoor plant subscriptions by clicking the button below.