Did you know?: The milky latex extracted from the tree is the primary source of natural rubber.
Other Common Names: Rubber Tree ‘Decora’
Origin: Native to India and Indonesia
Growing Pot size: 14cm
Max Growth: 30cm - 2 meters indoors
The Rubber Tree ‘Cloe’ Story
The Rubber Tree ‘Cloe’ is a member of the Moraceae family (scientific name: Ficus elastica). The Moraceae family is commonly referred to as the ‘Mulberry’ family, this is the same family that Figs belong to!
The Ficus elastica ‘Cloe’ is a beautiful cultivar of the classic rubber tree. Its large paddle-shaped leaves are a lovely olive green. The rubber tree has been a long-time favorite, making them classic houseplants. Not only are they beautiful, but they are also strong air purifiers. These plants can be found decorating offices and hospitals.
In their natural habitat, these beautiful plants can grow to a staggering 60 meters tall. Don’t worry! They can be easily trained to remain at a manageable height, by pinching the apical steps tip.
Light: prefers bright, indirect light, but will tolerate lower light levels. Watch out! Direct sun on the leaves will cause scorching and damage them.
Water: Check the water level in the soil once a week. The soil should be ever so slightly damp, not dry. Allowing the soil to dry out completely will cause leaf drop.
Humidity: The rubber tree does not require high humidity levels.
Temperature: Being native to India and Indonesia, the rubber tree prefers temperatures in the range of 16-24°C. WIth all Indoor tropical plants, they do not react well to cold drafts.
Fertilizer: Using a balanced fertilizer, follow the directions on the label and feed every two weeks during the growing season (Spring to Early Autum). During the winter, cut back on feeding to once every 4-6 weeks.
Soil: A well-draining soil mix made up of Perlite, Pine Bark, and peat would be ideal. The rubber tree plants do not like to sit in excess water.
Propagation: Propagation is done via stem cuttings.
Repotting: This can be done every 1.5 - 2 years. Typically, repotting is done when the plant starts to become root-bound.
Cleaning Tip: Use a damp cloth, and gently wipe the top and underside of the leaves. This should be done every two weeks to prevent dust build-up or pests from taking up residence.
Pet Friendly: No
Toxicity: This plant contains a latex sap that is toxic if ingested and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Sap only appears when the plant’s leaves or branches have been damaged.
How to Care for Rubber Tree ‘Cloe’
Problem #1: Why are the leaves on my Ficus turning brown? Leaves will appear to have brown spots that are soft to the touch if they are being overwatered. If the leaves are turning brown and it has a dry feel to them, this is typically an indication the leaves have been burnt from direct sunlight.
Problem #2: Why is my Ficus dying? The most common reason is due to overwatering. Rubber Trees, and Ficus plants in general, are extremely sensitive to being overwatered. Check to see that the soil is a well-draining mix and is not holding too much water.
Problem #3: How often should you water a Ficus plant? In the growing season (early spring to the middle of Autumn), check the soil once every 7 to 10 days. It will require watering roughly every two weeks. In the winter you will need to reduce your watering schedule drastically.
Signs of Overwatering: Soft brown spots appear on the edges of the leaves, and sudden leaf drops are all clear indications of overwatering. Do not allow your ficus plant to sit in excess water.
Common Pests: Spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats