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India rubber fig, Rubber plant

Latin name: Ficus elastica robusta
Common name: India rubber fig, Rubber plant
Plant group:
Green plants
Plant family:
Tropical monsoon climate
Minimal temperature: 16-18°C (60-64°F)
Optimal temperature: 26-28°C (78-82°F)
Recommended place:
bright, am or pm sunlight
Plant form:
tree-like, arboraceous
Height: 150 cm (58.5 in.)
Repotting: every 36 months (3 years)
Rarity: no
Falcifer ground mealybag (Rhizzoecus falcifera)
Black Root Rot (Thielaviopsis basicola)
Pytium blight (Helminthosporium, Pythium, Fusarium)
Flowering period            
Availability on market            

There are over 600 species of Ficus, most of them tropical and evergreen, although some, most notably F. carica, the common fig, are deciduous. Ficus produces a unique "fruit" which is actually an inverted flower. Not all Ficus produce edible fruit.


These plants are sold in wide range of sizes, including tissue-cultured cuttings and plugs, air layers, small liners (plugs) from standard cuttings, and container-grown plants up to 200-gallon (900 L) capacity.


Ficus elastica robusta is straight growing central-stemmed plant. It has a dark green oval-oblong leaves, up to 15 inches (35 cm) long, grow at a 45 degree angle to the main stem. Rubber plants are good for interior living areas and will grow even under low light conditions.


Indoor Ficus appreciate being brought outdooors during summer. Does not like draughts.

Watering moderate, increasing in summer and decreasing in winter. Many Ficus are very tolerant of being over or under watered, which makes them ideal for beginners. Ficus likes a daily misting to maintain humidity.

Ficus are suitable for most styles of bonsai, but are especially suitable for styles which make use of their property of extensive rooting, such as air-root and root-over-rock styles. Ficus can be used for all sizes of bonsai, although, obviously, the small-leaved species make the best miniature bonsai. Leaf pruning can be used to reduce leaf size.

Ficus is one of the easiest plant to root from cuttings; although the specifics for maximum success vary with species, it's always worth sticking them into soil for the heck of it, unless you're already overrun with baby Ficus! Very large diameter cuttings of Ficus can be successfully rooted. Air-layering is also quite easy. Ficus can be grown from seed, but require heat and humidity, and easily succumb to mold.

Repotting them every 2-3 years, although some will grow rapidly enough that yearly repotting may be necessary. Ficus can be repotted any time of year if reasonable after-care is given. Roots can easily be pruned by half.

Some ficus will lose leaves if overwatered or given too little light.