Ficus Elastica Belize (Rubber Plant)
Ficus elastica is also known as the Rubber Plant. Prized for its luscious foliage, this beautiful ornamental houseplant is very easy to grow. 'Belize' has fabulous green leaves with a pink/white margin. As an added bonus, this is one of the most effective plants for filtering the air.
Origin: India and Malaysia
Height: Up to 10 ft (3 m) in a container
Light: Give Ficus elastica bright indirect sunlight year-round. Some morning sun is fine, but keep out of hot, direct midday sun. Rubber plant will drop its leaves if it doesn't get enough light.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist. Use a pot with a drainage hole, water thoroughly, then empty drainage tray. Be careful not to overwater, which will cause root rot. Drooping yellow leaves are a symptom of overwatering.
Humidity: Relative humidity around 40% is ideal. Indoor humidity can plummet in winter, so it's a good idea to increase the humidity for your tropical houseplants.
Temperature: Normal room temperatures 65-75°F/18-24°C. Rubber plant will tolerate a minimum of 50°F/10°C in winter. Protect Ficus elastica from blasts of hot or cold air from heat/AC vents, doors and windows. It doesn't like sudden temperature swings, which may cause its leaves to fall off.
Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed once a month spring through summer with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.
Propagation: Take stem cuttings in spring. To keep its sticky, white sap from forming a cap on the base of the cutting, place the tip in water for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and dip only the cut surface in rooting hormone. Then insert it into moist potting mix to root.