Everything You Need to Know About Your Burgundy Rubber Plant
Posted on May 06 2021
The Burgundy Rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is a fabulous, easy-to-grow indoor plant with thick, gleaming leaves that range in color from a lavish burgundy red to almost-black with new growths containing shades of pink in the veins making for an elegant and strong plant to have in your home. Endemic to the rainforests of South America and India, it can quickly adapt to normal indoor temperatures. Given sufficient bright light, humidity, and attentive watering, your Burgundy Rubber plant will flourish in your home, adding a bold accent to any space!
How Big do Burgundy Rubber Trees get?
This incredibly malleable and gorgeous plant can grow up to 40 feet tall and 100 feet wide when planted in the ground in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11! The noteworthy leaves can grow as large as 8 to 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. But don’t worry, when given proper indoor care your Burgundy Rubber plant can maintain your desired indoor houseplant size with consistent pruning and attention.
How To Take Care of Your Burgundy Rubber Plant
Thoroughly water your plant when the top 50% - 75% of soil is dry. But only when it is dry! Let the water run out of the bottom to ensure the roots are getting properly soaked. But make sure to drain any excess water at the bottom of the pot and the saucer. Overwatering your Burgundy Rubber plant is the worst thing you can do for its health! They do not like waterlogged roots, aka “wet feet”, which can lead to rotting roots and the eventual death of the plant.
Also, do not splash water on the leaves as this can cause stains. During the winter, reduce its watering schedule to only every other week or as needed!
Your Burgundy Rubber plant will thrive most with the brightest, indirect, filtered light available. This helps produce the beautiful burgundy color on the leaves. To achieve this, some people place their plant near a bright window with sheer curtains that filter the light. Beware that lower light leads to a less vibrant colored foliage, fading the leaves to a light green color. However, if the plant gets less light, the leaves will grow larger, so do whatever serves your preference!
As a native to very humid climates, Burgundy Rubber plants enjoy misting their leaves to increase humidity, especially during the hot summer. It can also prevent invasive mites from making themselves at home on the leaves.
Make sure to feed your Burgundy Rubber plant every couple of months with diluted water-soluble indoor plant fertilizer. As a general rule of thumb, the less light there is, the less food is required. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter months when plant growth naturally slows.
Your Burgundy Rubber plant enjoys room temperatures between 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth. Avoid sudden decreases in temperature, cold drafts, and temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The large leaves of the Burgundy Rubber plant can often collect dust, so periodically wipe them down with a soft, wet cloth. If your leaves become stained, mix a small amount of liquid hand soap with water to create a solution that will aid in cleaning these stains. Leaf shine products are also available in garden stores which serve to amplify the natural shine of the plant’s prominent leaves.
Use liquid indoor plant fertilizer every month during the spring and summer. Once the preferred size of your Burgundy Rubber plant is achieved, shape the plant as desired by pruning the main shoot with sharp, clean sheers. Do this consistently as the plant can become lanky especially if in lower light conditions.
Burgundy Rubber plants grow very fast and can require repotting in a larger container every couple of years. When doing this, put a layer of stones on the bottom of the pot to prevent the plant from tipping over.
A Note of Caution
Whenever leaves or branches break, Burgundy Rubber plants secrete a sticky, white sap. The sap can cause indigestion and possible vomiting if eaten and skin irritation if absorbed into the skin. Because of this, keep your plant away from children and pets. To protect your indoor surfaces from the messy sap, some experts recommend placing a tarp under the plant when you are pruning.
Common Issues with Burgundy Rubber Plants
Leaves on your Burgundy Rubber plant turning yellow?
There could be a myriad of issues. Let’s explore:
1. Your moisture level could be off!
- Refer to our watering guidelines and remember not to over-water and ensure there is no excess water soaking the roots and leading to the damaging “wet feet”.
- Maintaining correct and consistent soil moisture is imperative in caring for your Burgundy Rubber plant. Oscillating between extremely dry and overly wet soil because of poorly-timed waterings can create stress and cause your Rubber plant to yellow and brown.
- Low humidity and dry soil can lead to the yellowing and browning of your leaves. An antidote to this is misting your leaves more often!
- While Burgundy Rubber plants love direct sunlight, too much harsh light can lead to burnt foliage. Too little light can slow growth, fade beautiful burgundy hues, and lead to greener, yellower leaves.
- A weakened or improperly cared for Burgundy Rubber plant is more vulnerable to insect infestations. Spider mites can eat the plant’s sap and drain the plant’s moisture, accelerating yellowing. Spider mites, scale, and mealybugs can occur commonly in indoor conditions, so be on the lookout to eliminate them early on to prevent further damage to your plant.
- If your Burgundy Rubber plant is pushing out a new growth, some yellowing in older leaves near the bottom of the plant may be natural.
Leaves on your Burgundy Rubber Plant Turning Green?
- The most common reason the burgundy leaves of your plant are fading to a green color is due to a lack of bright indirect light. While the plant can tolerate lower light, the leaves may fade. We suggest finding a sunny window to provide a better environment for your plant to thrive!
Now that you have all of this vital information on this gorgeous statement houseplant, all that’s left to do is order one to effortlessly elevate any room in your house!