Rubber Plant


1 entry found.
Rubber Plant
Common Name: Rubber Plant
Botanical Name: Ficus elastica (FY-kus e-LAS-ti-ca)
Decorative Life: Years.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Growing, selling and buying light acclimatized plants is a must. For example, plants grown under reduced light could be subsequently stored for up to 20 days in the dark and still perform very well under interior environments. Such light acclimatized plants had 80% less leaf drop than those grown under higher light.
  • Often will drop foliage when moved to lower light levels and/or when placed under water stress or watered too much. Requires rather high postharvest light levels (~500 ft-c) to do best.
Harvest Instructions: Cultivars that reportedly exhibit good postharvest characteristics include 'Cabernet CLP' and 'Melany'.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Moraceae (mulberry family).
  • Native from India to Malaya.
  • Common relatives include mulberry, fig, osage-orange and hops.
Personality:
  • Leaves thick, glossy, leathery, up to 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. They can be green, reddish-green to variegated (green, white and/or creamy yellow).
  • Stems woody.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Not applicable.
Storage Specifics: Chill sensitive, store at 55-60F. 'Robusta' can be stored about 5 degrees colder (50-60F). In fact, this cultivar can even tolerate 36-46F for up to 4 days and still be salable.
Tidbits:
  • The specific epithet name elastica means elastic, in reference to the milky, latex sap used to make rubber.
  • Ficus: ancient Latin name for fig.
  • A white latex material appears when stems and/or leaves are broken. Try to avoid such breakage as the latex can make a mess on floors, furniture and the like.
  • Will generally grow well in light levels bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but higher light levels are preferred. If light levels are to low, the common problem of twig dieback often develops.
  • If grown in Florida, plants should have been produced under 50-60% shade. Grown under lower light levels, plants are better adapted for the commonly encountered lower light levels when placed indoors.
Recent Findings: Poole and Conover (1993) stored 'Robusta' at 36-46F from 1-4 days and subsequently noted small yellow striations on leaves within a few days but the plants were still salable.