Rubber Fig, Rubber Plant, Indian Rubber Tree, Assam Rubber
Ficus elastica is native to the a vast tract of East Asia, from North-east India, to Java, where it does well in wet forest lands, where winter temperature do not fall below 10C and rainfall and humidity are extremely high. It starts it life as an epiphyte, eventually strangling the host tree and going on to be a giant tree itself. It produces aerial roots that hang down wards from branches, and help support long heavy branches and often forms new trunks themselves, often the original truck is long lost. It takes easily to being a Bonsai but has uniquely large leaves even they do reduce quite considerably with the Bonsai process.
Informal Upright, Rock-over-root, Clasped-to-rock
Light position but out of direct sunlight
Water well but let pot dry surface dry out between waterings. Loves to be sprayed and misted. If grown in green house above 20c with a misting will give of lots of aerial shoots. Is drought tolerant .
Bi-weekly during summer season. Monthly in winter. In warmer climates feed biweekly throughout the year.
Leaf and Branch Pruning:
Pruning encourages new shoot growth and is best carried out during the warmer growing seasons. To maintain shape cut back to the last two leafs on shoots that have grown 5-6 leafs.
Re-potting & Growing Medium:
Young trees repot every year in early summer when night temperatures do not below double figures. This is a sensitive Ficus when it come to root pruning, do not remove more than 20% of the root ball. Do not bare root if can be avoided. Use Loam, Leaf Mould and Pumice in equal amounts. Do not attempt to wire or prune extensively for three months after transplanting. Sudden changes of temperature may cause all the leaves to drop.
Wiring can be done at any time of the year. Ficus branches are soft so wiring should not be allowed to remain on then for more then a few months at a time - to avoid wire marks.