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Caring for Rubber Trees: These watering, pruning and repotting mistakes lead to yellow leaves

With its beautiful, shiny leaves, the rubber tree is a real eye-catcher in any living area. With its saturated green color, it brings a touch of the exotic into your own four walls. However, the leafy decorative plant is anything but low-maintenance. If the location does not suit him or you water incorrectly, then he quickly gets brown leaves . How to care for a rubber tree, we tell you in the article.

Caring for a rubber tree: The most important tips

Rubber tree correct care tips for the place

The rubber tree, still known as the Indian rubber tree, is native to India. In the 19th century, it was brought to Europe and has since been cultivated as a houseplant . The exotic attracts attention especially with its large, shiny leaves in dark green. Its leaves are toxic to cats and dogs. There are a few things to keep in mind when caring for it.

Rubber tree care: The right location

Rubber tree care properly choose a sunny location

Correct: Preferably bright, but off-sun. The beautiful exotic can also cope with a place in partial shade.  Morning sun, which is not so intense, is good for the houseplant. Strong direct sunlight in the afternoon, however, it can not tolerate well. Therefore, a windowsill with east or south orientation is well suited.

The outdoor location should be protected from the wind, and indoors the rubber tree does not like drafts.


  • A place on the windowsill with west orientation. The leaves are quite sensitive and, if exposed to direct sunlight for hours a day, can burn. The consequences – yellow leaves.
  • The rubber tree will not feel comfortable in a dark corner. If its leaves lose their characteristic color and fade, then it is a sure sign that it is too shady.

What kind of soil for the rubber tree?

Repot rubber tree correctly what to consider when caring for it

Right: as far as the soil is concerned, the rubber tree is not particularly demanding. You can use any substrate that dries quickly and is permeable. Many amateur gardeners opt for cactus soil. By the way, the pH value plays a big role. The plant prefers an acidic soil. When the roots appear after some time, you can cover them with substrate.

Wrong: the plant will gradually form new roots. Many amateur gardeners repot the rubber tree. Less stressful, but just as effective, is to simply cover the roots with a layer of cactus soil.

Watering the rubber tree properly

Rubber tree at the south window fertilize tips

Correct: The rubber tree needs regular watering. It prefers a moist soil and cannot tolerate drought, nor waterlogging. Check the soil regularly with finger tests and water only when it has dried out.

Wrong: The watering water should always be decalcified first. Otherwise, the pH of the soil increases, which negatively affects plant growth. The consequences – brown leaves.

Care rubber tree: Fertilizing

rubber tree care useful tips for location

Correct: if the substrate meets its needs, the rubber tree rarely needs fertilizing. It is enough if you provide it with liquid fertilizer every two months.

Wrong: Overfertilize the rubber tree. If the plant suddenly drops its leaves, then it is usually due to overfertilization. In this case, you should repot the exotic quickly.

Repotting rubber tree: common mistakes

Rubber tree what soil is suitable tips

Correct: The rubber tree grows very quickly and must be repotted once a year. Spring, just before budding, is the perfect time to do this. A sure sign that the rubber tree needs a large pot is when its roots are protruding from the drainage holes.

Wrong: Choose a small planter. It is best to consult a photo at the garden center for advice on how large the pot should be. If the tree is very tall, you can carefully dig out the old potting soil and add new substrate.

Pruning rubber tree: What to consider

Rubber tree cutting useful tips for hobby gardeners

Correct: Since the rubber tree can reach a height of 3 meters, you should shorten it from time to time. This does not involve cutting back the plant, but simply shortening it. Sometimes topiary is also an option. Always cut the shoots just above the first outer eye.

Wrong: Cut back the rubber tree severely. Although the exotic quickly forms shoots, it can recover from severe pruning only with difficulty and slowly. If you cut the shoots in the wrong place, you will make the plant susceptible to disease.

Propagate rubber tree

Rubber tree propagate useful tips in care

Correct: You can propagate the rubber tree by cuttings . The best time to do this is also spring, because that is when the rubber tree is cut. Take a healthy shoot, measure eight inches from its tip and cut it. Remove all the leaves, leaving only the top leaf. Fill growing soil into a small pot and put the shoot into the substrate. Water it moderately, remove the water that has collected in the saucer. Then cover the pot with a plastic bag. Ventilate the cutting once or twice a day. Check if the soil is moist. If it dries slightly, then spray it with water. Place the plant in a warm and bright room.

Wrong: If the soil is too moist, then rot may form.