How can you tell if the rubber plant is above or below water?



official name :Ficus elastica

Origin and distribution

The Ficus originates from Northeast India, Indonesia, Sumatra and Java. Today it can also be found in parks and gardens in tropical areas.

Alternative names: Indian gum tree, rubber tree, rubber fig, rubber plant

Origin and distribution

Interesting fact

The name rubber tree comes not from its thick leaves, but from its sap. From this, rubber, or gum, can be made. However, in practice, this is rarely done, because other plants produce more.

Care of the rubber tree

Light and space

The rubber tree needs a bright place. It does not like direct sunlight. However, it can live in a semi-shaded spot. 

In nature, the ficus prefers temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius, but temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius are too cold for it.

Interesting fact

In your home, the rubber tree can be in the same place all year round. If you want, you can leave it outside in the summer. However, bring it back as soon as the nights get cooler.

Ficus elastica is an ideal plant for your bedroom, living room, bathroom, or office. It doesn’t need any special humidity and is comfortable in your room’s normal climate.

Variegated varieties of the rubber tree (Ficus elastica variegata) need a little more light than monochromatic varieties. In this way, they retain their beautiful color.

Light and space

Water rubber tree

Check every 14 days if the top layer of soil (about 2-3 cm) is dry. To do this, you can simply stick your finger into the soil. When the soil is dry, you can water your rubber tree.

In winter, the ficus needs less water.

It usually likes it too dry rather than too wet. If you have a rubber tree in your bathroom, you should water it less often.

The rubber tree gets brown leaves

Water rubber tree

How can you tell if the rubber plant is above or below water?

Brown leaf spots are common, especially on the rubber tree variegata. In most cases, this is not a cause for concern. However, if the spots continue to spread, there may be several causes:

– Too much water

- Too much water

Too much water will cause the leaves to turn brown. In this case, the brown spots are not dry, but tender and soft. 

In addition, leaf spots usually spread quickly. Ficus usually does not like a lot of water. Therefore, follow our watering rules for healthy rubber trees. If your plant’s soil is completely soggy or you have overwatered it for a while, consider repotting.

Very low humidity

Very low humidity

Insufficient humidity is often to blame for the browning of the leaf edges. The gum tree is very hardy and does not require extensive care, but it can be affected by excessively dry weather.

To prevent your plant from drying out and pests, you need to provide a humid climate. We will show you how in our blog post on humidity.

- Intense light

– Intense light

Your ficus needs a bright location, but not direct sunlight. If the sun hits the leaves too hard, they can burn.

 Especially with the rubber variegata, you need to make sure it is not in direct sun. Its bright spots will burn much faster.

- Pests


A pest infestation can also cause brown leaves on your rubber tree. Below you will find all the information about pests and their control.

Rubber tree leaves fall

Rubber tree leaves fall

If your rubber tree is dropping only the lower leaves, there is probably nothing to worry about. The older your ficus is, the more woody its trunk.

If it wants to get rid of the lower leaves, that’s normal. As long as the leaves continue to grow on top, everything is fine.

However, if the leaves fall off in the crown as well, you should investigate the cause:

- Too much or too little water

– Too much or too little water

Admittedly, this point is difficult. You can use a finger test to find out if you watered too much or too little.

 Otherwise, you will need to adjust your watering schedule for your rubber tree so you can give your plant just the right amount of water.

– If the soil is bone dry, do not overwater the plant. Otherwise, your problem may turn into a photo.

- Excessive fertilization

  • pests

If the infestation is severe, many leaves may die. If you notice small animals or small webs on the leaves, veins, and trunk, it is time to take action. More on this below.

– Excessive fertilization

Overfertilization can cause discolored leaves that fall off. You can easily prevent this with slow-release fertilizers like organic fertilizer pellets.

 Even if you have just potted your rubber tree or ordered it from Fieh, you should not fertilize it.

Important: If your ficus loses its leaves, it will need 2 to 3 weeks to recover even after an intervention. Leaves may still fall in between. Be patient!

Hanging rubber tree leaves

Hanging rubber tree leaves

If your rubber tree is drooping its leaves, it can be for two main reasons.

  • Too much water

You may very well have meant water. Therefore, it is better to reduce the amount of water a little. Use the finger test to find out if your plant needs water right now.

Many plants drop their leaves when they do not have enough water. With the rubber tree, it’s just the opposite.

– Pot too small

To find out if the pot is too small for your rubber tree, you can lift it out of the pot. If the roots are protruding from the holes in the bottom of the inner pot, it’s time to repot the ficus.

The veins of the rubber tree are collected

The twisting of the leaves can be due to three reasons

The twisting of the leaves can be due to three reasons:

– Very low humidity

Perhaps the humidity is too low. For example, if the plant is located near a heater, it may be damaged. Here you need to increase the humidity, otherwise the leaves will fall off.

  • Too little water

Also, if you haven’t watered your rubber tree enough, the leaves may dry up. The Ficus conserves water by returning the water to the trunk. But be careful Don’t be too eager at this time.

Don’t submerge your rubber tree in water- or you’ll have a new problem. Just water your Ficus a little more next time.

- Very low humidity


Pests can also cause leaf curling. In the next point, we will show you what to do if you have a pest infestation


We hope that the points that have been mentioned have been taken into your attention. Also, take the necessary points about the need of the rubber plant in a bright place and the lack of direct sunlight seriously in order to have a healthy and fresh plant in your home.

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