The Ruby Rubber Plant is big, bold, and beautiful, with its hard-to-miss variegated leaves. Originating from Malaysia and India, it is mainly used as an ornamental plant, and it can grow massively and reach up to the ceiling.
It is a dominating plant and can take over your garden. But it is so easy to manage and highly recommended for beginners. And I will show you how to plant and care for this plant for your indoor or outdoor garden.
How to Plant The Ruby Rubber Plant
The Ruby Rubber Plant can either be propagated through seeds or stem cuttings, and the seeds are big and can be obtained from a flowering Ruby rubber plant.
Plant the seeds at the surface of the soil and keep them in a warm place. Take note to protect them from sunlight until they have terminated. The biggest challenge with seed propagation is getting the seeds of the ruby rubber plant, as they are not common.
Propagation by Stem Cutting
The propagation by stem cutting is the most common method with the ruby rubber plant. It is easy, as shown in the steps below:
- Cut off a healthy stem with at least four leaf nodes 6 inches long.
- Ensure that the cutting is done right below the nodes.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in root hormone.
- With the leaves at the tip of the stem, insert them in a potting mix. The mix should contain perlite and peat moss for proper soil drainage.
- Place the pot in a warm place out of the reach of sunlight.
- Your stem cutting will start showing signs of rooting within a month.
- Finally, pot the plant and provide the necessary care for them to bloom.
How to Care for the Ruby Rubber Plant
The Ruby Rubber Plant originates from the rainforest in South Asia. They grow under big trees and are protected from direct sunlight in a warm environment.
It is ideal to provide the conditions to get your Ruby Rubber Plant to grow to its full potential. Let’s show you how to care for this plant and get the best out of it.
Soil Requirement for the Ruby Rubber Plant
The soil should be rich in nutrients and well-drained to plant the ruby rubber plant. A soil with a PH level of slightly acidic to neutral from 5-7 will suit this purpose.
Add compost or appropriate organic matter to improve the nutrients in the soil. Finally, add perlite to the soil to improve its draining capacity, and you are set to plant.
Light Requirement for The Ruby Rubber Plant
Looking at its native environment, the plant is protected from direct sunlight as it grows under a canopy of trees. However, they have enough light penetrating the canopy to the plants.
From this, it is best to place the plant where they get enough light but is protected from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will scorch the leaves, losing their beautiful variegated features.
They are excellent indoor plants as long as you keep them away from windows that get direct sunlight.
Watering the Ruby Rubber Plant
It is best to keep the soil moist but not get it soggy. When they are dry, water directly to the soil, for the plant needs adequate water to survive.
Before you water the soil, dip your hands to check the dryness of the soil. Only water when you notice that the upper part of the soil is dried up.
Please mind the amount of water on the plant. Water laced with chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride will affect the plant. Experts will recommend rainwater, or you allow your treated tap water to settle by leaving it out for a day before you use it on the plant.
Temperature Requirement for the Ruby Rubber Plant
The ruby rubber plant’s originating region is warm, requiring warm conditions. Temperatures ranging from 70 to 77ºF (21 to 25ºC) will be suitable for caring for this plant.
You can take your plant outdoors during the summer, provided it is protected from direct sunlight. But only take your plant outdoors during the winter. They cannot tolerate frost conditions, and you should leave them indoors or protect them from frost.
Humidity Requirement for the Ruby Rubber Plant
The plant can tolerate humidity levels between 40-60% and grow in average conditions. However, if you notice changes in the colors of the leaves to brown, you should find a way to increase the humidity.
To increase humidity in your garden, you can get a humidifier or use simple homemade remedies such as placing a tray of water near the plant.
Fertilizers Application for the Ruby Rubber Plant
Since the plant needs nutrients to boost its growth, I suggest using fertilizers. Use house plant liquid fertilizers that are safe for indoor use. Please do not apply fertilizers directly on the leaves but on the soil.
Repotting the Ruby Rubber Plant
The root needs space for the Ruby plant to grow. Please always watch out for signs to indicate that you need to repot. For instance, when the root starts growing out of the pot or the plant suffers stunted growth.
Ensure that you repot a pot size increase and ensure the potting mix is well drained. Importantly, it is advisable to only water for a few days after repotting.
Pruning the Ruby Rubber Plant
You will need to prune the plant to remove dead parts and shape the plant. Since the plant grows vertically fast, you will have to prune or cut it when it gets to the ceiling.
Pests and Disease Control
The Ruby Rubber Plant is mainly affected by houseplant pests such as mealybugs and scales. Earlier identification of these bugs, usually found on the leaves, and removing them is the best approach to reducing their damage.
Yellowing of the stem may be caused by root rot. Uproot the plant and inspect the rot to determine the cause of the leaves’ yellowing. I will advise you to completely cut off from the root when you notice a black stem. You can repot the part that is not affected in this case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Ruby Rubber Plant toxic?
The sap of the plant is mildly toxic to pets and animals. But the latex of the sap can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
Does the Ruby Rubber Plant flower?
On rare occasions will, the Ruby Rubber Plant flower when planted outdoors. But only expect the plant to flower when grown indoors. However, in any case, the flowering of the plant is a rare occurrence.