Plant Care Variegated Rubber Tree

Variegated Rubber Tree

4.7 out of 5 (31 experiences)

Variegated Rubber Tree has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

About Variegated Rubber Tree

Ficus elastica, more commonly known as the rubber tree, has a white, milky latex that is a source of natural rubber. This variety is known for its leaves and their unique patterns and colors 🎨 They’ve been shown to have excellent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. The aerial roots of the rubber tree have been used to create incredible living bridges in India. The bridges get stronger over time as the roots slowly fuse together, and some are over a hundred years old! 🌉

Taxonomy

Ficus elastica 'Tineke'
Ficus
Moraceae
Rosales

Also known as

Ficus Tineke

How to care for Variegated Rubber Tree

💦 Water

How often to water your Variegated Rubber Tree

Water needs for Variegated Rubber Tree
0.5 cups
every 9

Variegated Rubber Tree needs 0.5 cups of water every 9 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Variegated Rubber Tree

Water 0.5 cups every
9

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Variegated Rubber Tree in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Variegated Rubber Tree: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Variegated Rubber Tree love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Variegated Rubber Tree does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Variegated Rubber Tree in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Variegated Rubber Tree

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Variegated Rubber Tree: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Variegated Rubber Tree after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

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💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Variegated Rubber Tree is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!


💦 Water Needs

Variegated Rubber Tree prefers for the soil to dry out between waterings and should be watered regularly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Variegated Rubber Tree requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Variegated Rubber Tree Light Requirements →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Variegated Rubber Tree is not safe to consume. If you, a family member, or a pet has ingested any amount of plant material contact Poison Control, US (800) 222-1222, or your veterinarian. If you have children, cats, or dogs in the home, we suggest keeping this plant out of reach.


💨 Humidity

Variegated Rubber Tree prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.


🪴 Soil

Variegated Rubber Tree does best in well-draining soil. A good soil will contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage. Adding a handful of perlite to regular store-bought potting soil should do the trick!


💩 Fertilizer

Variegated Rubber Tree should be repotted after it doubles in size or once a year, whichever comes first. Fresh potting soil has all the nutrients your plant needs, so as long as it’s refreshed yearly, you shouldn’t need to use fertilizer. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!


❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Variegated Rubber Tree to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.


🌎 Native Region

Variegated Rubber Tree is native to worldwide Tropics.


🌸 Flowers

Variegated Rubber Tree produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Variegated Rubber Tree will branch off as it grows. To encourage branching, pinch off the newest growth at the tip and the stem will branch off into two.


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Variegated Rubber Tree can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10a-12a. Find your local hardiness zone here.


🌱 Propagation

Variegated Rubber Tree can be propagated by the stem method. To propagate:

  • Make a cut just above the node. The node is the break in the stem where the leaf emerges.
  • To get the cutting to root, you can either:
    • Place the cutting in water until roots emerge and are ~2” long and then transplant into well-draining soil, or
    • Place the cutting directly into well-draining soil and water when dry.

🍂 Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves aren’t always a reason to panic, and can be a normal part of a plant’s life cycle. Unless brand new leaves are turning yellow or all the leaves change color at once, it’s likely just your plant shedding old leaves.

Overwatering and root rot are the most likely cause of problems in Variegated Rubber Tree, since they are sensitive to wet soil. The leaves may also appear to be curling or drooping. Less often, yellow leaves are caused by underwatering, nutrient deficiencies, or pests.

Replace soggy soil with fresh, dry soil and download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


Care Summary for Variegated Rubber Tree

Variegated Rubber Tree

Variegated Rubber Tree


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 9 days

Placement

< 1ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Variegated Rubber Tree has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 18
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 12
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 10
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 7
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 5
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 2
Variegated Rubber Tree has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 1
Desiree avatar
@Desiree
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 75 XP
globe Doha
12/19/2021

No mess. Lovely color. Easy to care of

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Fast grower Fast grower
@alexcollectsplants avatar
@@alexcollectsplants
leaf-1 53 Plants
xp 2,322 XP
08/18/2021

I have the regular ficus that’s just dark green and loved how easy that grew so this is the same but the leaves almost look like they’re painted. It grows so quickly, every time a leave blooms I see another one shooting up. Can’t wait for it to grow taller!

Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Fast grower Fast grower
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Yvette avatar
@Yvette
leaf-1 9 Plants
xp 168 XP
08/16/2021

The foliage is stunning. It grows a bit slower than other plants i own and you have to be careful with the light. Mine is in a south window and two of the leaves got a bit burned. No problem with pests so far.

Dannielle avatar
@Dannielle
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 667 XP
globe Harpenden, England
07/20/2021

Grows tall, has gorgeous leaves, survived over & under watering and easy to maintain

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
@RJG avatar
@@RJG
leaf-1 137 Plants
xp 213,602 XP
globe Austin, TX
06/11/2021

so pretty and easy to grow as more has sun!

Fast grower Fast grower
@Anah7077 avatar
@@Anah7077
leaf-1 117 Plants
xp 4,332 XP
globe Corona, CA
05/26/2021

I have only had my Tineke for 6-7 months, but in that time it has been a very very very slow grower. The leaves will get brown mushy spots if you overwater. Let it dry 100% and it’s otherwise easy! I’ve successfully (and quickly) water propagated two babies from small stems.

Browns easily Browns easily
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
@KatieL avatar
@@KatieL
leaf-1 40 Plants
xp 796 XP
04/30/2021

Really fun colors and fast growing. It has sturdy, interesting leaves with a variety of color variations that are so interesting to look at. Leaves go from bright green and pink to a more gray-green and darker pink as they grow. As always, more light = more variegation.

Fast grower Fast grower
@SharonKoernig avatar
@@SharonKoernig
leaf-1 68 Plants
xp 3,168 XP
globe Austin, TX
03/12/2021

It wasn’t my favorite at first, but I’ve grown to love it. It’s easy to keep even when you don’t pay too much attention to it. Through my ownership of three month, it was moved from three pots and two spots on the house, but it stands unaffected. The leaves can get a little dull and needs dusting from time to time, but I don’t mind shining it.

Fast grower Fast grower
Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate

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