URGENT REQ: indian rubber tree plant insight

Steve Hinkson sphinkson at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 4 03:23:58 EST 1999

Your Indian Rubber Tree ( Ficus elastica ) (Ficus elastica cv. decora,
if the new leaves are maroon) is most likely defoliating because of
stress.  If you haven't changed anything recently (such as it's
location, or temperature) then I'd suspect water troubles.

Check that your water isn't too hard, and causing a mineral buildup.
When the soil's dry on the surface, does it turn whitish?  If so, then
that's your trouble.  Put the plant outside in the shade, and run a
gallon of water with 1 cup of household vinegar through the soil, then
flush with clear water.
Then, either buy better water, or leach once a month from now on.

If your trouble is under watering, then the leaves will be just
slightly wrinkled before they  turn red and drop.  Feel their surface.

The most likely cause, though, is over watering.  Set the plant up on
a table or counter.
Scoop some soil out of the bottom drainage hole(s).  You need to get a
sample from an inch or more in...  and smell.  If it smells like
potting soil, all's well.  If it smells like a sewer,
you have an anaerobic bacterial bloom, and drowned roots.  Repot the
tree in a smaller pot, with new soil, and keep it dryer until it


Drop by and see me at :

More information about the Plant-ed mailing list