Indoor plants

Watering a rubber tree: how much water do rubber trees need?

Ficus plants are commonly sold as houseplants. One of the most striking for its shiny leaves is the rubber tree. They are fairly easy to care for, but do not like to be moved and are meticulous with water. Watering rubber plants should provide the same moisture as the plants would find in their original habitat in Southeast Asia. However, indoors, this can be difficult to achieve unless you are vigilant or use a plant moisture meter. Learn to recognize the signs that indicate when to water a rubber tree so that your ficus will be happy and healthy.

How much water do rubber trees need?

Ficus are a large genus of tropical and semi-tropical plants, many of which are perfect for home interiors. Hevea produces a perfect tree for the home and is suitable for indoor cultivation.

The water requirements of rubber factories are constantly wet but never soggy. Soaked plants can have rotten roots, soil flies and other problems. Dry soil causes leaves to fall off and reduces the overall health and growth of the plant. Proper watering of rubber plants will ensure beautiful leaves and maximum growth.

Rubber plants are specimens from the rainforest. They are therefore adapted to the abundance of water. But as with most plants, too much or stagnant water can be detrimental to health. So how much water do rubber plants need?

The first step is to make sure that the container in which the plant is placed has the right drainage holes. Also make sure that the middle of the pot contains peat, vermiculite or perlite. Peat retains water and air, which increases porosity. Vermiculite serves the same purpose, while calcined clay perlite improves the moisture and nutrient holding capacity of the soil medium.

Use a plate under the plant that is lined with pebbles to trap excess moisture but prevent the roots from remaining in the water. The water will evaporate gradually, increasing the humidity around the rubber tree. Never let a container rest on a plate or saucer lined with pebbles. Roots that settle in the soil deteriorate and the plant suffers.

When to water a rubber tree

The answer is obvious when the plant is dry, but there is more to it than that. Even houseplants react to changes in light and temperature. In winter, plants receive less daylight and feel the cold. They go into a kind of hibernation until there is more sunlight. So, during the winter, you can cut watering in half.

However, plants placed near a fireplace or oven will see their soil dry out much more quickly. In any case, if the first few centimetres of soil are dry, it is time to water. You can opt for a water meter or simply press your finger into the soil. Most water meters should read a 4 at the optimum moisture level. Hevea plants should be checked weekly during the growing period. Yellow leaves are a good sign that you are over-watered. At the first sign of yellowing, reduce watering slightly and light green leaves will appear.

Before watering, allow the tap water to settle for a few hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate and the water to reach room temperature. This has less impact on the plant than ice water. When watering a rubber tree, soak the soil thoroughly until excess moisture is drained through the drainage holes. This will not only water the roots, but also remove the salts accumulated by the fertilizer. Allow the first few centimetres of soil to dry out between each watering.

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