Where to buy a Baby Rubber Tree and Big Leaf Paper Plant

tinanOctober 10, 2010

Does anyone know where I can find an American Rubber Plant (aka Baby Rubber Tree aka Peperomia obtusifolia) and a Big Leaf Paper Plant (Fatsia japonica ) either in the San Jose, CA area or online?

I have been looking everywhere and can't find these plants. I want the AMercian Rubber tree not the Indian (ficus) varieties because those are toxic to cats and I have a cat who likes to chew any plant. ASPCA list says the American/Baby one is nontoxic.

Thanks very much!

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The Baby Rubber Tree is 'Peperomia Obtusifolia.' You can get one at glasshouseworks.
They have the solid green for 4.50.
However, I didn't see Fatsia on this site.

At accentsforhomeandgarden...they have Fatshedera, which is a cross between Fatsia and Ivy..the one they have is variegated for 4.95. Toni

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 12:35AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You'd probably do better just asking for or searching for Peperomia obtusifolia (& forget the Baby Rubber tree name altogether as it's NOT a Rubber Tree & only confuses the issue.)

Asking by its correct name is likely to get you the correct plant (not disintguishing it by common name from another plant to which it is COMPLETELY unrelated).

It's not semantics Tinan, it really DOES make a difference.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 3:10PM
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Thanks - I do always check for the latin name, but posting here I thought I would list all the other names that people might be familiar with. Anyway today I found a nice Peperomia at Summerwinds! THe person on the phone yesterday said they did not have it, but I went in to get some pots and found it there - plain and variegated - yay!

However I am still on the hunt for a tall nontoxic-to cats tree or houseplant for an empty corner, preferably 5-6 feet tall or more.

This is the ASPCA list of cat-safe plants, can anyone recommend one that has woodier stems and/or thicker leaves? My cat will chew up anything grass-like and barf it up even if it is not toxic... yes I have tried giving him cat grass, he just pukes that up all over the house, we are talking about 12 piles of vomit for a tiny bit of grass. His tummy is too sensitive! But he leaves plants like the Peperomia alone, so anything with leathery leaves would be ideal.


Thanks in advance!

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA nontoxic plants for cats

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 9:28PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

With a cat that sensitive (who doesn't seem to be learning from its mistakes as they usually do) sounds like the best bet is to keep the plants in rooms from which the cat is restricted (as in keep the door closed).

Many folks I know who have plants also have cats & the cats usually DO usually learn after a few times.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:14PM
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He's been fine with leathery-leaved plants he is not interested in chewing them. The Peperomia got him all excited when I brought it in, he sniffed it and played around with it but then left it alone. I am just having a hard time finding a larger tree or tall plant that is nontoxic and has non-feathery leaves - but I am sure some must exist!

I don't think it's that he doesn't "learn" (one could argue that many people don't learn not to do things that makes them sick - such as smoking, drinking etc), he just doesn't care if he pukes on the carpet and he loves to chew the grass/plant. But he is not the one who has to clean up the carpet.

I have an open floor plan condo, so no way to close him off from plants. I do have a couple nontoxic ferns in hanging baskets where he can't reach - I just want a nice large floor plant in a corner.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:08PM
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Tinan..According to that list, most house plants are toxic. lol.

I have 4 birds, (free-flying when I'm home, which is most of the time,) 2 dogs, (the younger enjoys nibbling greens,) Iguana, and had a 17-yr-old cat, until he went to feline heaven..he died of old age.

Birds are more sensitive to plants/chemicals than cats or dogs, which is one reason I pretty much steer clear of chemicals, including cleaning supplies.

Except for a few plants, I have many from the list you posted...No problems, Thank God.

Plants I won't keep are Dumbcanes, Oleander, and Poinsettas. Even though they claim Poins are non-toxic, it's a Euphorbia, and Euphorbias seep white sap when branch is snapped. Some people are allergic to the sap.
On the other hand, I have almost 100 Euphorbias. Make sense?

A newsman, 'think channel 5 news,' ate a Poin leaf to prove the plant harmless after a universery did a study and said the Poin wouldn't hurt a fly..I wonder how he felt 15 mins after the news ended. Was he sitting or leaning over a toilet bowel? lol.

Playing devil's advocate. My friend's cat had five kittens, pure white long-hair. A woman adopted all five. 2-3 wks later, she called my friend, told her the kittens died.
She claimed, she had Poins in the room they were staying, and discovered they have been nibbling on her Poins.

Same friend had a Cockatiel/bird. Hedera Helix/English Ivy is supposed to be fatal, will kill a bird if ingested.
Her tiel flew on her Hedera, and ate the entire plant..It was in an 8" pot. She was worried, but her tiel was fine. She had him at least 6 yrs after his fiesta. She adopted him out when she moved, and he's still around. He's around 16-yrs-old.

So, if a bird can survive some plants listed as toxic, it makes one wonder if plants are as harmful as they say.

If you buy a large plant, there are ways to keep your kitty away. Organic sprays and methods.
One problem is cats like using plants with canes, 'like Corn Plant.' They'll kneed the heck out of the trunk/s.

Good luck...Toni

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:46PM
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Toni, thanks for the reality check :) You are right in fact in the past I had a ficus tree and it is listed as toxic, but he never ate those leaves. He is a maniac about plants though - he loves the smell, rubbing on them etc so I like to indulge his need for "jungle".

But - I found the perfect tree!! It is often called a Money Tree, Pachira (Saba Nut), according to several lists, the leaves are nontoxic. Apparently the bark might be mildly toxic, but he's not a beaver so I am not worried about that and he's have to eat a lot of the bark to see any effects (the bark is not flaky or peeling anyway). I found a gorgeous healthy 6' specimen at OSH, the last one in stock. My cat loves it, he sniffed it all over and is hanging out nearby now.

He has plenty of scratching posts so fortunately he's not interested in scratching the tree, though I need to put decorative stones in the soil to prevent him from playing/digging in the dirt.

Finally, I saw this interesting plant at Home Depot, but they do not list any latin names (usually just "tropical foliage" or some useless description). See pictures in the link below - does anyone know what plant this is? I liked it too

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant to ID

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:36PM
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I do want to add, for anyone with cats, that Lilies ARE extremely toxic to cats - as in one bite can kill a cat. Sadly I know someone who lost her pet this way :(

That is the annoying part about lists - they dilute the message of the plants which are actually highly toxic and should not be in a house with a pet or kid.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 1:17AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

The last set of pix you've posted are of a Ficus, called F. lyrata, I believe, aka Fiddle Leaf Fig.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 7:46AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I was interested to see Hedera helix listed as poisonous to birds. I just did a quick Google and found all parts, including the berries, listed as toxic to birds. We have Hedera helix growing over our shed and the berries are always stripped by wood pidgeons and blackbirds as soon as they are ripe. Bird sown seed is a prime method of seed distribution for ivy. Can anyone account for this seeming paradox?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 1:34PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I suggest that you use the Latin name when calling about or looking for your Fatsia, too. The common name you've used is not typical and could be misleading.

Fatsia is a common landscaping plant in the Southeast...I hope you have some luck finding it where you are.

Flora, I did a little looking around on the toxicity of Hedera helix to birds and found a great deal of information about it being a good wildlife plant. The seeds, at least, are OK for birds, but not other animals.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 3:43PM
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