need rubber tree plant help

kinklosityDecember 12, 2008

I hope you can help me--I have a new rubber tree plant (bought it from someone in the neighborhood who was moving). It was vigorous and healthy when I brought it home a week ago, but in the past few days it has started dropping leaves on the bottom and the bottom half of the tree has leaves that are curling all about the edges.

It is next to a southern exposure window, ambient temperature is probably about 70 indoors (I live in Brooklyn), and have only watered it once (about two cups of water since the top inches of soil felt like they were getting a bit on the dry side). I am fairly certain that it is in a pot of the correct size for it.

I have also been misting it daily since I read they are most at home in humid temperatures and I know that it is dry in my apartment.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's not unusual for members of the Ficus genus to shed leaves when light conditions go from bright to dim, especially if the change is not gradual, as in seasonal change. The misting may make you feel better, but it does nothing for the plant and is more likely to be counterproductive than a help.

The link below is to a lengthy discussion about maintaining F. elastica in containers.


Here is a link that might be useful: Click me & I'll take you to see more info

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Hi there, thanks for your reply--I was just informed that the plant is a Schefflera, not a rubber tree. The leaves are curling a lot including the baby ones. Some are curling so much that little rips are appearing in the leaves. Not sure how to address these issues?

Top couple inches of soil are damp, not wet, have been watering about once a week. Top third of the leaves off the stalk look robust, bottom 2/3rds look droopy and curling.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 12:26PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

First check the plant carefully for mites and scale. For mites, hold a white piece of paper under the plant & then tap the branches. Look for tiny specks moving on the paper. For scale, visually inspect branches & leaves for flattened, crusty lumps from light tan to dark brown in color. If they pull free when you rub a hard object over them (pencil point) it's scale.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 3:17PM
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Schefflera can go for a long time between waterings (which should be done until it comes out the drain hole though) and if your friend had watered just before you got the plant, and it's not in ideal light (or even if it is) it may have gotten too much.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:40PM
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I think I gave my rubber tree plant Baby-Bio and its now loosing its leaves, any advice please please as I love my plant.

Thank you

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 12:44PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Julie,

Generally it's best to start a new thread for every new question, this thread's more than 2 years old.

Maybe if you tell us what Baby-Bio is, someone can try to help you; a picture would help too.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Karen is right, Julie, but you might find the thread I linked to below to be helpful. If you have questions after reading, you can also ask them there.


Here is a link that might be useful: More about Ficus in containers.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:58PM
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