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Plant Life: Ficus Elastica

Plant Life: Ficus Elastica

| Rosie Jeffares

In my view a rubber plant is perfect for a mid-century modern vibe.

It’s clean lines add elegance to any indoor setting. And the ficus elastica is easy-peasy to care for, preferring indirect light and moderate watering. An ideal combination for most homes.

The plant's leaves are broad, firm and have a beautiful solid or multi-tonal colour. Cultivars include the dark green 'Tineke', deep red 'Burgundy', and variegated 'Ruby'. All types can tolerate lower light. But a Ruby will need a brighter spot to maintain their rich colouring. Choose one that is right for your light conditions.

Give your plant a nice big drink only once it is 50 - 75% dry. Then water liberally until the water flows from the pot's drainage holes. Return to it’s decorative pot once it’s well drained. Rubber Trees are big fans of humidity and love a misting. Or, wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust at the same time.

The nickname "Rubber Tree” speaks to the history of the plant as it contains latex and was once used to make rubber! Be careful when removing a spent leaf: the white sap of the plant is mildly poisonous. On the plus side, like all ficus plants, the rubber is an excellent air purifier.

• Rosie, owner Quince Flowers

Botanical Blog

Written By: Rosie Jeffares-Levitt

A collection of blog posts written by one of Toronto's top florists. With two on-going blog series, the first about flowers called Behind The Bloom & the second about plants called Plant Life.