We have several rubber tree plants in a common area in our neighborhood near the lift station for our Homeowners Association. One neighbor is very concerned that the tree will get so big and endanger the other plants in the area. This is a confined area with hibiscus, palms, and other tropical plants- as we are in Vero Beach, FL (which is east central Florida). Will there be serious problems with the root system causing damage to the sewer lift station nearby and also causing damage to the other plants nearby?
Root Size of Rubber Tree Plant
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
They should not cause damage to the pipes or buildings around it as long as they are getting adequate water and have plenty of room for the roots. Trees only go after pipes if they are not getting enough water and only damage foundations if their roots have nowhere else to go.
As far as being damaging to the plants, they will not be from below in terms of roots, but if they are very large and larger than the other plants, they could be shading the other plants and possibly using all the water in the area. The light is easily fixed with some pruning of the rubber trees to let more light through their canopy to the plants below. If they are sucking up all the water, increased watering will help with this as well as pruning, which will reduce the amount of water they need.