Rubber Tree Plants

Rubber Plant Problems

Zone south | bikejoy added on September 6, 2013 | Answered

I have a rubber plant that is about 2. 5 ft high. It was doing great until we moved to a new house. Now instead of putting out large healthy leaves, it puts out small, I mean tiny, sometimes a bit curly leaves. We have moved it around trying to find the perfect window light but ended up in an east-facing window with sheer curtains.

I hate to admit it, but we have never fertilized it in a year of bringing it home, except what was in the Miracle Grow soil we used to repot it last summer. Any suggestions would be great. Also, should we cut off the small leaves for some reason? Thanks

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Answered on October 15, 2013

I have another thought. I have seen rubber trees of about the same size as you describe, with small and curled leaves. Without exception, when I allowed the soil to aerate well between waterings - that is till the soil in the bottom of the pot felt barely damp - the leaves that began to appear were much larger and healthier looking.
The east window that you describe should be good light for such a plant, so I think the location is okay.
However, I am also suspicious of MG soil. It is often too moisture retentive for the majority of potted foliage. If it were my plant, I would take it out of that soil, rinse all the old soil away, and repot it in a much better draining mix. One thing I like to use is a cactus mix with half again the volume of perlite. Then water it very sparingly.
Also, I would not fertilize till the plant is producing healthy leaves again. If the plant was repotted last summer, it would not be severely deficient a few months later. Under the most ideal conditions, it does not need to be fertilized more than 4 times a year.

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Answered on September 24, 2013

Thank you for this great answer! I know I am difficult if I go too long between meals and never thought about it referring to plants. Im using Miracle grow plant food, and have fed ALL My plants now. Bless you! Jill

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Answered on September 10, 2013

Plants are kind of like people in that if they don't get regular food, they tend to be unhappy and difficult. I would suggest a well balanced (20-20-20, 14-14-14 or similar formula) fertilizer according to package directions. Cutting the tiny leaves off will just leave bare stems.

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