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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Rubber plants

Zone austin,texas | kbpb2002 added on August 16, 2012 | Answered

We have a beautiful rubber plant that is on my front porch and it gets morning sun from 8 to 11:30. I live in Austin, Texas and the leaves are starting to turn brown and yellow and are spotted. It is a beautiful plant and I am concerned. . . . I mist it daily. When is the dormant time for rubber plants? Please help. Thanks.

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Answered on August 17, 2012

To answer your last question first, the dormant period of rubber tree (ficus decora), such as it is, would be late autumn and winter. Rubber trees don't really have pronounced dormant periods because they are tropicals. Secondly, misting is useless for the plant - it will be perfectly happy with the humidity in the air; that is why you see so many of them in houses and interiors- they are highly adaptable. You haven't mentioned how big the plant is, or how long you've had it. If you've had it at least a year or two, you might want to check for soluble salt buildup, pH imbalance, or mineral deficiency or toxicity - check with local extension service or good plant store. If you just got the plant, you should check the watering. Rubber trees need to get almost dry at least 1/2 the way down the pot before they are watered again, then they need to be watered thoroughly so water runs out the bottom. If the pot doesn't have a drainage hole, make sure water is not collecting in the bottom. Get a dowel long enough to reach to the bottom of the pot and check as if you were testing a cake. You can use a kebob skewer if the plant is small enough. If it does have drainage, let it sit in a couple of inches of water, to suck up all it needs; a rubber tree in 10" diameter pot in bright outside light could easily use 1/2 gal a day. Regarding light, what you describe should be ideal - rubber plants can grow anywhere from outside in full light, to indoors in moderate light. You didn't move it from indoors to the porch,though, did you? Think people who have never been out in the sun sitting there for 2 hours every day! That amount of sun hitting the leaves would burn them, which could account for the spotting.

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