Rubber Tree Plants

What Is a Normal Amount of Leaves Falling Off?

trishy added on July 16, 2013 | Answered

I have a rubber tree plant plant that I received in Feb. and for awhile, there were no leaves dropping off. For the last two months, it seems that the plant is losing 2-3 a week. I have started spritzing the leaves and am not sure how much water to give plant. I have heard that these plants get scale. If so, what is it and how can I tell if that is the problem?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 17, 2013

here is information about rubber tree leaf drop:

As for scale, this article will provide information on identification and treatment, though neem oil is also effective:

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Answered on July 17, 2013

I don't think the problem is with light, since you had the plant for several months before the leaf drop started.
If the falling leaves are yellow, older leaves, probably you're not giving it enough water. If the falling leaves are green, or green with some brown, probably you're giving it too much water. Rubber trees like to have their soil almost dry, that is, only a trace of moisture, before more water is added. Also you need to test the soil all the way to the bottom of the pot, because that is where most of the roots are. A couple of videos that may help you understand soil moisture are and
Once the soil has reached almost dry, water until you get a run-off from the drain holes. If she's not in a pot with drainage holes, I hope you can repot as soon as possible, because you need to provide enough water that the entire root/soil mass is moistened.
If you investigate the soil moisture, and don't think that is the problem, it could well be scale. The above-linked article has good advice for that.
But I bet "dollars to donuts," as my mother used to say, that your problem is water.

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Answered on July 17, 2013

Since you got the plant in Feb and it was okay at first, I don't think light change is causing the leaf drop.
What do the leaves look like? If they are turning yellow before dropping, and they are the older leaves, the problem is most likely not enough water.
If the dropping leaves are greenish, or green with some dark brown, the most likely problem is too much water.
I would suggest you learn to tell the difference between wet, damp, and dry soil, then test all the way to the bottom of the pot. Here are a couple of videos that may help you

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