Ruby Rubber Plant, also known as Ficus elastica ‘Ruby’, is a popular houseplant due to its colorful leaves, low maintenance requirements, and air-purifying abilities. If you’re looking to add a touch of color and greenery to your home, a Ruby Rubber Plant can be the perfect choice. In this blog post, we will go through the necessary steps to keep your ruby plant happy and healthy.
1. Provide the Right Lighting
The Ruby Rubber Plant enjoys bright, indirect light. Placing it near a window with filtered sunlight is ideal, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and cause them to lose their vibrant color. If your plant’s leaves become dull or start to droop, it might be a sign that it needs more light.
2. Ensure Proper Watering
When it comes to watering, consistency is key. Your Ruby Rubber Plant prefers its soil to be kept consistently moist but not soggy. To achieve this balance, water the plant thoroughly and wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Over-watering can lead to root rot, while under-watering may result in leaf drop.
To check if your plant requires water, insert your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If you’re still not sure, you can use a moisture meter to ensure more accurate readings.
3. Maintain Optimal Humidity Levels
Ruby Rubber Plants thrive in higher humidity levels. To maintain the humidity around your plant, you can either:
- Place it on a tray filled with pebbles and water (make sure the plant pot doesn’t sit directly in the water)
- Use a humidifier to increase the moisture level in the room
- Mist the leaves with water a few times a week
These methods will help keep your plant’s leaves looking glossy and vibrant.
4. Fertilize Regularly
To promote growth and maintain the vibrant foliage, fertilize your Ruby Rubber Plant every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half strength. Avoid fertilizing during the winter months, as this is the plant’s dormant period.
5. Pruning and Repotting
Prune your Ruby Rubber Plant to maintain its desired shape and size, as well as to encourage bushier growth. To do this, simply trim back any long or leggy branches using clean and sharp pruning shears. Don’t be afraid to remove a significant portion of the plant, as it will grow back quickly.
Repotting should be done every 2 to 3 years, or when the plant outgrows its current container. Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage and use a well-draining potting mix to ensure healthy root growth.
6. Keep an Eye Out for Pests
While the Ruby Rubber Plant is generally pest-resistant, it can still be affected by common houseplant pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Inspect your plant regularly for any signs of infestation, and treat it promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil if needed.
With the proper care and attention, your Ruby Rubber Plant will be a stunning addition to your home. By providing the right lighting, watering, humidity, fertilization, and regular maintenance, you’ll enjoy the beautiful foliage and air-purifying benefits of this low-maintenance houseplant for years to come.