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Rubber Tree

Ficus elastica

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Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Ficus elastica

Ficus elastica

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  30 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  10a

Other Names:  Rubber Plant, Rubber Fig

Description:

An ornamental accent plant producing large, oval, glossy green leaves; in frost free areas this variety can grow quite large; a popular houseplant in colder climates

Ornamental Features

Rubber Tree has attractive dark green foliage. The glossy oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Rubber Tree is a multi-stemmed evergreen tree with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Rubber Tree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Rubber Tree will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Rubber Tree is a fine choice for the yard, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, this plant may be too tender to survive the winter if left outdoors in a container. Contact our store for more information on how to protect it over the winter months.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Screening  Garden  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features

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