Ficus rubbery (elastica)

Ficus rubbery (elastica)

Ficus rubber (Ficus elastica) or elastic, also called elastica - a representative of the Mulberry family. In their homeland, in India, followers of Buddhism consider this plant sacred. An amazing tree is also found on the islands of Indonesia. Its peculiarity lies in the presence of a viscous juice, rich in rubber, on the basis of which rubber is produced. It is this property that is fixed in the name of the ficus. In the recent past, this species, like the Hevea, was bred on an industrial scale to obtain rubber raw materials.

Elastica is one of the most popular representatives of the Ficus genus. In warm countries, such a plant can be grown outdoors, but in northern latitudes it does not winter. As a rule, such a ficus can live at home for about half a century. In the last century, its popularity in indoor floriculture fell for some period. After undemanding, large and spectacular ficuses began to appear literally everywhere, the flower began to be considered a symbol of philistinism and a relic of the past. But modern flower growers are again beginning to take an interest in an unpretentious and spectacular plant, especially after breeders have introduced many new varieties of the familiar flower.

There are varieties with foliage of different shades of green, with burgundy and almost black leaves, as well as a number of various mottled forms. The varieties differ in the height of the bushes, as well as in their branching ability.

Description of rubber ficus

The natural size of the rubber-bearing ficus is impressive: the plant is capable of reaching 30 meters in height. Due to the presence of aerial roots, this tree grows significantly in breadth. These roots descend from the branches and grow into the soil, which allows the tree to receive more nutrients. A ficus with such roots is called “banyan tree”, as well as “snake tree” - they are reminiscent of numerous hanging roots. In some Indian states, they are used to build entire suspension bridges across forest rivers. Due to the fact that they are created on the basis of living trees, such bridges do not rot and are strengthened as the supports grow.

Ficus foliage is large and rich green. It has an oval shape and is slightly pointed at the top. One sheet is about 30 cm long and 15 cm wide. The seamy side of the plate is lighter than the outside. Young leaves are wrapped in reddish stipules, flying around as soon as the leaf is completely blooming. Some varieties can have variegated leaves.

In nature, the ficus is capable of blooming, but this practically does not happen at home, the only exception can be adult specimens grown in large greenhouses. Ficus flowers can only be pollinated by some insects. If this happens, a small fig-shaped fruit forms in place of the flower, but it is considered inedible.

Although the juice of such a ficus can be used in industry, in addition to latex, it contains a number of other substances and is considered poisonous. Contact with the skin can lead to the development of dermatitis or an allergic reaction. To avoid this, work with the plant should be with gloves, and it is also worth keeping it away from small children or pets. The viscous properties of the juice allow the ficus to quickly heal wounds that appear on the trunk due to external damage.

Domestic ficuses are more miniature, their maximum size usually reaches 2 meters. But the rate of its growth still remains considerable: the plant can add up to almost half a meter per year. In nature, they can be up to 2.5 m. In a spacious greenhouse room, the height of the elastic can be up to 10 m. If such a ficus begins to rest against the ceiling, its top can be cut off. But such a formation usually does not cause an increase in lateral branches. To keep the tall ficus bush straight, you can use a support.

Ficus rubber care and reproduction

Brief rules for growing elastica

The table shows brief rules for caring for rubber ficus (elastica) at home.

Lighting levelLight shading or diffused lighting.
Content temperatureIn the spring-summer period - about +23 degrees, in winter - at least +15 degrees.
Watering modeEnough 1-2 times a week in summer and no more than once a week in winter.
Air humidityHigh is preferred. In the heat, the foliage is sprayed, and also wiped with a damp cloth to remove dirt.
The soilThe optimal soil is a mixture of peat, turf, river sand and leafy soil.
Top dressingHeld twice a month from mid-spring to early fall. You can alternate organic solutions with mineral compositions rich in nitrogen.
TransferYoung specimens move every year from spring to summer. The rest are 2-3 times less common. Old bushes no longer touch, but regularly renew the top 3 cm of soil.
PruningFormative pruning can be carried out.
BloomIt does not bloom at home, it is grown for beautiful leaves.
Dormant periodThe dormant period lasts from mid-autumn to March.
ReproductionCuttings and layering.
PestsAphids, scale insects, nematodes, thrips, mealybugs, mites.
DiseasesRoot rot, viral diseases, and problems due to care errors.

Ficus rubber juice contains poisonous substances, so be careful when working with the plant!

Caring for ficus rubber at home

Ficus rubbery is especially unpretentious in care, therefore it is with great pleasure that those people who are just beginning to plant greenery in their house or who do not want to strain too hard, caring for home flowers, acquire it with great pleasure.


Ficus is very light-requiring, but prefers diffused lighting. Direct bright sun can leave burns on its leaves. If the container with the plant is kept in partial shade, then its growth slows down slightly. In such conditions, the ficus can shed the lower leaves. Variegated forms suggest a greater abundance of light. In the shade, they lose their color.


In spring and summer, elastica is kept at a normal room temperature of + 20-25 degrees. Small periods of greater heat are not terrible for her either. On warm days, you can take the pot out to the loggia or veranda. It's good if the ficus can spend the winter in a cooler place, but it should keep at least +15 degrees there. Lower temperatures can damage the flower. It is worth protecting the ficus from drafts. When combined with moist soil, they can lead to browning and shedding of foliage. If the plant is on a cool surface, you can insulate the pot with a foam pad.

Watering mode

The soil in a container with ficus is moistened as the top layer dries. Usually, in the warm season, the flower is watered only once or twice a week, and in winter - no more than once a week. Stronger moisture can cause ficus leaves to fall off. Excess water should be emptied from the drip tray.

Humidity level

To raise the humidity level next to the rubbery ficus, it is recommended to periodically spray the plant with room water, and wipe it every couple of weeks with a damp cloth soaked in filtered or settled water. These treatments help prevent the tips of the leaves from drying out. The ficus can be bathed monthly by covering the soil in a pot to prevent it from getting wet. In winter, spraying is not carried out and they just try to remove the ficus away from the batteries. In this case, the foliage can be continued to wipe in the same mode.

The soil

A mixture of peat, turf, river sand and leafy soil is suitable for healthy growth of ficus. It is permissible to use specialized soil for ficuses, but it is also recommended to add sand to them. Before planting, a drainage layer up to 4 cm thick is laid on the bottom of the container. The bush is moved by transshipment, and then the voids are filled with fresh soil.

Top dressing

For the full growth of the elastica, it must be fertilized regularly about twice a month. You can alternate organic compounds with mineral mixtures rich in nitrogen. For example, you can water the ficus with a solution of Nitrofoski (0.5 tsp per liter of water), and then use the mullein infusion. In order for the substances to be better absorbed, it is recommended to add them after watering. At the same time, the nutrient solution should not get on the leaves and buds. Without dressing, the leaves of the ficus can become shallow or fall off, and its growth slows down.

To make the foliage of the ficus brighter and more glossy, you should not use chemical agents for polishing the foliage. As a folk remedy, you can wipe the surface of the leaves with non-alcoholic beer or decoction of onion peels.


Young rubber-bearing ficuses are transplanted into a new container every spring. You can carry out this procedure until the beginning of summer. Adult plants are moved 2-3 times less often, trying to do this when the bush becomes too crowded in the old pot. A sign of soil depletion and the need to replace it can be water that does not stay in the soil and goes too quickly into the sump.

The new planting container should be about 5-6 cm deeper and 4-5 cm wider than the old one. Ficuses that are too old and large can be damaged during transplanting, so they should not be disturbed. Every spring, before such elasticae grow, they simply replace the top 3 cm of soil in their pots.

After transplanting, elastica can shed some of the lower leaves, but this is considered a common reaction to displacement. Usually, the plant takes root in a new place in a couple of weeks. Ficus brought from the store is recommended to be transplanted into suitable fresh soil a week after purchase.


Pruning helps to contain the growth rate of the rubber plant, giving it a more compact appearance. In addition, this procedure allows you to increase the number of leaves of the plant - over time, its lower plates fly around. Formative pruning is recommended from spring to early summer. Sanitary (removal of damaged, growing inward or too thin shoots) can be carried out all year round. The usual pruning length of shoots is about 15 cm.

One of the most common pruning mistakes is the removal of the top of the bush. Usually, it does not lead to active branching, but only to the awakening of one of the upper stem buds. For greater effect, it is necessary to remove at least 5 internodes. The removal of the smallest and weakest shoots also helps to create a more elegant crown. In this case, the plant will give all its strength to the rest. After any pruning, it is necessary to carefully wipe off the secreted juice: this will help to disinfect the wound. A month after pruning, you can feed the ficus with a complex mineral composition to strengthen its immunity.

If the bush stretches up too quickly, its upper part can be cut off, rooted and planted in the same pot. Having several plants in one container allows you to create a more lush bush. When the maximum permissible height is reached, the trimming is repeated. But it is recommended to do this only in early spring - another period will not contribute to the awakening of the lateral buds. A sharp and disinfected instrument is used to trim the ficus. The juice released from the slices must be washed off under running water.

How to form rubber ficus

Branching can be stimulated in the following way. The top of a young and flexible enough plant is tilted as much as possible and tied with a string. The bud on the bent trunk, located closest to the top, then wakes up and forms a shoot. When this happens, the top is untied. The creation of punctures on the trunk will help to activate the lateral shoots - they will slow down the development of the upper part of the ficus. They are done starting from the top of the head and moving downward. The depth should be about a third of the trunk diameter.

If several ficuses grow in one pot at once, they must be periodically turned to the light in different directions. This allows each stem to be shaped evenly. Otherwise, they all begin to reach for the window, changing their position.

Reproduction methods for ficus elastica


The easiest way to propagate rubber ficus is by cuttings. To do this, use the top or part of the stem of a plant up to 15 cm long, cutting it off at an angle. All foliage is cut off from the cutting, leaving only two upper plates. After that, you should hold it under running water to wash off all the juice that comes out. A container of water is used for rooting the cuttings. The leaves remaining on it are rolled up with a tube and fixed with an elastic band - this allows you to reduce the evaporation of moisture. You can immediately plant the cuttings in the soil, covering them with a transparent bag to create the effect of a greenhouse. Periodically, the bag must be removed for airing.

Cuttings of green-leaved elastica usually take root quickly enough - after that, fresh leaves begin to appear on them. Later they are planted in their own pots or planted with the mother plant. Variegated varieties require additional stimulation. Sections of such cuttings must be treated with a growth stimulant, and then placed in greenhouses heated from below. But even after such procedures, their rooting is still not guaranteed.

Propagation of ficus by cuttings

With air layering

Due to the fact that cuttings of variegated varieties take root very poorly, it is recommended to propagate them using air layers. To do this, an incision is made on the trunk of the mother ficus to a depth of 1/3 of its diameter. A match or thin stick is inserted into it to create a small gap. The place of the cut is wrapped in wet moss, and wrapped on top with a transparent film, securing the structure with tape. After a while, the roots will begin to peep through the film. After their appearance, the shelter is removed, the shoot is cut below the level of the old incision and planted in its own pot.

Using a sheet

The effectiveness of leaf propagation of elastica has not yet been confirmed. A ficus leaf with a shank, placed in water, really gives roots, but after planting in the substrate it remains an ordinary leaf due to the lack of growth points on it. After a while, it will simply die off. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as a "blind leaf".

Pests and diseases of rubber ficus


Elastica has sufficient immunity to most of the known flower diseases or pests. But sometimes scale insects, thrips, worms or spider mites can settle on a ficus.

  • Signs of a spider mite - small specks of dark color that appear on the leaves. After that, they begin to turn yellow and then fall off. Ticks usually appear in hot and dry conditions. To get rid of them, the plant can be thoroughly washed. In addition, the ficus should be treated with a solution of tobacco dust. The foliage of the plant is washed with it. For cooking, use 4 tbsp. spoons of dust mixed with a liter of slightly soapy water. After 2 hours after treatment, the foliage is washed again, but with clean water. The treatment can be repeated after 10 days. Strong lesions are treated with Actellik or another similar agent.
  • Scabbard can be distinguished by sticky patches on foliage. The pests themselves resemble dark growths. Before processing, they must be collected by hand, wiping well the foliage and stems with cotton swabs. Then the aerial part of the plant is treated with a tobacco-soap mixture, to which a little kerosene or denatured alcohol was added. An insecticide can be used.
  • Mealybugs leave a discharge resembling cotton wool. If they appear on the ficus, its green part is wiped with a swab soaked in ethanol or formic alcohol.Then the bush can be treated with onion or garlic tincture mixed with soapy water. The medicine is left for several hours, and then thoroughly washed off with warm water.
  • Thrips most often they are brought into the house with new plants. A ficus purchased in a store should be kept separate from other plants for some time. It will be difficult to notice the pests themselves, but the foliage of the infected bush will be covered with tiny dark dots. Such ficus is treated with an insecticide.

As a rule, pests settle on bushes with dirty foliage, so keeping the ficus clean will contribute to its health.

Diseases and possible difficulties

Some problems with rubbery ficus can be caused by mistakes in caring for it. Timely identification and subsequent adjustment will help to correct them.

  • Slow growth rates usually associated with a lack of light, a lack of fertilizer, or too tight a pot. Changing conditions is usually beneficial.
  • Flying around foliage elastica can also be a natural process. The lower leaves of the bush fall off as they age. If not only the lower, but also other plates fly around, then there may be several reasons. These include overdrying or constant waterlogging of the substrate, lack of lighting, cold drafts or significant temperature changes.
  • Yellowing of leaves can also be natural. Otherwise, it is often caused by an excess of nutrients. If the substrate in which the ficus grows is oversaturated with fertilizers, it is recommended to rinse it. To do this, an amount of water equal to three volumes of the pot itself is poured into the container with the plant. After such washing, the elastica begins to be fed only at the 9th week. Another possible cause of these leaf problems is an oversized pot. Only transplanting into a smaller container will help to fix it. Yellowing can also be caused by soil salinity. In this case, the ficus will have to be transplanted into fresh soil. Sometimes yellowing becomes a consequence of the development of putrefactive processes. Usually root rot has a characteristic odor that can be used to recognize its presence. The affected bush is pulled out of the ground, cleaned and its roots are examined. The diseased areas are cut, processed and the bush is moved to fresh soil. But with strong lesions, such actions will no longer help.

The benefits and harms of ficus elastica

Elastic has many useful properties. This plant is able not only to saturate the air with oxygen, but also to clean it from gasoline, phenol and other harmful impurities. Ficus converts them into amino acid and sugar.

The rubber-bearing ficus is also popular in esotericism. In Ayurveda, such a plant is considered a fighter against anxiety and anger and an assistant in cleansing the energy space of the apartment. According to the teachings of feng shui, the ficus is able to bring a certain positive impact to different parts of the house. In India, ficus is considered an excellent ally for childless couples who want to have a child. But in other countries, there is also the opposite opinion, according to which the ficus, on the contrary, should not be kept in the house of young couples.

Rubbery ficus is used not only in production, but also in medicine. Its juice and leaves become the basis for medicinal products that help with mastopathy and in the prevention of cancer. Juice compresses can help treat sciatica, arthritis, osteochondrosis, and even hemorrhoids. But self-medication, of course, should not be dealt with. Contact with juice can result in irritation. In addition, asthmatics should not get elastica: the plant is capable of releasing rubber into the air, which can lead to suffocation.

Rubber ficus: features, varieties and growing rules

The rubber-bearing ficus, an interesting specimen of the mulberry family, has gained immense popularity among indoor plants. It is distributed almost all over the world, has many shapes and shades. We will consider the features of this amazing plant, its variety, as well as the rules for growing in the article.

Hello dear flower growers!

I would like to introduce you to my favorite indoor plant, FIKUS.

I really love to grow plants. This is my passion! Therefore, I constantly drag the offshoots of my future pets from here and there. But this flower was found by my husband. A plant with a broken trunk and in a broken bowl lay on the side of the road. How well he then drove by.

Here is such an interesting story of the origin of the ficus in our house, but in fact homeland this plant - the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, and also the northeastern part of India.

Ficus rubbery comes from India, where in natural conditions it reaches a height of 30 m and more

My flower loves moderate watering. In winter, of course, slightly less than in summer.

He stands on the floor opposite the window. Feels comfortable in diffused dim light.

I transplanted it for the last time 1.5 years ago in a larger bowl. I plan to make a transplant in the spring. It grows quickly, every 2-3 weeks a new leaf appears.

I very rarely feed the ficus with fertilizer for decorative deciduous plants Agricola.

Instead of spraying, I give the flower a warm shower. I put a bowl of ficus in the shower and water it from the watering can. A leap in growth after that is guaranteed!

In order to keep the leaves of the plant as clean and shiny as possible, I wipe them with beer. The effect is very noticeable.

Many people recommend pinching the plant so that it branches, that is, it gives side shoots. I don't use this method. New branches appear on my ficus by themselves.


Basically, the plant is propagated by cuttings.

Once I put an accidentally torn ficus leaf in water, hoping to grow another handsome man, but this did not happen. The roots did not appear and the leaf itself began to rot. This breeding option is the most unsuccessful for this type of indoor plant.

This type of ficus is called rubber or elastic. Previously, rubber was obtained from its juice.

The milky sap of this plant is poisonous! Transplant it with gloves, and keep animals and children away from it.

If ficus juice gets on the skin, it can cause an allergic reaction, irritation or dermatitis, since it contains alkaloids and enzymes in addition to latex.

Grow indoor plants and enjoy the beauty and comfort in your home!

Varieties and varieties of ficus with variegated leaves

Ficus elastica cv. 'Tineke' Ficus elastica 'Tineke' - medium leaf size - about 18-22cm long and 15cm wide. On the edge of the leaf there are gray-green and cream spots and an irregular edging. The central vein is creamy, pink at the base of young leaves. In young leaves, the petioles are pink, in adults they are cream or light green. The stipules are pink.

In the name of this plant, the word variegata should not be taken in quotes, and written with a capital letter, it does not mean a variety, but variegation. And the correct spelling of Ficus elastica var. variegata.

Ficus elastica cv. 'Belize' Ficus elastica 'Belize' - leaves are wide, about 23-25cm long and 13-15cm wide, with a pink tint and large spots of pale yellow, gray-green and dark green with a pronounced pink-red midrib. The surface of the sheet may be slightly wavy. The petioles are pink. The younger the leaves, the more pronounced the pink tint of the leaves. In the old lower leaves, the petioles and veins are rather creamy, and the pink tint of the leaf is only guessed.

Ficus elastica cv. 'Brazil' Ficus elastica 'Brazil'. Very similar to the variety 'Belize', the leaves are also with gray-green, yellow-green, light green spots and cream edging, but internodes (distance between leaves) are noticeably shorter, and the leaves themselves are slightly smaller, 18-20cm long, therefore the variety looks more compact and more leafy.

Ficus elastica cv. 'Schriveriana' Ficus elastica 'Sriveriana' - has an average leaf, about 23-25cm long, 17-18cm wide. The color of the leaves is light green, with spots and strokes of dark green, cream and gray (marble pattern). The central vein is light green, the petioles and stipules are pink.

There may be some confusion when defining varieties of elastica ficus. Firstly, supplier firms often call the same variety of ficus by different trade names, for example, under the name Ficus elastica variegata, can sell almost any variegated variety. Secondly, in conditions of different illumination, the leaves of ficuses, especially those with dark leaves, change the color intensity. For example, Robusta can be very similar to Black Prince and Brazil to Belize. The difference should be sought not only in color, but also in the shape of the leaf, for example, in Robusta they are larger and wider than in the Prince, as well as in the color of the petioles, stipules (cover of a young leaf), the compactness of the bush and the tendency to branch.


At home, ficus is propagated in the spring by three methods.


The leaf with the handle is placed in warm water. After the formation of roots, they are planted shallow, to the base, in the soil (special soil for ficuses). Roll up the sheet and secure with a thread.


The cuttings remaining after pruning are dipped in a glass of water. After the release of the milky juice, they are rearranged into another container or directly into a pot with soil for rooting.

To speed up the process, cover with a transparent jar, making it look like a greenhouse. Rooting will occur in a month.


This method is the most effective. An incision is made on the trunk (no more than 5 mm), a match is inserted into it. It is wrapped in moistened moss. The resulting branch is wrapped with a film. After the roots appear (3-4 months), the trunk is separated and transplanted.

Reproduction of rubber ficus

This type of ficus propagates well by cuttings. It is also possible with a leaf, since the leaf of the rubber-bearing ficus is leathery, but this is quite problematic and may not always lead to the desired result. How to propagate ficus is up to you.

- reproduction - we use the grafting method. A good time for breeding is spring and early summer. Any pruning of a plant is stress, so we use a lateral shoot for cuttings.

  • - to begin with, we cut off the apical stalk with leaves, then the leaves are cut off at the bottom of the stalk, while leaving the upper ones.
  • - to stop the milky juice, you should put the cutting in a container with water, for rooting the cuttings we need peat and sand. We mix and plant cuttings in this mixture. Next, you should cover everything with a bag and put in a warm and bright place. The light should be diffused. Avoid direct sunlight. The optimum temperature is -24 degrees.
  • -the second breeding method is through leaf cuttings. They must be put in water and then planted in the necessary pot with an earthen mixture.
  • Ficus will grow in your home for many years. How the rubber ficus blooms at home cannot be seen, since it practically does not bloom in such conditions.

This type of ficus is easily propagated by air layers (it is better to tie the cuts on the shoots with moss). The tops and segments of shoots from 10 to 15 cm long with several internodes are also used for cuttings.

The sections are thoroughly washed, removing the milky juice, the lower leaves are removed (leaving the upper pair) and rooted in greenhouses with lower heating. To reduce the area of ​​evaporation of moisture, you can roll the remaining leaves into tubes. In variegated varieties, cuttings are more complicated, they are easier to propagate by layering.

Watch the video: FICUS, incredible technique to multiply it at zero cost