The Burgundy Rubber plant, also known as the Ficus Elastica, is an indoor plant with rich glossy leaves that range from dark red to almost black. The foliage of most burgundy rubber plants is a deep, rich red that turns almost purple under low light.
This plant is native to many parts of South and Southeast Asia. Over the years, it’s become naturalized in the West Indies and the Southern United States. Today, it is a popular house plant that can be a centerpiece in any room.
Keep reading to find out more about the burgundy rubber plant and learn how to grow and maintain this beautiful house plant.
How to Take Care of the Burgundy Rubber Plant
Burgundy rubber plants are usually very tall. In its natural temperate, tropical climate, a burgundy rubber tree can grow to 40 feet tall.
The indoor plant is more reasonable in height and can grow to be between 4 to 6 feet high. If you water it properly, the burgundy rubber house plant grows fat, often doubling in size within a year.
The leaves of a burgundy rubber house plant are 8 to 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. However, you can prune them to keep them short.
The burgundy rubber plant got its name from its sticky latex sap discovered and used to dry into a low-quality rubber.
Here are some tips for growing and maintaining your burgundy rubber plant.
Light and Environmental Conditions
Burgundy rubber plants are of a tropical origin, so they enjoy a humid environment. To maintain its moisture, mist your house plant’s leaves from time to time, especially in warm summers. Misting also helps keep damaging insects from munching at the leaves.
The burgundy rubber plant thrives in bright direct light. Direct sunlight helps create that rich color in their leaves; however, too much may end up burning their vibrant leaves. They can tolerate low light, but it may lead to less vibrant foliage.
Keep the room at an average room temperature of 65-78 degrees. Avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts, as these conditions can be detrimental to your burgundy rubber plant’s growth.
Try to promote proper air circulation around your burgundy rubber plant to prevent fungus diseases and other problems. It’s best to put it under a ceiling fan, but avoid cold, drafty air such as that from an A/C, which can cause your plant to droop and the leaves to turn brown.
Burgundy rubber plants are sensitive to moisture. You only want to water it when the soil is somewhat dry. At least the top 50% of the soil should be dry before you choose to water your plant. In the winter, they only need to be watered every couple of weeks.
To water your burgundy rubber plant, slowly pour water around the plant and let it run through the bottom. Make sure you avoid splashing the leaves as it could stain their vibrant color. Discard any water that accumulates at the bottom of the saucer. If the leaves of your burgundy rubber plant stain from watering, mix a tiny amount of liquid hand soap in the water to get rid of them.
Feed your burgundy rubber plant once a month with water-soluble and well-balanced plant food specially formulated for houseplants. Furthermore, if your plant is not in optimal light conditions, make sure to use fertilizer to ensure it’s getting enough nutrients.
Burgundy rubber plants need well-draining soil with good aeration. Poor drainage can lead to various problems for your plant’s leaves. Make sure that you plant your burgundy rubber plant in a pot with drainage holes, and add rocks to the bottom to add extra weight so that the plant does not tip over.
Ensure that the soil you use for your burgundy rubber plant consists of a mix of pine bark and perlite or sand. You can make a mix yourself or buy a pre-mixed blend.
Pine bark helps lighten the soil and keep it from getting too compacted, allowing more oxygen to flow through the soil, putting less pressure on the roots of your burgundy rubber plant. Perlite also improves aeration and helps drain excess water away from roots.
Like most rubber trees, burgundy rubber plants grow at a relatively fast rate. For this reason, we recommend that you re-pot your burgundy rubber plant every year or so.
However, burgundy rubber plants are sensitive to being moved, so avoid moving it other than for repotting. If you must move your rubber plant because you notice it is leaning towards the light, gradually rotate it.
Burgundy rubber plants are relatively simple to take care of. As house plants, rubber plants grow to be pretty tall, so they need to be pruned occasionally. Pruning also removes straggling growth.
Dusting is also a very important step in grooming your burgundy rubber plant. This plant’s large leaves are prone to accumulating dust, which can block your plant from absorbing enough sunlight. All you have to do is occasionally wipe the leaves off with a moist cloth, but you can also use a leaf shining product for some extra gloss.
Overall, burgundy rubber plants are not difficult to take care of and make great additions to any home. Their tall stature and attractive foliage make them a centerpiece that will catch anyone’s eye.
The most important things to remember when it comes to caring for your burgundy rubber tree are to make sure it gets proper sunlight, it has well-draining soil, and you’re maintaining proper grooming. With proper care, your burgundy rubber plant will thrive and add great beauty to your home.