Rubber plants are excellent beginner plants and were one of my first choices as well. When I first brought the plant, I was amazed at how beautiful it looked. But soon I realized that it was not growing. No new leaves were unfurling. That left me wondering how often do rubber plants grow new leaves.
So, I decided to do some research, and here is what I have learned.
An average growth rate for a rubber plant would be a new leaf every 3-4 weeks. But it totally depends upon the lighting and temperature of where you live. Providing bright light, an adequate amount of water every 5-7 days, along with a well-draining soil, is crucial for the rapid growth of your rubber plant.
Apparently, I was doing something wrong, as there was no new growth on my rubber plant for 7-8 weeks. Thus, I decided to dive deeper and learn about different factors affecting the growth of rubber plants.
Table Of Contents
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How fast do rubber plants grow indoors?
On average, rubber plants grow around 24 inches in height during their growing season. However, the growth rate may depend on environmental factors like light, temperature, humidity, etc.
As a general rule of thumb, rubber plants grow pretty slow under indoor lighting conditions. If the same plant is grown outside in better lighting conditions, then it can grow at a much quicker pace.
However, if you have a healthy rubber plant, you can expect the growth of a new leaf every 3-4 weeks. Even if it is slower, you will still notice a new growth every eight weeks or so. But what if your rubber plant is not growing at all?
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Rubber plant not growing new leaves
For a plant to thrive, there are a lot of factors that come into play.
Right from the lighting to fertilizing, there are a whole lot of aspects that you can mess up. But not all of them will stun your plant’s growth.
So, let us learn about 4 major factors that can affect the new growth of the plant. Then we will also learn about how to deal with these problems.
One of the most common mistakes we make with rubber plants is incorrect placement.
When we learn that rubber plants should be kept away from direct sunlight, we place them at distant corners of our home.
Although rubber plants are quite forgiving in terms of lighting, they will not die even if you leave them in low lighting conditions.
But that is undoubtedly going to impact the growth rate of your plant.
If your rubber plant is not growing at all or is growing very slow and the new leaves are somewhat larger than the old ones, then it is a sign of inappropriate lighting.
Under low lighting conditions, the rubber plant leaves are going to change their color as well as size to absorb more light from the environment.
Also read: How much light do rubber plants need?
Watering is another major factor that can impact the growth of the plant. It is better to underwater than to overwater a rubber plant. But both have their own cons.
If you overwater the plant, then it may result in soggy soil, and that can lead to root rot. It is ultimately going to impact the growth of the plant and may even lead to a dying plant.
However, underwatering has its major setback as well. If the soil gets really dry every time, then it will ultimately lose essential nutrients, and that will affect the growth of the plant.
Water is also a crucial element in the growth of the plant, so by that way also underwatering the plant could impact its growth.
Every plant has a distinct soil need, and the rubber plant is no different.
Soil is the base of any plant, and if the base is not a good fit, we cannot expect good growth anyways.
There are a few common mistakes we see with the soil that impacts the growth of the plant. These includes:
- Not using a well-draining soil
- The soil lacks moisture retention properties
- Not enough aeration in the soil
If you provide an inappropriate type of soil, then it can result in poor growth of the plant. Thus, keep that in mind while you get your plants home.
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Pests are a common problem in rubber plants. Some pests like mealybug & spider mites can stun the growth of house plants. They tend to attach to the stems of the plant and start feeding on the plant’s sap.
They usually end up sucking out all the essential nutrients needed by the plant for healthy growth.
Thus you might notice that your plant is not growing at all.
You will see some white fuzzy stuff on your rubber plant leaves and stems. These are some early signs of a pest infestation.
How can I make my rubber plant grow faster?
I hope you have already identified the problem with your rubber plant. Now here are some great tips to boost the growth of your plants:
- Rubber plants don’t enjoy the scorching sun, but you can still place them near the east or west-facing window where they can get some early or late evening sun.
- North facing windows are also fine, but make sure they get enough light from there. Open the curtains and let the plant enjoy some bright light during the day.
- Watering is a significant problem that many of us struggle with. I know I have been there. The rule of thumb is to water your rubber plant every 4-5 days in summer and every 7 days in winter.
- Watering your plant will depend on the soil, pot size, ventilation, and many other factors. You can simply push the finger in the soil(1-2 inches) and check for the moisture level. If the soil sticks to your finger, don’t water. If it feels dry, then water it immediately.
- Also, remember that whenever you water the rubber plant, you must water it thoroughly. Let the water sip in through the soil, down through the drainage hole. Don’t just soak in the top layer and let it sit there.
- Another most important thing is to use the right mix of soil. I have tried a lot of combinations, and what works best for me is a mix of 50-60% garden soil with around 30-40% coco-peat and about 10% perlite.
- This combination helps provide our rubber plant with appropriate nutrients, retains the right amount of moisture due to the presence of cocopeat, and at the same time, provides some room for aeration to the root by using perlite.
- The last but not the least thing we need to keep in mind is to make sure you prevent any bugs and pests from infesting the rubber plant. These tiny bugs can be a nuisance to deal with. You can use organic pesticides or try some homemade solution to deal with them,
- Usually, a solution of water, neem oil, and some garlic do wonder in keeping these pests away. You can also try some readymade solutions available out there.
- Bonus tip: Pruning your rubber plant tops can help stimulate new growth. It may sound counterproductive, but studies have found that sometimes giving a plant some trim, activates their growth hormones and they start thriving again.
Source: Basic Principles of Pruning, Effects of pruning on radial growth, Ficus elastica.
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