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Rubber Plant Watering: How Much, How Often & More!

Rubber plants are easy to care for at home, but maintaining the proper water schedules is crucial to keep them thriving. Today, we will discuss how much water the Rubber plants need to survive. 

Water the Rubber plants every 5-7 days, but it depends on several factors like season, temperature, soil, or humidity. Provide enough water until the excess drains from the pot’s drainage holes. Let the top few inches of the soil dry out between each watering. 

Are you searching for the right watering tips for your Rubber plant? Stick to this article till the end to take a close look into watering frequency, factors to consider, watering techniques, water-related issues, and ways to solve them.

Rubber Plant watering

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

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Rubber plant watering needs 

Understanding the right amount of hydration for the Rubber plants is a difficult job for both novice and experienced gardeners. 

Rubber plants are drought-tolerant and can go without water for a few days, but you can’t keep them thirsty for more than a week or two. 

Since they are mid-range plants, you need to keep them consistently moist, not waterlogged. 

There is no exact answer to how much or how often to water the Rubber tree plants because it depends on various factors like climatic conditions, soil type, and plant size. 

Keep watering until you see the excess is draining out. 

Once the excess comes out, stop adding water. 

Typically, you can water every 5-7 days.

Adhering to a set schedule can help us keep track of watering, but it can sometimes lead to overwatering. 

The best way to water the Rubber plants is to check the soil moisture and water the plant whenever the top 2-3 inches have dried. 

Watering depends on numerous factors. Read on to understand them and adjust the watering. 

Factors to consider while watering the Rubber plants 

To understand when and how often to water the Rubber plants, you should consider a few factors that affect the time and frequency of watering. 

Let’s have a quick look at them: 

Seasons affecting Rubber plant watering 

Rubber plants grow actively during the spring and summer. 

So, they need and absorb more water to grow profusely without any issues. 

In the fall and winter, the plant grows very slowly or remains dormant. 

They are storing energy to thrive during the next growing season. 

According to the weather conditions, you have to adjust the watering: 

  • Spring and summer – Water the Rubber plants every 3-5 days. 
  • Fall – Water the Rubber plants every 7-10 days. 
  • Winters – Stretch out to once every 1-2 weeks. 

Before watering, check the moisture level and see if the top few inches have dried.  

Plant size determining Rubber plant watering. 

Rubber Plant watering

The next factor to consider is the plant size. 

The big Rubber plants are strong, established, and can retain water for extended periods. 

So, they need less water and are more drought-tolerant than the younger Rubber plants. 

On the other hand, the younger plants need more moisture because they are growing profusely and absorb more moisture. 

Also, they don’t have good water-retaining abilities yet. 

  • Rubber plants around 1 to 4 feet – Water them every 5-7 days. 
  • Rubber plants 5 to 10 feet tall – Water them every 7-14 days. 

Make sure that the top few inches have dried before watering. 

Consider the type and size of pot for Rubber plant watering

A big pot holds a lot of soil. 

Therefore, it can retain moisture for longer periods. 

But it’s entirely the opposite for the smaller pots. So, the watering will differ. 

A small pot holds less soil and, thus, dries out faster. So, it will need to be watered more often. 

For example:

  • Rubber plant growing in a 4-inch pot – Water the plant every 3-5 days. 
  • Rubber plant growing in an 8-inch pot – Water the plant every 7-14 days. 

The potting material also influences how often you should water the plant. 

For example, a plastic pot can retain moisture. 

But a terracotta pot wicks away moisture faster due to its porosity. 

For the former, you need to water the plant less often, and for the latter, water the Rubber plant more often. 

Also read: What happens if you put your rubber plant in a pot too big?

Rubber plant soil and drainage 

The soil type and drainage also determine how much or how often to water the Rubber plants. 

Heavy soil creates compaction and holds moisture for a long time, causing overwatering and root rot.  

Again, soil with poor retention qualities can lead to underwatering and nutrient deficiency.  

You should adjust the watering based on the potting mixes: 

  • Organic-rich soil with peat that retains moisture for too long – Water the plant once every 1-2 weeks. 
  • Well-draining soil with sand, perlite, and vermiculite – Water the Rubber plants every 4-5 days. 

Allow the top few inches to dry out before watering. Check it using your finger or a moisture meter

Rubber plant light exposure 

Another factor to consider is the light conditions. 

Rubber plants thrive best when they receive indirect light throughout the day. 

They can also survive under low light conditions. 

Based on how much light your Rubber plants are getting, you need to adjust the watering. 

When the plant receives low light, the soil takes time to dry out compared to the plant getting indirect or filtered sunlight. 

Adjust the watering to keep the soil consistently moist and not soggy: 

  • Rubber plants under indirect sunlight – Water them every 3-5 days. 
  • Rubber plants getting lowlights – Water the plants once every 1-2 weeks. 

Do not expose your Rubber plants to direct sunlight. 

Even if you increase the watering, the leaves will receive sunburns due to the high sunlight intensity. 

A west or east-facing window would suffice. 

If it’s a south-facing window, use sheer curtains or Venetian blinds to filter the sunlight. 

Temperature determines how much to water the Rubber plants 

The ideal temperature for the Rubber plants ranges between 60-80°F. 

Temperature is different in all the rooms. 

It will be too hot, too cold, or fluctuating. 

It is more concerning if you have extensive doors and windows or AC units. 

High temperatures increase heat and evaporation. 

So, you have to increase watering to keep the plant cool and maintain the moisture level. 

Low temperatures will reduce the soil’s ability to dry out quickly. 

Here, drop watering frequency. 

While watering the Rubber plants, take note of the temperature to avoid any mistakes. 

If you are a beginner, you would want an average temperature range in both cases. Follow this: 

  • Room temperature above 65-75°F – Water the Rubber plant every 3-5 days. 
  • Room temperature below 50-65°F – Water the Rubber plants once every 1-2 weeks. 

Don’t forget to check the moisture level before watering. 

Rubber plant humidity levels 

Rubber Plant misting

In their native land, the Rubber plants receive high humidity levels. 

Low humidity levels can make the plant suffer. 

At the same time, extremely high humidity levels are also harmful. 

It invites pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and other diseases

According to the humidity levels, you must adjust the watering. 

Increase watering if the humidity is low, and reduce during high humidity levels. 

If you are following any schedule, follow this: 

  • Humidity levels above 50% – Water the Rubber plants every 7-14 days. 
  • Humidity levels below 50% – Water the Rubber plants every 3-5 days. 

No matter what schedule you follow, always check the moisture level before watering. 

Rubber plant watering methods and techniques 

Knowing when and how often to water your Rubber plant is not enough; understanding the right watering techniques is essential to avoid mistakes.

There are several ways to water the plant, and I’ll share with you some best ways to keep them healthy in the long run: 

Watering Rubber plants over the soil 

Here, pour the water on the soil near the plant base. 

The purpose is to avoid splashing the water on the leaves because wet leaves invite diseases. 

Use a watering can with a small or narrow mouth. 

Keep pouring the water until the excess comes from the drainage holes at the bottom. 

Some gardeners put the pot under the tap, ensuring water pours on the soil surface. 

I don’t recommend this as there are chances of leaves getting wet and inviting infestations. 

However, it won’t be an issue if you dry the leaves with a dry cloth. 

Bottom watering for the Rubber plants 

To approach bottom watering to water the Rubber plants: 

  • Fill a container with water and keep your pot inside the container. 
  • Ensure the soil from the drainage hole is in contact with the water on the container. 
  • Wait for 10 minutes. 
  • Check the soil to see if it has absorbed the water from the bottom. 
  • If the soil is moist, remove your pot and throw away the excess water. If the soil is still dry, wait for another 10 minutes and come back to check. 

Bottom watering won’t wash away the salts and minerals. 

So, you must water over the soil to flush out these salts. 

Water bath for Rubber plant 

  • Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water and put the pot into it. Stop where the plant’s stem starts. 
  • Make sure the entire soil is under water. 
  • You will see that the water will start bubbling. Wait until the bubbling stops. 
  • Lift the pot and drain the excess water. Now, put the pot back in a cache pot or tray. 
  • After an hour, check that your plant has no stagnant water. Please get rid of it, as it can cause overwatering. 

Watering globes 

You can buy some handy self-waterers for your Rubber plants. 

These are some kinds of reservoirs that drain into a stake planted in the pot: 

  • Aqua globe is a hand-blown glass. I have seen one of my friends doing this by putting a cotton ball in the area where water enters the tube to slow down the drainage. It is ideal if you are traveling and there’s no one to water the plant. 
  • Self-watering spikes are slow-release valves that can adjust the water quantity. As long as you adjust the drip rate for the plant before inserting, these spikes will water the plant for 2-15 days. These spikes are excellent for busy people who forget to water their plants or for use during vacations.  

Special considerations while watering the rubber plant

Rubber Plant misting new plant

While watering, there are some special considerations to take that can improve your Rubber plant’s health to a great extent. 

Along with that, you can also add aesthetic value to your indoor corners. Here’s how you can do it. 

Water quality 

Fortunately, Rubber plants are not particular about water quality, so you can use tap water. 

However, there are exceptions. 

However, there is an exception. 

You can’t use tap water if it is highly chlorinated or contains a high mineral content. 

Rubber plants are sensitive to high chlorine or harsh minerals. 

A good option is to let the water sit overnight to allow these minerals to settle. 

Another best option is filtered water. 

It will be free from all chemicals and minerals and give you clean water.

This water will not create white buildups on the leaves or soil surface. 

Self-watering pots 

A self-watering pot contains a reservoir that can provide sufficient water to the plant without having the problem of underwatering or overwatering. 

If you have a self-watering pot, you don’t need to follow any watering techniques. 

All you have to do is to check and fill up the reservoir from time to time. 

Cache pots 

The cache pot method can increase the aesthetic value of your indoor corner. 

Many houseplant enthusiasts love to add extra attention to their indoor corners by adding some beautiful pots, like glazed ceramic pots. 

But the problem is most of the pots don’t have any drainage holes. 

Some gardeners make holes, while others don’t like the idea. 

You can use the glazed pot as a cache pot. 

Plant your Rubber plant in a standard pot with a drainage hole, like a plastic or terracotta. 

Now, put this pot inside the ceramic pot. 

The ceramic pot will act as the saucer. 

From time to time, you have to remove the water that will drain from the standard pot. 

I personally don’t prefer this method because taking out the pot from the cache pot can harm the Rubber plant physically at some point. 

And I won’t take any such chance to harm my precious plants. 

Rubber plant issues and recovery 

Now that you have learned everything about Rubber plant watering, let’s talk about the 2 most critical issues caused by improper watering practices: Overwatering and Underwatering

Both can be dangerous to your Rubber plant’s health, especially overwatering. 

Let’s understand how these issues affect the plant and what can be done to fix them:  

Overwatering the Rubber plants 

Rubber Plant repotting (3)

Overwatering the Rubber plants is easy, but reviving them is one of the most challenging tasks. 

Rubber plants enjoy moist soil, not waterlogged. 

Excessive moisture will suffocate the roots. 

As a result, the roots are unable to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil, and this also affects air exchange and oxygen supply. 

Such conditions will further invite diseases and root rot, deteriorating the plant’s overall health and development. 

Signs of overwatering 

  • Old leaves turning yellow or brown 
  • Increased insect activity around the plant 
  • Wilted leaves 
  • Soggy or muddy soil 
  • Soft and squashy stems 
  • Mold growing on the soil 
  • Foul smell, indicating root rot 

How to save an overwatered Rubber plant? 

  • Stop watering the Rubber plant and let the soil dry out. 
  • If you find any entirely discolored leaves, remove them from the plant. 
  • Relocate your plant to a location with indirect sunlight. It can aid in the drying of the soil. 
  • If soil is the reason for overwatering, add ingredients that can improve drainage, like sand, perlite, or vermiculite. Ensure the pot has drainage holes; if not, make holes or change the pot.
  • If the problem has progressed to root rot, you have to take out the plant, remove the brown mushy roots, spray some fungicide, and repot it to a new pot with a new soil mix. 
  • Make sure the soil and pot have sound drainage systems. 
  • Always water the plant whenever the top few inches have dried. If you can’t understand using your finger, buy a moisture meter. You can water the plant whenever the result shows between 1 and 3. 

Wait some days and see if the plant is recovering from the stress. 

Once you notice new growth, you can bring your plant back to life again. 

Underwatering the Rubber plants 

Underwatering is an issue if it persists for too long. 

However, the solution to this issue is much easier than overwatering. 

You may forget watering because of your busy schedule or try to avoid overwatering and end up with this issue. 

Rubber plants should stay consistently moist. 

Though the Rubber plants can tolerate drought to some extent, it’s 1-2 weeks at maximum. 

After that, they will start suffering. 

Signs of underwatering: 

If these signs are seen in your Rubber plants, they are badly thirsty and need water. 

Saving an underwatered Rubber plant 

  • Check the soil’s condition. If it is hard, make some holes using forks or chopsticks. 
  • Next, slowly pour water into the soil, letting it seep through those holes. It will ensure that water reaches the roots. 
  • Keep watering until you can see the excess draining out the potholes. 
  • Remove the discolored leaves. It will stop the plant from wasting energy behind the damaged leaves and focus on new leaves. 
  • Wait for some days and see how the plant reacts. If the plant is perking up and growing new leaves, you have saved the plant. 

Rubber plant care and hydration tips 

Rubber Plant placement (2)

I have been growing my Rubber plants for a few years. 

Throughout the journey, I have learned many things about Rubber plant growth, their requirements, how they stay safe and healthy, and even some tricks that encourage good health and fast growth. 

I have shared the basic watering needs. 

Now, I want to share some care and hydration tips for the Rubber plants. 

For the regular care tips, follow these:

  • Put the plant in a location that receives indirect sunlight throughout the day. 
  • Maintain a consistently moist soil, not waterlogged. 
  • Use well-drained soil that also retains sufficient moisture. 
  • Keep the surroundings warm and humid. Maintain temperatures around 65-80°F and 50-60% humidity levels. 
  • Prune to keep the plant in shape and remove the dead and damaged leaves to encourage new leaves. 
  • Repot once a year during the spring and summer. 
  • For the watering tips, these are a few things I always follow: 
  • No matter what schedule you follow, check the moisture level of the soil beforehand. You can use your finger if you have a perfect experience. I use a moisture meter to understand the accurate moisture level. I insert the meter around 2-3 inches deep into the soil; if the readings are between 1 and 3, I water the plant. Otherwise, I wait for a few more days. 
  • Rubber plants love moist soil but hate overwatering. So, I consider deep and infrequent watering. I water deeply unless the excess comes out of the drainage holes. This drenches the soil well and keeps it moist for several days. You don’t have to water frequently. 
  • If you want to follow a routine, water the Rubber plants every 5-7 days. Be very mindful of the seasonal changes. I water the Rubber plants frequently during the active growth but cut back during dormancy. 
  • I have a saucer under the pot, and I empty it occasionally. Don’t let your Rubber plant sit in a pool of water. 
  • For the newly propagated Rubber plants, I keep the soil more moist than usual until I witness new roots. Water as usual during the air-layering propagation method. 
  • After repotting, I moisten the soil properly during the first watering. Once the soil settles down and the water drains out, I add more potting mix if needed and continue regular watering. 

Along with considering the factors I have shared earlier, following these tips can make you an expert in watering the Rubber plants and keeping them healthy in the long run. 

Final thoughts 

Learning the correct watering techniques for the Rubber plant is relatively easy. The right time to water the plant is when the top few inches have dried.

If you have observed the plant’s regular watering needs, you can make a routine and water the plant accordingly. 

Watering the Rubber plant every 5-7 days is fine. But it depends on seasons, plant size, potting soil type, pot size, temperature, humidity, and light exposure. 

For watering methods, water the plant on the soil, consider bottom watering, water bath, or use watering globes. Avoid using tap water and use distilled or filtered water.

If you have designed ceramic pots without drainage holes, make one or use it as a cache pot. You may encounter overwatering or underwatering.

To save your plant from these issues, regularly check the soil and the signs the plant displays, and take immediate action to save your plant. Follow the care tips to keep your plants healthy and well-hydrated in the long run. 

How do I know if my Rubber plants need water? 

Look for signs of underwatering, such as drooping or wilting leaves. Watering will perk up the plant and save your plant from severe dehydration. 

Can I mist my Rubber plants? 

Slight misting can maintain hydration and humidity. Don’t saturate the soil too much, and ensure the leaves don’t stay wet for too long.

Reference: Rubber plant Wikipedia

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