Everyone has been to that one point when you think your rubber plant will give up on you. Your rubber plant is not doing very well even after all the care that one has provided, and all you can do is to let go. But what if you can detect the signs of a dying rubber plant and save it?
May Sarton once said, “Plants do not speak, but their silence is alive with change.”
It is common for one to worry when they see the plant’s leaves turning yellow or when you realize that your plant is not growing.
However, all of these symptoms can mean a whole lot of other things and not represent a dying rubber plant.
You should be able to identify the symptoms correctly, find out a probable cause, and voila!
The cause will lead directly to the solution, and you may also be the one to bring down an avenger level threat.
Just sit back tight, and we will help you with the possible symptoms and solutions for these symptoms so that you can bring back your rubber plant to a healthy state.
With all that out of the way let us have a look at 7 signs of dying rubber plant and what you can do to save it.
The leaves have started turning yellow or brown
Rubber plants can thrive through most of the crucial situations unless they are left dry. There is a direct connection between the leaves turning yellow and humidity.
In case there is moisture stress in a rubber plant, it will give signs of leaves turning yellow or brown or Chlorosis as you may call it. And how do you know if it’s moisture stress?
Firstly, you will need to figure out whether you are overwatering or underwatering your rubber plant. Over-watering your rubber plant leads to leaves turning yellow and underwatering causes the leaves to lose its color.
This can be prevented if you have prepared your pot well. The drainage system is the most important thing for a mid-range and tender plant and a rubber plant, being a mid-range plant, requires the best of the drainage system.
Check the holes of your pot regularly for a better drainage system. If the holes are blocked, there could be water logging in the pot, leading to over-watering.
Another reason for the leaves turning yellow could be a nutrient deficiency. Iron, Manganese, Zinc, and Nitrogen deficiency can cause a change in color.
How do we fulfill the iron deficiency in the plant? The most economical and trusted way is by piercing iron nails in the pot.
Usually, piercing around 4-5 iron nails around every corner of the pot should do the magic.
We need to get the pH level in the soil to its level. The use of Iron-tone is also helpful but do not forget to follow the instructions.
Also read: Why is my rubber plant turning brown?
Leaves from the bottom side are started to wilt
It is usual for your rubber tree plant to lose leaves during the seasonal change from summer to winter. However, excessive leaf loss says that there might be a problem.
Like the loss of leaves, wilting, or drooping of leaves is another reason why your rubber plant needs care. Generally, it’s the mix of issues with moisture, light, temperature, or pests.
Rubber plants love indirect sunlight, so if your rubber plant is outside in the garden, then we need to provide shade over the plant.
However, if your rubber plant is on the inside, try making partial sunlight.
Getting the moisture right is very important in the case of the rubber plant. If you live in a dry place or your plant is kept indoors where humidity is really low, one should choose to spray the rubber plant with mist water daily.
One can also use ceramic bowls and pebbles filled with water, but do check there should not be too much water. If there is too much water, the plant can lose leaves.
During the winter season, the cold draft can harm your plant. As moisture is low during the winters, try changing your plant’s position to a more humid place.
As we know that the rubber plant requires a stable temperature in the range of 60-85°F, maintaining the temperature might be the key to thrive your rubber plant. You must keep your rubber plant away from the areas that are exposed to heat.
In case there is any difficulty in maintaining the moisture, feel free to use a humidifier.
Do check if your rubber plant is infested with pests or bugs. Spraying of neem oil and garlic has helped a lot of users. The use of insecticides is also suggested.
Also read: How to fix a droopy rubber plant?
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Spots on the leaves
Sometimes it’s evident that our plant is sending signs as bread crumbs to notify you that it needs attention. Spots on the leaves, often known as leaf blight, are one of those signals that you need to observe quickly.
Delay of any kind in the matter of leaf blights may lead to the spread of the bacteria or fungus that has caused the blight.
Firstly, the blight attacks the leaf that is younger and near the crown. If unnoticed, it spreads through the entire plant and can turn out to be worse.
There will be patches that might be brown or white in color; the withering of the leaves or the leaves dying are some signs of blight.
Both the bacterial blights and the fungal blights can co-occur, and the understanding of both might be tricky. So, be ready to grab a pair of latex gloves before you jump directly into treating them.
Bacterial blights might lead to soft spots and wilts and many other vascular diseases. The spots are more angular and between the veins of a new leaf.
In fungal infection, we can undoubtedly use fungicide so that the fungus goes away. However, the bacteria might be a bit tricky and might cause some pain.
When bacteria attack the plant, we have to consider pruning. Yes, you see it right. I know that you don’t want to go ahead with this, but it is never late.
Make sure that the bacteria don’t get to the petiole. In that case, we can prune the leaves that the bacteria are on.
Quick advice on the process is to sanitize the scissor that you use for pruning, remove the plant from other plants so that the air circulation is increased between the plants, and to throw away the pruned leaves.
White chucks on the stem of your rubber plant
As the white spots on the leaves and stems of the rubber plant, there is also something that’s known as white root rot. The scientific term for the white root rot is Rigidoporus Microporous.
This is caused by a fungal infection. The process of treating the white root rot is divided into two steps.
First, we need to detect the disease. This can be easily done by planting freshly cut grass beside the base of the rubber plant.
If you see white threads underneath the grass, then the plant has developed root rot.
Once the tree is ill, then we will need to follow the process of removing the roots by pruning it if they are attacked.
However, if the roots are not attacked, then we can add certain fungicides like quintozene for the treatment of the white root rot.
No new growth
Even after all those caring, we do get to see that our plant is not growing anymore. It stays the same size for quite a long time.
This is a sign we need to focus on. It could definitely be the change of season, which might have caused this. However, in the right season, your plant should show signs of growth.
No new growth could be a casual phenomenon after the repotting of the rubber plant. If the repot was recent, then allow the roots to settle down, and eventually, you will see your plant growing.
The rubber plant or any plant in that matter loses nutrients with water, and in order to make it up with the situation, we need to add fertilizer to the plant.
Also suggested in the other posts, we can use any type of compost or seaweed solution, which might be handy and help for the growth.
The timing of adding the fertilizer should be around once in 30-40 days. In case you are using the chemical fertilizer, please make sure to follow the doses that are provided.
Once again, we come to the point that might cause us some pain. No new growth may be a situation wherein the plant requires a little grooming or pruning for that sake.
We will need to cut the stem of the rubber plant from the top to increase the growth. A proper clipping of the plant is required when it attains the height of 2 feet.
Finally, do make sure that you have not overwatered your rubber plant and kept it in good light condition.
Also read: Why is my rubber plant not growing?
Brown and rotting root
Your rubber plant is wilting, showing some uncertainties, and giving out signals that you might want to consider.
The leaves of the plant start to curl. Another sign would be that the soil is too dry and think about giving the plant a good amount of water.
However, if there is root rot, then the most common cause for the root rot is overwatering your rubber plant. It’s just like adding fuel to the fire.
Overwatering causes the water to stay for a longer time in the roots, and because of this, the soil never dries. Often, we also see mold on the upper layer of the soil.
Good drainage is needed, and if a pot does not have a good drainage system, it becomes a rookie mistake.
How do we go about bringing our rubber plant back to life? Do not worry as these simple steps will help you remove the root rot.
Firstly, we will need to remove the moldy soil from the top layer of the pot and then dig more. There is a chance that the mold is deep down the roots as well.
Now we remove all the soil so that any chance of the mold getting back is completely eliminated. If the roots are very black in color, mushy, or have a punky smell, it symbolizes root rot, and, in most cases, it’s going to die.
Yellow roots mean it is a good sign. Once the plant is completely gutted, we will need to take care of a few things. We will need hydrogen peroxide and have to spray/dip the roots of the plant in it. This will take care of the root rot.
The mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water should be in the ratio of 1:1. We will transfer the plant to a new pot. Be extremely careful and gentle during the process.
However, the next pot should be smaller in size because a bigger pot means more soil, which, if it remains wet, might cause more root rot.
Remember, that terracotta pots will be great for repotting as it is very porous and lets out more moisture.
We will need to add soil that holds the moisture as your rubber plant loves moisture and will require it in tough times. Adding pumice will do wonders.
The above mixture, along with worm castings, will help increase the air circulation for the plant. Make sure there aren’t air pockets formed while putting the soil.
Once the plant is in the new pot, you can add some water but do not overwater. We do not need soggy soil. Be patient and take care of the rubber plant.
Also read: All about root rot in rubber plants?
Leaves started looking dull
There are only a few things that are required to keep the rubber plant happy.
Your rubber plant does not require bright sunlight; it loves moisture and a perfect amount of water, which is neither too much nor not too little.
Providing the rubber plant with the right amount of fertilizer and within the calculated days.
Certainly, spraying the rubber plant with a mixture of mist water will make your rubber plant happier.
Cleaning of the leaves is also a must for the rubber plants. All we need is a cloth and lime water to remove the dirt from the leaves.
Wiping the plant will remove the dust and makes the plant look better.
All the above signs tell that your rubber plant needs attention, and if the right amount of attention is not given to the plant, then all you have to say is Mea Culpa.
Spending more time with your plant and developing a relationship with it will help you understand the needs of the plant.
A planner or by tagging the pot with a note will help with the timings that are necessary to be taken care of.
Also read: What’s wrong with my rubber plant?
Source: Rubber plant disease diagnosis, Major problem in a rubber plant, Pest problem in a rubber plant, Stress Generation In Aerial Roots Of Ficus Elastica, Growth of rubber plants, Ficus Elastica care