If you just got a new rubber plant home or you already have one sitting at the corner of your room waiting for you to repot, but you are not sure what kind of soil would be the best fit? I know choosing the right soil mix can be daunting. So, what’s the best soil mix for a rubber plant? Let’s find out!
Rubber plants are sturdy plants that can do well in most types of soil. However, you must ensure the soil has good drainage and some moisture-holding capacity. Mixing a part of peat moss and perlite with regular potting soil would ensure proper drainage and moisture retention for your rubber plants.
When I first began with houseplants, I was totally confused with all the advice and tips. Thus, I decided to try them all. Well, some worked wonders while others failed miserably.
I know you don’t want your plants to suffer and like to learn all the good stuff without complicating things. That’s why I am here. Today we shall know all about soil mix for rubber plants that too in layman’s term.
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Factors to consider while choosing the soil mix
You don’t have to learn some sort of science to understand all about soil for your rubber plant.
However, you need to understand your plant’s needs so that you can choose the most appropriate soil for them.
So what do rubber plants need to thrive in? There are two primary requirements of rubber plants. That includes:
- The soil must be well-draining
- The soil must retain some moisture and shouldn’t dry out quickly
The soil needs to drain quickly because rubber plants cannot tolerate overwatering well.
If the plant roots don’t get a chance to dry out between watering regime or the soil remains soggy at all times, then it is an open call for disaster.
Your rubber plant is likely to suffer from root rot, droopy leaves, and other problems.
On the other hand, rubber plants also need the soil to hold little moisture between the watering regime.
If the soils dry out pretty quickly, then your rubber plant may starve for water and give up on you. So, maintaining a balance is critical.
Please note: Rubber plant enjoys moist soil, but that doesn’t mean the soil needs to be soggy or wet at all times. Let the soil dry out a little bit before you water the plant again.
Also read: Signs of root rot in rubber plants
What is the best potting soil for rubber plant
Rubber plants are not such demanding plants, and they can do well in most types of soil. However, for the best result, we would recommend using a potting mix enriched with nutrients.
Now before we get down and pick a bag of mix, we need to understand that most of the potting mix holds the moisture for a longer period, and as a result, you cannot use any store brought combination for your rubber plants.
Yes, your rubber plant may still do well if you have a moisture meter, or you are really trained with the watering regime, but for most of us, it will not work out.
So, with that out of the way, you can still get a good quality potting mix and do a small DIY project to make it fit for your need.
I shall share with you two recipes that can work for you pretty well:
- Take 2 parts of Miracle Grow Indoor potting mix
- Mix a part of perlite/pumice/coarse sand into the mix
Both of these recipes work excellent for most of us. The first and preferred choice would be going with a mix of Miracle grow indoor potting mix with a part of perlite.
One of the best combinations for your rubber plant as a miracle grow potting mix is rich in organic material and coconut coir that holds moisture long enough for our rubber plants to thrive.
The second mix can also work well but needs more work. For this mix, you need to take a part of cactus soil.
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Can I use cactus soil for rubber plants?
Cactus soil is an excellent soil for any houseplants.
But again, it is a well-draining soil designed for use in succulents and cactus, and if you want to use the same soil for other house plants, including a rubber plant, then we need to prepare the same to hold some moisture in it.
It is crucial to do so because most houseplants don’t do well in dry soil. You can prepare this soil for your rubber plant by adding cocopeat, peat moss, or coconut coir into the mix.
Pot size of rubber plant
Its ideal to start a rubber plant in a 1-3 gallon pot. You can also choose the pot size depending upon the size of the plant.
Although this measurement is just an estimate for a beginner but here is how it goes: If your rubber plant is a feet tall, use a pot of 1 gallon, if its 2 feet tall, use a 2-gallon pot, and so on.
As it grows in size, you can repot the plant into a larger pot as and when needed. Also, when repotting, always move the plant to a slightly larger container.
Please don’t move the plant to a pot too big as it can hamper your rubber plant’s growth.
Say your rubber plant was at an 8-inch pot, then go with a 10-inch pot while repotting. Don’t go ahead and throw in into a 14-inch pot as it might not do well.
Also read: How fast do rubber plant grow?
When should you repot a rubber plant?
You should only repot a rubber plant when it outgrows its current pot. Your plant will start giving you signs that they need a change.
Until then, you should not repot them. A good average would be anywhere between 2-3 years.
If your rubber plant shows signs of being root-bound, you may need to repot them sooner; else, don’t bother to repot them if they are thriving in the current size pot.
Also read: How to propagate a rubber plant
What type of soil would be suitable for your rubber plant? Any well-draining soil shall work fine for the plant.
The soil must not remain soggy or absorb too much moisture. However, it must have some moisture-retaining capacity.
You can also prepare your own soil mix by combining cocopeat/peat moss and perlite and some garden soil.
Alternatively, you can use any succulent potting mix and add some cocopeat/peat moss to hold just the right amount of moisture for your rubber plants to thrive.