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Ficus elastica 'Burgundy' - Rubber Plant

Ficus elastica 'Burgundy' - Rubber Plant

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The plant is known for its prolific fleshy burgundy leaves. This cultivar of the Ficus elastica plant is definitely a looker when it comes to rubber trees. The burgundy-colored leaves are large, about 8” – 12” inches long and around 4” inches wide. In temperate and tropical climates, the tree can reach up to 40’ feet in height when planted in the ground.

Light Conditions & Temperature

Burgundy features rich, deep red foliage, and under lower light levels turns almost purple. The Indian rubber tree plants are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 11. This means the ideal temperature for burgundy rubber trees is 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C) in the nighttime an around 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C) or more during the day. In cooler temperatures, the plant is best grown indoors. As for light requirements, this indoor plant thrives in bright indirect light.  Low light or indirect lighting with indoor plants is tolerated but leads to less vibrant colored foliage. Outdoors Burgundy Ficus grows well in full sun or bright indirect light.  

Water Requirements and Feeding

Rubber plants are very sensitive to moisture. Water burgundy only when the soil becomes somewhat dry. Slowly pour water around the plant and let it run through to the bottom. Avoid splashing the leaves as it may stain them. Cut back the watering in winter. Water-soluble and well-balanced plant food specially formulated for houseplants is nutritious for rubber trees. Do this every couple of months for optimal results. If your plants are in medium light, fertilizing is crucial.

Soil & Transplanting

The plants do their best when planted in well-draining soil with excellent aeration. This is important for rubber tree plants as poor drainage can lead to various leaf problems.The optimal mix for a burgundy rubber ficus consists of one part pine bark and one part coarse sand or perlite. Rubber trees grow at a relatively fast rate. Every few years, in the early to late summer, repotting is beneficial for the plants. Use a pot with a drainage hole, a size bigger than the previous one, and add rocks at the bottom.Mix two parts peat moss and one part potting soil mix with one part sand. Place the plant gently, spreading the roots and filling the hole. Water the plant and place direct sunlight with steady room temperatures.

Grooming and Maintenance

Caring for a rubber plant is not exactly very demanding. You need to prune the tops of the rubber tree from time to time to remove leggy growth or if it’s too tall for an indoor tree.