Leggy Ficus Elastica
A leggy Ficus Elastica (otherwise known as a rubber plant) is not what we’re after when we buy these plants. Ficus Elastica have amazing foliage in the form of big oval shaped leaves. They can grow to impressive heights, put out lots of new growth and can really be show stopper plants. So when you have a leggy Ficus Elastica it can be quite disappointing, not only does it not look great but it can be a big indication that something is wrong with your plant and you need to change its environment quickly if you want it to thrive.
What Causes A Leggy Ficus Elastica?
The main cause of a leggy Ficus Elastica is too little sunlight. Rubber plants do well in bright to medium light, they naturally grow in the tropics where the light is relatively strong and even though they’ll get some protection from other plants they’ll often be exposed to quite strong light. If you are keeping your rubber plant in a dimly lit area where it’s receiving poor light then you will notice the plant starting to become leggy and its stems elongate as they try to reach the light.
When the light is strong, rubber plants tend to put out new leaves much more quickly but when light is dim the stems will grow longer as the plant wants to be closer to the light. So to put it simply, if you want to avoid your rubber plant becoming leggy, keep it in a nice bright spot in your home and if you notice that it’s already leggy then try to move it to a better lit place than it’s currently in.
Important. Although Ficus Elastic like bright light, it’s best that your plant is kept in indirect light to avoid scorching as direct sunlight all day long can cause some burning on its leaves.
Rubber Plant Dropping Leaves
Another reason your Ficus Elastica may be looking leggy is that it’s dropping leaves. Ficus Elastica tend to put out beautiful big leaves so if the plant drops any it becomes noticeable and can look leggy.
A common reason that rubber plants will drop leaves is from overwatering or poor drainage. Rubber plants like to be watered fairly often but they don’t like to sit in water or pots with poor drainage. If their leaves take in too much water they’ll die and fall away from the plant. A great way to know when to water your plant is to use a moisture probe like this one from Amazon. Simply stick the probes into the soil to get a reading of the moisture level. When the probe reads around 1 or 2, it’s time to water your plant again.
In addition to this, make sure your pot has adequate drainage holes and that the soil is able to dry out between waterings. If your soil is taking weeks to dry out then you probably need to use a lighter potting mix as the one you’re currently using is retaining too much water.
Other things that can cause Ficus Elastica to drop leaves include draughts, cold spots and sudden changes to environment. Plants are sensitive and can react badly to shock. With this in mind keep your plant in a fairly warm environment away from draughts and try not to change its climate too dramatically.
Article: Leggy Ficus Elastica
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