Ficus Elastica Ruby

Scientific Name: Ficus Elastica Ruby

Common Name: Variegated Rubber Tree

Ficus Elastica Ruby care is an easy Ficus to grow and care for. If you want an alternative to the classic Rubber Tree, a Ficus Elastica Ruby plant may be for you.

There are many different cultivars of Ficus Elastica including Ficus Elastica Tineke and Ficus Elastica Ruby, which we’ll talk about how to care for the Ruby cultivar.

To give this Ficus plant the best care, it requires airy, loose soil, allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering, provide it with bright indirect sunlight, and temperatures ranging from 60-80F.

Quick Care Overview

Common NameVariegated Ruby Rubber Tree
Scientific NameFicus Elastica Ruby
OriginIndia, Malaysia
Growth RateMedium
IdentificationOvate foliage that is pink, red, and cream
HeightUp to 10 feet tall
SoilAiry, loose soil
WaterWater when top two inches of soil are dry
SunlightBright indirect sunlight
Toxic to Cats & DogsYes
Toxic to HumansYes
PestsMealybugs, thrips, spider mites
DiseasesRoot rot

Below we will dive deep into this Ficus Elastica Ruby care guide.

Ficus Elastica Ruby Care

Ficus Elastica Ruby History

India & Malaysia native, Ficus Elastica Ruby is a gorgeous rubber tree variegated cultivar that presents with a display of a wide range of colors. Each plant will vary in color intensity. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Identification

Ficus Elastica Ruby has glossy ovate foliage that present in shades of pink, red, and cream. This plant has a vertical growth habit.

Ficus Elastica Ruby Growth Facts

This quick growing plant will lean towards the sun, so ensure that you rotate it periodically so that it will grow uniformly. This plant will need to be pruned regularly to keep its size manageable. 

How Big Does a Ficus Elastica Ruby Get?

While this plant may reach up to 100 feet tall in its natural habitat, when cultivated indoors, it will likely remain under 10 feet tall. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Care

Easy to care for and stunning, this Ficus makes the perfect addition to any home.

Ficus Elastica Ruby Soil

This variegated rubber plant is tolerant of a wide range of potting mixes but enjoys being planted in an airy, loose mix. A combination of commercial mix with additional incorporations of compost and perlite or vermiculite will provide this plant with the rich, aerated soil it desires. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Fertilizer

Your Ficus Elastica Ruby will appreciate being fed monthly by a balanced liquid fertilizer during the warm growing months of spring and summer. Ensure that you follow all label instructions and do not overfeed your plant. Fertilizing frequency should be reduced in fall, and you should not fertilize your Ficus during winter. Overfertilization may cause harm to your plant. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Watering

Your Ficus Ruby likes to remain consistently moist but will not want to have its soil oversaturated with water. You should rewater your plant when the top 2-4 inches of soil has become dry. Depending on growing conditions, you will likely need to rewater your plant once a week and potentially more during the warm growing season. Watering frequency will likely need to be reduced in winter. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Light Requirements

This tropical plant will prefer to be kept in bright, indirect light and can handle some direct morning sun. The foliage of this Ficus will become more radiant with exposure to more sunlight. Although this plant will tolerate lower light conditions, its foliage will fade. You should aim to provide your Ficus Elastica with at least 6 hours of daylight each day. If you need to supplement your plant with an indoor light to receive adequate sunlight, you should provide it with over 10 hours of artificial light each day. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Temperature & Humidity

Ficus Elastica Ruby is a semi-hardy tropical plant that prefers to be kept in warm temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant will not tolerate freezing temperatures and should never be exposed to temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. While this Ficus prefers to be kept in humid environments, up to 80%, it will tolerate average household humidity levels, if not predominantly arid. You should aim to keep your humidity levels in which this plant is grown above 40% for optimal growing. If your Ficus becomes too dry, its edges will crisp up and brown. I love to use this humidifier for my plants.

Repotting Ficus Elastica Ruby

Depending on growing conditions, Ficus Elastica will likely need to be repotted every 1-2 years. You should repot your plant when you notice that roots are growing out of the drainage holes. Select a container 1-2″ larger than the previous container and repot, being careful not to disturb the roots. Refresh the soil and tamp down lightly. Water your freshly potted plant thoroughly and place it in indirect light. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Maintenance & Pruning

To maintain the beautiful aesthetic of your Ficus Elastica, you should prune your plant regularly. Periodically, remove any disease, discolored, or dead foliage using sharp, clean shears. You may also prune it to encourage a bushy appearance and help give it shape. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Propagation

Propagation of Ficus Elastica Ruby is straightforward and may be done through stem cuttings taken during pruning. Take a stem(s) at least 6″ long and dip in rooting hormone to encourage rooting. Next, place your cutting(s) in potting mix and keep moist. You should see that your plant has produced new leaves within several roots, indicating successful propagation. 

How to Care for Ficus Elastica Ruby

Ficus Elastica Ruby Toxicity

Being in the Ficus family, Ficus Ruby is considered toxic to humans, cats, and dogs. The sap that the Ficus secretes is irritating to the skin and can cause contact dermatitis. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling this plant.

Toxicity to Humans

Unfortunately, Ficus Elastica is considered toxic and is not safe for consumption. Keep this plant out of reach from young children and babies. Additionally, if the plant becomes injured, the milky sap excreted may cause contact dermatitis in humans. 

Toxicity to Cats & Dogs

Ficus Elastica Ruby is considered toxic to pets and should never be ingested. However, if you suspect that your pet has consumed any portion of this plant, contact your veterinarian or animal poison control immediately.

Ficus Elastica Ruby Problems

Ficus Elastica Ruby Leaves Turning Yellow

Leaves of Ficus Elastica Ruby may turn yellow due to issues related to watering, lack of sunlight, or pest issues. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Leaves Turning Brown

When leaves of Ficus Elastica turn brown, it is typically due to either underwatering or too much direct sunlight. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Diseases

While Ficus Ruby is generally disease-resistant, it is still susceptible to infection, especially fungal or bacterial infections related to overwatering. 

Ficus Elastica Ruby Pests

Ficus Elastica Ruby, like many other houseplants, may become susceptible to infestation from common household pests such as mealybugs, thrips, spider mites, and more. Periodically check your plant for signs of infestation and if spotted treat it with insecticidal soap accordingly. 


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