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Ficus elastica

Ficus elastica 'Burgundy' in 5.5" rounds (pictured above)

We’ve got houseplants! This week, we’re excited to feature two varieties of Ficus elastica – ‘Burgundy’ and ‘Ruby.’

Ficus elastica is a rubber tree native to India and Malaysia. In temperate and tropical climates, the tree can reach up to 40’ in height in the ground. As an ornamental house plant, the leaves can grow 8-12” long and grow up to 8’ tall.

Elastica has robust, glossy leaves that unfold from striking red sheaths. ‘Burgundy’ has dark green leaves and’ Ruby’ has rose tinted or cream-colored leaves.

Ficus elastica 'Ruby' (pictured above)

Overall, elastica is considered a low maintenance, durable, evergreen house plant. ‘Burgundy’ is the easier of the two varieties to care for with the major difference being in the light requirements. While ‘Burgundy’ prefers a shaded spot with indirect light, ‘Ruby’ needs much more light. Bright, indirect light is recommended. Be careful that the light is not direct or the leaves will get scorched. If it’s too dark, the red markings will fade. West and east-facing windows are best. Elastica can be sensitive to moisture. Too much water will lead to yellow leaves with brown spots and wilting. Water when dry. In the winter, you can cut back on watering. Plant in nutrient-rich, well-draining soil for best performance.

Elastica has a vertical growth habit. Once your plant reaches the desired height, you can prune the top to prevent more vertical growth. If your plant becomes too leggy or you prefer a bushier plant, you can prune any branches emerging from the main trunk. This will help promote more branching from the side.

The leaves have a texture that collects dust easily, so it’s good to give them a regular wiping with a moist cloth or a spray mixture of mild soap and water.

Elastica is safe to handle, but does have a milky sap that can be toxic to pets so it’s best to keep them out of reach of a curious pet.

The Sunset Western Garden zone is 13, 16, 17, 19-24; H1, H2; or indoors.

We are currently growing Ficus elastica ‘Burgundy’ and ‘Ruby’ in 5.5” rounds. Check out the ‘Premium’ section on our availability for more details.


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