PRO TIP: The Ficus Elastica Ruby is variegated. The paler, non-green parts of the leaves cannot photosynthesize, so make sure the plant receives plenty of light to compensate for its less efficient leaves.
The Ficus Elastica Ruby, also known as a variegated Rubber tree, is native to tropical regions of India and Malaysia. Its care is similar to that of the Rubber Tree, however its unique tri-colored variegation requires brighter light conditions than the Burgundy variety to keep the colors strong and defined.
Place your Ruby in a location where it can receive bright, indirect light. Too much direct sun will scorch the leaves, but this plant will not fare well in low light spaces. Placement a few feet removed from southern or western exposure is ideal, or directly in an eastern facing window works too!
If you are unsure of the lighting conditions in your home or office, we have a guide for how to measure light in your space.
The eponymous pinkish tint to the leaves of the Ruby will be most prominently visible if the plant is kept in adequate light.
PRO TIP: When it doubt, let it drought! The most common mistake made with these plants is overwatering.
Always be sure to assess your plant’s watering needs upon receiving it. Before giving your plant a drink, it is best to check the moisture level in the soil first to ensure it isn’t moist right beneath the surface. Also, consider aerating the soil of your plant before the initial watering. We compact the soil to avoid shifting during transit, so aerating can help the soil breathe and allow moisture to be released.
Lower maintenance than many of the other ficus varieties we offer, the Ficus Elastica Ruby wants its soil to be lightly moist at all times, but they do not like to sit in soggy soil. Weekly waterings are typically ample as they allow the plant a period to dry out and breathe, but in the winter months watering frequency will likely need to decrease to every two weeks to avoid overwatering. When watering, avoid splashing the leaves, as this can cause stains.
Overwatering is the biggest killer of this plant, and is displayed by yellowing, dropping leaves. However, the plant's older leaves will also yellow and drop, so if you observe this happening, be sure to pay attention to which leaves are dropping, and check the moisture levels of the soil before reaching a conclusion. Changes in location, light, and temperature may also cause the plant stress and result in leaf drop, so don't be surprised if it loses a couple when you first introduce it to your space.
Rotate your plant periodically to ensure even growth on all sides and dust the leaves often so the plant can photosynthesize efficiently. When dusting the leaves, also take the opportunity to inspect the undersides and keep an eye out for pests.
Remember each plant is a unique living thing and may have varying needs, especially in their individual locations. Pay attention to the condition of your Ficus Elastica Ruby and its watering needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
There are two types of standard planters offered by Greenery NYC—those with drainage holes, and those without. Within those two categories are an array of sizes and styles to choose from. The presence of drainage holes and size of the vessel play a role in the quantity and frequency of water given to your plant.
Plants purchased in a pot without a drainage hole have been set up with a built-in drainage system. A layer of hydro stones (porous, absorbent material made of recycled glass) has been placed beneath the soil to act as a reservoir for any excess water that flows through the soil. You will need to be slightly more cautious not to pour too much water into these containers as there is no way for the excess water to escape. We suggest pouring small amounts of water in bit by bit, until you have reached the desired moisture level in the soil.
For plants potted with drainage, water until it begins to come out the bottom of the pot and into the catch tray.
Always be sure to assess your plant's watering needs upon receiving it. Refer to the routine maintenance section for your plant’s specific moisture requirements.
The self-watering planters require a good, solid watering of the topsoil after they are first placed. This is important because the roots of the plants need to grow into the reservoir first in order to drink from it. Follow the standard planter instructions for the first four weeks. Then the reservoir is ready to be tested.
TEST: After four weeks, fill the water reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line. If the indicator goes down over the first few days, it means the plant is ready for regular reservoir servicing. If not, be sure to continue top watering for a few more weeks, until the red indicator goes down, meaning the plant has started drinking from the reservoir.
RESERVOIR SERVICING: Once the indicator goes down, do not refill the reservoir right away. Similar to how humans need a breath of air between gulps of water, almost all plants require a drying out period. Always allow for the reservoir to empty all the way, and after a drying out period of a few days, be sure to refill it until the indicator reaches the MAX line.
From here on out, you should NEVER topwater the plant. If you water from the top, it can drown the plant. In the Self Watering Container, the top layer of soil will eventually become extremely dry and hard, and may even pull away from the edges of the pot. This is not a cause for concern, but simply because the plant is drinking directly from its roots in the water reservoir.
Step 1: Top water for two weeks. The indicator will look empty, like the picture above.
Step 2: Fill the reservoir until the red indicator reaches the MAX line.
Step 3: Watch the indicator over the next day or two. If it goes down on its own, it means the roots of the plant have grown into the reservoir. From here on out, ONLY water in the reservoir.
Are Ficus Elastica Ruby difficult to care for?
Why are the leaves of my Ficus dropping?
Can I place my ficus next to an AC or heating vent?
How often should I fertilize my plant?
How often does my plant need to be repotted?
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