Common name: Rubber fig or Rubber tree
Origin: Native to India, Napal Burma, China, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Also found: Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, USA
Ficus Elastica from the Moraceae family goes by many different names depending on the country, but the most commonly used worldwide is rubber fig or rubber tree.
It originates in East India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and China. It can also be found in Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia and parts of the USA.
Attributes Of The Fig Tree
The leaves of Ficus Elastica has fine and shiny oval-shaped leaves. The smallest leave of the rubber fig tree is about 10 centimeters.
Fruit & Flowers:
The rubber fig plant produces a yellow colored small and oval in shape fruit. The oval shape fruit has seed in it that can be used in planting another fig plant. The flowers of the fig tree are not very colorful or ornate. The tree does not produce highly fragrant flowers like other plants and trees.
It is one of the largest trees in the world by volume and can grow up to 30 – 40m (100 – 130 feet) in height. Its trunk can reach a diameter of 2m (6 feet) in diameter. Its trunk is strong enough to support the very heavy branches as it is renowned for its enormous canopy.
Rubber Tree Care
If you want to grow it perfectly, you should avoid over-watering the plant. You should also avoid moving the rubber tree so often to make it grow. Also, remember not to water the tree with cold water. You must also avoid to keep it in cold temperatures or else it will die soon.
It is good to place the Ficus Elastica tree in the nice bright light. The direct sunshine should be avoided to make it grow perfectly.
You must water the rubber tree once in a day. The best way to water the fig tree is to slightly water the soil. Do not over-water the plant. You must also make sure that the tree pot has the holes to drain the excess water.
A fig tree pot should be a well-draining pot. The mixture of the soil must include 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark along with a part of coarse sand.
It is important to re-pot the tree twice in a year. It is good to re-pot the plant when it is young and later after it gets matured. The soil must be renewed once in a year for the healthy growth of the tree.
It is advised to feed your fig tree twice a week with the diluted liquid fertilizer. The spring and summer two best seasons to feed your fig trees.
The Ficus elastica grows perfect with the normal humidity. You can also spray the water on the leaves in the summer season.
You can propagate the fig tree by cutting few inches of the tree. Allow the sap of the tree to dry for one hour. You can use the heating pad to warm the soil of the tree. The ideal temperature should be around 70°F (21°C) – 75°F (24°C).
The fig tree can be pruned once it reaches the desired height. You can trim the unwanted branches to give a new shape to the leaves. The ideal time to prune the leaves and branches spring and summers. It is fine to trim it in any other season as well.
Packed full of vitamins and rich in sugar the fruit of the ficus elastica contains a substance called mucilage which is also present in Aloe Vera plant and some cactus, it is very helpful with a host of stomach problems such as……
There are many different qualities of the rubber tree. It can be used to treat/cure many different common ailments including:
The dry and raw figs can be very beneficial in constipation. You can boil 3 dry figs and drink the water. The rest figs should be eaten in the morning to cure constipation.
The dry fig water could be a great mouth cleaner. Mouth sores, inflammation, and mouth disorders can be healed with fig water.
It can also help if you have a cough. All you need to boil 12 dry figs in water. Drink the liquid after straining.
The milky white material in the leaves can be applied to the insect bites. It can heal the bite rash and itching quickly.
Warts & Corns
You can also apply the latex on warts and corns to heal them.
Sagging Of Skin
If you are suffering from sagging of the skin. You should apply the black fig pulp along with lemon on the skin. Wash the skin with cold water after 30 minutes. Repeat the procedure daily to have amazing results.
Cultivation & Other Uses
The rubber tree is very commonly grown as a house plat worldwide. Although it can grow up to 30m, when kept in a pot it can be kept at a much more manageable height of about 3m (10ft) or about 10% of it’s natural potential.
People in India guide the roots of the fig plant to build bridges naturally. The fig trees can bear drought and easily bear humidity and wet climate to grow. It is also grown as an ornamental plant or house plant. It can grow faster in frost-free, tropical temperature. You can also grow it in bright sunlight, but it cannot bear hotter temperatures. Its height can be controllable if grown inside the houses.
The leaves of the fig tree contain a milky white compound in it which is known as Latex. This latex can usually be used in making rubber. The latex of the Ficus Elastica is toxic and may irritate your skin or eyes if taken internally.
The fig tree is also used an animal food.
Common rubber Fig problems & solutions
Yellowing Tips Of Leaves
You may find your fig tree’s leaves turning yellow. This may be the result of poor soil and under-feeding. You should pay attention to the quality of the soil while the soil is changing.
Loss Of Leaves
Your fig tree may lose its leaves, and it may occur when you over-water the leaves. The low temperature, low light or not paying attention to the re-potting could also cause the leave shedding. To avoid this, you should pay attention to the re-potting procedure. You should also keep an eye on the temperature.
If you find your fig tree covered with the pests, immediately spray the pesticide on the leaves and soil. The pesticide should be sprayed at least once a month to avoid pests. Wooly white spots can be the reason of pests.
Brown Spots On Leaves
If you found brown spots on the fig tree leaves, the cold temperature can be the reason. If notice brown spots immediately keep your plant’s pot in a warm climate.