Rubber tree loses leaves / has no leaves - that helps now!

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Rubber tree - Ficus elastica

Ficus elastica is not a relic from the past, but still enjoys great popularity as a houseplant. With its impressive size, the Asian plant adorns reception areas, waiting rooms, offices and living spaces. The wood is considered robust, the care is simple and takes little time. Nevertheless, various causes can cause the resistant plants to lose their leaves. The reason for this is not always immediately obvious at first glance.The rubber tree is one of the classics among indoor plants. Since the 60s of the last century, the mulberry plant adorns its residential and office space with its imposing size. Under optimal conditions, the plant with its rich green and glossy leaves can reach an impressive height of over 3 meters. Generally speaking, Asian-derived ficus is considered to be robust and low in maintenance. With a short-term dryness, the plant copes easily.
It is also not uncommon for Ficus elastica to lose many of its older leaves in winter. The woodland thus reacts to the changed lighting conditions. If all conditions are met, the plant becomes a perennial, abundantly growing companion. The resistant plants, however, do not tolerate everything. Various causes can lead to discoloration and loss of leaves.

Pour properly

The rubber tree loves a bright place in living rooms, in the office or conservatory. At temperatures above 18° C, the plant from the family of mulberry plants forms its attractive foliage. The wood should not be exposed to a colder environment. How light or dark the location can be depends on the respective variety. Ficus elastica tricolor, for example, needs more sunlight than the dark green Ficus elastica robusta for its striking leaf color.
Purchased plants from the supermarket, the changed lighting conditions can lead to the dropping of individual leaves. The plants need some time before they get used to the new habitat. If older gum trees lose their foliage without relocating, be careful. One possible cause could be the wrong supply of water.
  • Thrives in sunny to partially shaded spots
  • Does not tolerate a blazing midday sun
  • Ficus are sensitive to waterlogging
  • Calcified water does not increase the plants
  • The top substrate layer must be dried before casting
  • Water moderately between October and February
If your gum tree drops many leaves, you should first check the moisture content of the soil. With a short-term dryness, the Asian trees can cope. If the plant is not poured over a long period of time, the foliage loses its firm structure and assumes a pale color. Stagnant water in the planter or coaster can also lead to the ejection of leaves. Waterlogging can have a dangerous effect on the mulberry plant. Mushrooms use the damp environment and infest the roots of the weakened plants.

Rubber tree - Ficus elastica

The resulting root rot can not be cured by fungicides or other home remedies. In addition to proper casting, drainage on the bottom of the bucket can protect the subterranean parts of the rubber tree. The dipping method has proven itself for watering the Asian ornamental shrubs. In this measure, the entire planter is soaked in lukewarm water until no more bubbles rise from the substrate.
For a completely dry soil, this method may need to be repeated several times. The water must completely penetrate the entire earth ball. During the main growing season, this should be done approximately every 14 days. Between October and February, the plant reduces its metabolism to a minimum and the water requirement is also reduced.
Tip: Treat the plant now and then to a full shower. In this method, the dust and dirt film is rinsed off the leaves.


In addition to a too dark or airy location or the wrong casting and nutrients may be responsible for the loss of leaves. The rubber tree is one of the weak-consuming plants. Too high a fertilizer dose increases the roots of the plant and can lead to damage. The foliage turns pale yellow and dies.
  • In winter, stop the supply of nutrients
  • A liquid or slow-release fertilizer has proven itself between March and August
  • Fertilize at intervals of approximately 21 days
  • Reduce the amount of fertilizer indicated on the packaging
Organic fertilizer such as compost, coffee grounds or rock flour is unsuitable for indoor plants.In the small vessels, the microorganisms are missing, which convert the material into valuable nutrients in a short time. In many cases, rotting occurs, which can damage the trees. However, the ficus has no objection to occasional administration of diluted stinging nettle brew. Even over-fertilization can cause similar symptoms on the plants. In this case, replace the ficus in fresh substrate and completely stop fertilizing for one to two months. The ornamental shrubs take a little longer to regenerate from such damage.

lack of space

The exotic plants with the leathery leaves grow slowly. Rubber trees only have to be transposed into a new, larger vessel every 2 to 3 years. If this measure is unnecessarily delayed, this can have a negative effect on the development of the crops. Poor growth and loss of leaves are the result. If the roots of the trees completely fill the pot, you have to repot. If it is not an emergency, you should do this work in the spring.
  • Generously remove the old substrate
  • Create a drainage in the new bucket
  • The new vessel should only be slightly larger than previously used
The plants are suitable for cultivation in hydroponic culture. However, do not commit the error and switch from soil to inorganic materials. Because the substrate must be completely removed from the roots, so that no mold growth occurs in the humid environment. If you repot older trees, you should always use the material previously used.

Rubber tree - Ficus elastica

Tip: Rubber trees can become "top-heavy" with age. If necessary, complain the soil with stones, so that the plant does not become the victim of gravity.

Measures for a complete foliage loss

It is unusual for a mulberry to lose all its leaves. If the root network is intact and has no major damage, the Ficus elastica is still no case for household waste.
  • Check the underground parts of the plant
  • Transfer the plant to a partially shaded, warm location
  • Do not allow the substrate to dry out
  • Do not fertilize
Due to the slow growth, it may take 2 to 3 months before new bud approaches emerge. Do not lose patience. A pruning of the plant is not always successful. If done incorrectly, this measure can also lead to the death of the rubber tree. In the area of ​​woody stalks, the woodland is no longer driving. Leave a few inches of unpolluted shoots.
With a trick, you can try to stimulate the plant to quickly shoot new leaves:
  • Slightly scratch slightly lignified shoots with a sharp knife
  • Wrap the interface with a wet handkerchief or cotton wool
  • Keep the material moist
  • Check after 3 to 4 weeks
  • Room temperature should be between 18° and 22° C
It makes sense to find the reason for the complete loss of foliage. If the location is the cause, you should avoid this location in the future.


The different varieties of "Ficus elastica" place different demands on their location. In order to avoid the loss of leaves, the right place should be found for each rubber tree.
Ficus elastica tricolor
This ornamental wood belongs to the Blattschmuckpflanzen. The strikingly colored leaves with the yellow-red edge need a lot of light to form their full splendor. A few hours of sunshine a day are enough.
Ficus elastica variegeta
The yellow-rimmed and spotted leaves characterize this gum tree species. The location should be bright, but avoid direct sunlight.
Ficus elastica doerschi
Closely related to the species Ficus tricolor. The feature of this rubber tree is its gray and cream-colored foliage pattern. A bright place in the warm living room or office promotes the growth of this eye-catching strain.
Ficus elastica robusta
As the name suggests, this rubber tree is resistant. Due to its dark green, round foliage, it can easily cope with partially shaded locations.
Black elastica Prince
This subspecies also has rounded leaves with a deep green color.

Rubber tree - Ficus elastica

The cultivation of Ficus elastica is easy. Despite its resilience, the rubber tree The increased dropping of leaves is not without reason in gum trees. It makes sense to quickly find the reason to protect the wood from further damage.

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