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Ficus Elastica

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Nava de Roa on December 06, 2005 05:19 AM
Hi everyone, I'm a new member to the forum but have been a long time apartment-bound gardener.

This summer, I purchased a rubber tree which, after some initial leaf dropping, was doing fantastically a few feet away from a south facing window. I think that was it adjusting.

But now in its first winter with me, I'm trying to learn its water needs. Two weeks ago, I was encouraged by its color and 'bounce' improving after not being watered for 1.5 weeks, so I decided a full 2 weeks between waterings might be good for it.

I'm not sure if that's what did it, but I got a sudden 6 or 7 leaves dropping overnight Saturday, and other healthy leaves have folded length-wise but not dropped. Is it the watering that did this? Or does a rubber tree drop leaves during dormancy, even indoors?

I gave it a healthy watering yesterday morning and no new leaves have dropped off, but I'm concerned because I haven't pegged its watering schedule during winter yet.
by peppereater on December 06, 2005 10:51 PM
Actually, in the winter, the air indoors can be drier than in other seasons. Keep an eye on it for a few more days, and if it rebounds, go back to your old schedule.
by Nava de Roa on December 07, 2005 12:57 PM
Thanks for the help peppereater! I'll let you know how it goes.
by Jiffymouse on December 12, 2005 12:05 AM
pepper is right, the drier indoor air could well be the culprit. you might find that you have to put a "pebble tray" under it. that is a tray of water that has rocks or something that keeps the plant from sitting in the water, but lets the evaporation increase the humidity.
by Nava de Roa on December 16, 2005 03:24 AM
Ten days later, I've watered it on the old schedule and I haven't had any more leaves drop.

I have a few pebble trays in the area where I keep the ficus, keeping humidity between 30 and 40%.

But thanks for the help! I'll stick to watering it every 10 days, like I used to.

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